Student Spotlight: Kacie Waddell

image of student Kacie Waddell

Learn more about Kacie Waddell, a student in the Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Distance Learning program, through our Student Spotlight series

Quick Facts

Hometown: Roseburg, OR
Favorite movie: Up
Hobbies: Singing/playing music, horseback riding, and playing board games with my family

Why did you choose the Special Education Early Intervention Distance Learning program?

There are a few reasons that I decided to choose the Special Education Early Intervention Distance Learning program. I have five children from the age of 3-14 years old and a full-time job which can make in-person classes nearly impossible. Flexibility was the driving force behind my choice in this program. I had co-workers that enjoyed and gain a lot of knowledge through this specific program as well. 

What are your career goals?

Currently, my main goal is to become a supervisor within Early Intervention. As a parent of three children who are receiving SPED services, I would love to grow a program towards inclusive practices that are truly family-centered. 

What education or experience led you to pursue a path in Special Education?

When I was younger, I had a heart for children and specifically children with disabilities or developmental delays. I used to take my lunch break in the developmental learning center (DLC) in middle school so that I could teach some of the children how to play simple songs on the piano. 

I have worked in Special Education for 7 years now. First, I was a Speech and Language Pathologist Assistant in Early Intervention. After being in Early Intervention, I saw that the teachers (EI/ECSE Specialists) were the ones who got to build relationships with the families and children, and I wanted to be a part of it.

What do you think is unique about the Special Education Early Intervention Distance Learning program at the UO?

After being in this program for the last two semesters, it’s become apparent that the professors and students are very passionate about creating an environment that values challenges and sees them as a way to adapt and grow. I am receiving very direct feedback related to my work everyday as an ECSE Specialist.