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Ramapo Success Story

“During my first semester at Ramapo, I started working my first ‘real job’ in a program for adults with special needs. At that time, my mom was undergoing chemotherapy so needless to say, I was having a rough time handling all the major changes occurring in my life. One particularly stressful week, I couldn’t concentrate on a paper that was due for class. A week after handing it in, my professor spoke to me after class and said she was concerned, asking if there was anything on my mind. I remember feeling so comfortable and cared for, and I vented for quite some time to this caring professor. Flash forward six years later: that professor, Dr. Julie Norflus-Good, is the advisor to the Master of Arts in Special Education program that I currently am enrolled in.

In those six years, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Psychology/Education program. Ramapo gave me many fulfilling experiences to help decide what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’. I had the opportunity to work in different schools, with many kinds of students, take classes related and completely unrelated to my major that helped me form interests and hobbies I still pursue today, with professors and peers that supported me unconditionally. Before my first teaching interview, I spent an hour on the phone with Dr. Good practicing questions and answers… and I ultimately got the job! I currently have my dream position of teaching K-2 resource room in an amazing district where I help create and run ABA-based social skills and recreational programs for kids on the spectrum. I plan on getting my degree in Behavior Analysis after my MASE.” – Shannon Knapp ’14, ’17 graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology under the Elementary Education program and is currently completing her Master of Arts in Special Education at Ramapo. As an undergraduate, Shannon made the Dean’s List all semesters 2010-2016, was a Presidential Scholarship recipient, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Shannon worked full time during her undergraduate and now graduate years and will start as a K-2 resource room teacher in Emerson, N.J., in September, doing ABA home therapy, and helping to run and create ABA-based recreational and social skills programs.