Going back to complete her education degree was always on the back of Marlene Kapish’s mind, but becoming a mother of 3 and running a household always seemed to take precedence. However, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a teacher.
When Kapish decided to resume taking classes, she enrolled at Kennesaw State University to finish up her Early Childhood Education degree. During her time at KSU, she was required to take a special education course as part of the program. This class required field experience in a special education setting, an experience she completed at a Title 1 school where diversity was high and income was very low. During this experience, her heart and her passion grew stronger, not just for early childhood education, but for students of all ages and all abilities.
Her professor noticed her passion and encouraged her to consider a degree in special education. With her dedication shifting within education and baby number four on the way, Marlene realized that it was time to take a step back and re-evaluate. After speaking with her advisor about options, she learned KSU didn’t offer an undergraduate degree in special education. However, her advisor encouraged her to look into the Bachelor’s of Special Education online degree at the University of Georgia. After learning more about the program and its flexibility of when and where work is done, Marlene decided it was the right move for her and took the first steps and enrolled at UGA. Just a few months into classes, Marlene was blessed with healthy baby number 4, further solidifying her decision to seek an online degree.
Now in her final semester at UGA, her commitment to education for children of all ages and ability levels is unwavering. As a future teacher, “I am drawn to individuality, diversity, and uniqueness. I love that I learn just as much from my student as they learn from me.”
“The biggest challenge to overcome during this program has been balancing and juggling multiple classes with extensive assignments all while trying to be a wife and a mother to four small children.” Marlene knew that completing her degree would be a long path, one that was sometimes trying, but she knew that in the end, she wouldn’t regret a moment of it.
Marlene will be completing her degree this semester and will walk across the stage in May with her core group of friends that she has found within her major. While she doesn’t know yet where her path may lead after graduation, she’s optimistic towards the future and eager to make a change in many students’ lives.
“It was hard, and at times it felt unbearable. But nearing the end of this program, I can say it’s all been 100% worth it!”