For senior Bethany Keel, the Auburn University Special Education Program runs deep. Her mother, a 1988 graduate of the program, inspired her to step into Special Education.
When Keel began at Auburn she was enrolled as a communication disorders major. She joked that by choosing this major she would be able to make more money than her mother. After an introductory to communication disorders class, Keel found that she only enjoyed a portion of the material.
“I took the intro class for communication disorders and the only part I liked was helping people with disabilities. The other part bored me to death and I didn’t care about any of it.”
So, passion beat money in this case. At the beginning of sophomore year Keel changed her major to what she really loved, special education. Keel praises the professors she interacts with in her classes. She mentions that she can go to any of her professors with a question and they are happy to discuss it with her.
“Professors not only teach special education at Auburn but they are all actively involved in the community with people with disabilities. I’ve seen them personally out and about working with people with disabilities which is a cool thing.”
Special education majors have a cool opportunity at Auburn to join an organization that focuses on what they are learning in class. They have a chance develop friendships with members of the community with disabilities through Best Buddies. Auburn is home to the largest chapter of Best Buddies, giving students the opportunity to learn and grow so much through the relationships with the disabled in our community.
“The university does such a good job of communicating with families who have someone in their family with disabilities.”
Keel’s best buddy is Dawn. Through Best Buddies, Keel has had the chance to develop a one-on-one friendship with Dawn. The two friends get to hangout at least once a month and talk on the phone.
Over the past few years a new inclusion program has been in the works through the efforts of current Miss. Auburn, Ashley Moates. The program is called All For Inclusion. This year Keel is serving as the president of the organization. The organization was created to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities onto Auburn’s campus.
Auburn is currently in the works of creating a post-secondary education program. It will provide an education program for adults with disabilities after high school.
“It’s really cool to see that begin in my time at Auburn. I am really excited to see what that turns into.”
Auburn has given Keel and many others a magnitude of opportunities to succeed and be involved with this career path.
“I truly don’t know how it cant be said of other universities how Auburn works so well with inclusion. Being a special education major has allowed be to see how great Auburn is and how Auburn listens to its students and the needs of not only the students but also the Auburn area.”