EMU COE Alumni Reflects on How His Degree Set Him Up For Success

A photo of Scott Armstrong.
Scott Armstrong
A photo of Scott Armstrong.

Scott Armstrong

By Rachel Renou, COE Grad Assistant | Published July 7, 2020

YPSILANTI- The economic uncertainty that has been brought on by the recent Covid-19 pandemic has left many recent graduates across the United States to desperately search for companies and organizations still hiring. The opportunity to be hired in one’s field during these challenging times makes it extremely important to feel prepared and ready to show the organization they invested wisely despite the economic risk.

Scott Armstrong, a recent graduate of the EMU College of Education with a Specialist of Arts Degree in Special Education Administration and Supervision reflects on his appreciation for the COE after recently starting a new job. Armstrong reached out to EMU COE faculty member, Dr Fries, and explained how thankful he was that the program set him up for success.

Armstrong recently became a Special Education Supervisor in the Hazel Park School District. Despite already having two graduate degrees, a Master of Arts in Teaching Learning Disabilities from Madonna University and a Master of Science in Information Management and Communications from Walsh College, Armstrong was eager to continue learning. He pursued an Ed Specialist program at Eastern because he wanted to “earn school administrator credentials and broaden [his] knowledge about educational leadership and special education law” (Armstrong).

Dr. Fries was an influential person in Armstrong’s decision to pick Eastern to earn his credentials. Dr. Fries is the advisor of the Special Education Administration and Supervision program making him a great reference to answer Armstrong’s questions.

He was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and explained to me that there is a great demand for people with the credentials that are earned through this program. He explained that if I were to get an administrative position in special education, the salary increase would quickly pay back the cost of the degree. He convinced me that EMU was the right place to earn this degree.

EMU COE’s Specialist program is helpful to recent graduates because they feel prepared to move into a new phase of their career. Armstrong describes how being a school administrator requires a diverse skill set, and felt as though his program helped him build and strengthen those skills. “As a result of the great education I received at EMU, I feel well-equipped to embark on my career in special education administration and supervision” (Armstrong).

Even before Winter 2020 classes moved online, the Ed Specialist program was completely taught online. Armstrong, like the other students in the program, found the convenience of online classes helpful. This flexibility meant Armstrong could work full-time as a teacher while earning his degree. The ease of advancing his career meant he could simultaneously work, and plan for his exciting career ahead.

Visit the Special Education Specialist program page for more information.

About The College of Education at Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, The College of Education (COE) at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) continues to be one of the largest producers of educational personnel in the nation. The COE includes a comprehensive variety of programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral program level. Non-degree and certifications are also offered through the COE as well. The COE includes departments for teacher education, special education, and leadership & counseling. All of the professional education programs offered by EMU’s COE are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and are also approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The graduates the EMU produces are highly desired in the field, due to the strong reputation the COE has earned throughout their many established years. The COE has been recognized for its strong success rate by U.S. News and World Report’s: America’s Best Colleges.