Student Spotlight: Friday Gora

Nov 15, 2021

Meet Friday Gora, a student in the Department of Education.

Friday is a senior who is majoring in Integrated Elementary and Special Education.

Why did you choose UMD?

I chose UMD because it is the only school in the state to offer the dual licensure program. Even if I do end up deciding I want to be a general education teacher, I will always have kids with special needs in my classroom, and I want to be able to know how to help them in the ways that they need.

What do you like most about your program?

I like how small the classes are, and that I actually get to know my professors. I have also enjoyed getting to know my peers since we have a majority, if not all of our classes together. We have built a great support network as a block and I am excited to know so many awesome future educators. My professors have had so much experience in the field and know what's happening in the special education world right now. It’s present knowledge, instead of outdated information that is no longer meaningful. We’re also able to spend hundreds of hours in the field and really get that hands-on experience.

What has been your most meaningful experience at UMD so far?

The opportunity to go into the classroom and having professors help me reflect over lessons and field experiences. Making those connections with the professors has been absolutely incredible, and I am so thankful for the professors in my program.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Going into a program, take as many opportunities as you can. This is the time to network and really discover what you want to do. Ask people questions, but especially don't be afraid to ask about personal experiences in the field. If an opportunity comes up, ask about it, and advocate for yourself!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to paint, go on hikes, and go to the lake. I enjoy learning new information that’ll help me in my future, especially reading up on material that’ll educate me more about my career, like the inequalities in education.

About the Integrated Elementary and Special Education program.