Corrin Shulze walked into the room where the College of Education’s Centennial Marathon’s presentation on Hip Hop Culture was taking place and by the time she left, she knew she was going to make a career change.
Shultze had been a teacher for 11 years in Charlton Middle School teaching 8th grade English. She loved the work but felt the need to do something more.
“I always wanted to pursue a higher degree,” she said. “I thought it would be in literature. But as I thought more about it, about that human connection in teaching, it became clearer that my degree should be in education.”
She explained: “When the School’s Centennial happened, I was at the point where I knew I wanted a change but I wasn’t clear on the direction. At the Centennial, I had opportunity to see what people were doing in COE and that was exciting. I went to the sessions, and one on Hip Hop Culture had to do with technology. I had been feeling for awhile that technology had changed learning and not just teaching, so as I watched, I could see ways in which learning was different.
“I’m interested in how kids learn today,” she said. “Technology has changed so much since I was a kid. I asked myself, if they’re learning differently now, then how do we teach them to match their learning style? And, that is the direction I’m going in now.”
Shultze said that she spent a significant amount of time looking at various programs and finally concluded that UMass Amherst “was the best fit.” She applied to and was accepted into the College of Education’s doctoral program, Language, Literacy and Culture concentration. With the help of a Teaching Assistantship and support from her family, Shultze was able to take a year off from teaching.
“One year will give me a good foundation,” she said. “I hope to go full time to school. If finances are available, I will. I’ll take it a year at a time.”
While Shultze says she “loves” the program of study, she is also “totally overwhelmed.”
“There’s a big difference between being a teacher and being the student, the one who doesn’t know anything!” she laughed. “But, I expect to have my feet on the ground any moment now!”