Colleen Reynolds: Pursuing degrees in math and education

UMassD's education 4+1 master's program is preparing Colleen Reynolds '16 for a career as a math teacher.

Year: Class of 2016
Major: Mathematics
Program: Education 4+1
Minor: Leadership & Civic Engagement
Hometown: Ipswich, MA
Leadership: Admissions Ambassador
Next steps: Completing master's degree in education

Prepared for teaching

I chose UMass Dartmouth because it has the 4+1 program for education, which allows you to get your undergraduate and graduate degrees in less time.

My education classes have prepared me for teaching on all levels, whether it’s lesson plans, individualized education plans, classroom management, or even creating teaching portfolios for job applications.

I completed my pre-practicum hours at Global Learning Charter Public School and in the fall was placed at Durfee High School. I made a fantastic connection with the dean of mathematics at Durfee and was hired as a long-term substitute teacher. I’m now teaching algebra in my own classroom—an experience for which I’ll forever be grateful.

The potential for impact I can make working in Fall River is awe-inspiring, and it makes me want to work in a high-need district. However, my dream is to go back to my hometown and teach where I grew up. For now, I’m seeing where my path in life takes me, but I hope to end up wherever I can make the biggest impact.

Sharing passion for math

Being a high school math teacher has been my dream since I was a little girl. I’ve had inspiring teachers who have shown me that educators have a great ability to influence, motivate, and mold the minds of young students.

Teaching isn’t about relaying information to the next set of minds, but rather using a wide range of skills to help students in all aspects of their lives while promoting knowledge and love for the subject matter.

That’s a big reason why I think students who love math should consider becoming a teacher. When you have a passion for something, it becomes easy to share your passion with others, which is how enthusiasm is created and love for various subjects is passed on.

UMassD is “home”

There is such a thing as a home away from home. I was born and raised in the same house, so adjusting to college was a huge change. I never thought I would feel as though I truly belong somewhere else, but now I call UMassD my home.

While living on campus, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a community member and how much of an impact you can make in others’ lives.

The sense of community here is really special. I haven’t found many places where you can simply feel like you belong, but UMass Dartmouth is one.

Faculty who inspire

The faculty are genuinely invested in your success. They make an effort outside of their office hours to accommodate your schedule and needs.

I had the amazing opportunity to be in one of David Milstone’s classes. Not only is he a fantastic professor—and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs—but he also does so much for our community.

He is a one-in-a-million type of person who would go out of his way, simply for the success of his students. I decided to add a leadership and civic engagement minor because of him.

Opportunities for leadership

My leadership and civic engagement minor will allow me to broaden my horizons and get a better understanding of what it really means to be a leader.

In my leadership class, I’ve discovered a lot about my personal styles. This has made a great impact on the way I now view myself and ways I can improve in the future.

I’m also a Resident Assistant on campus. The position has drastically changed the way I behave as a leader as well as a community member. It’s taught me what it truly means to help others. I know the experience will carry on with me forever.

More information

College of Arts & Sciences: Mathematics

School of Education: 4+1 Program

College of Arts & Sciences: Leadership & Civic Engagement


College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Admissions, Features - Commencement, Features - Leadership & Service