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Filipina pursues graduate program in Special Education at NIE NTU, Singapore

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Filipina pursues graduate program in Special Education at NIE NTU, Singapore
Micaella Salonga, a Filipina educator, realized that she still needed to gain more technical skills and knowledge in providing the best care for children with special needs, as well as to keep up with changes in this field. She decided to pursue the Master of Education (Special Education) program with the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).
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Micaella Salonga came from a career in early childhood education and has interacted with different types of students with various needs. She worked in an inclusive preschool and was fortunate to have colleagues who guided her in managing children who were classified as atypical learners.

Despite her experience and the support she received, she realized that she still needed to gain more technical skills and knowledge in providing the best care for children with special needs, as well as to keep up with changes in this field.

To achieve this, she decided to pursue the Master of Education (Special Education) program with the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NIE NTU, Singapore).

Micaella was first introduced to NIE NTU, Singapore as an undergraduate student on a short study tour spanning Singapore and Indonesia. “It was fascinating to hear about its roots as a teacher education institution and its strong record in research and world university ranking,” she recalled.

Micaella had always wanted to pursue graduate studies overseas, as she felt that the experience will broaden her perspectives as an educator who advocates inclusive education. Among her top choices was NIE Singapore.

“As time passed by, I have always considered NIE Singapore to be one of my top choices in applying for higher studies, especially with its extensive program offerings. After communicating with NIE staff and the program leader of the Master of Education (Special Education) program, I was certain that NIE was the right university to pursue my masters,” she said.

As an international student, Micaella was able to adapt to the environment at NIE. “The process of adapting to NIE and NTU as a whole was made easier when I got on-campus graduate housing. I truly felt that I was part of the community as I was able to explore the campus and take part in several communal activities before the pandemic started.

“The NIE Graduate Student Club also helped me in adapting to the learning environment in NIE and connecting with other international students. The international student community is quite active and large in NTU, and it held several occasions for us to meet either face-to-face or online,” she continued.

Micaella had always wanted to pursue graduate studies overseas, as she felt that the experience will broaden her perspectives as an educator who advocates inclusive education. Among her top choices was NIE Singapore.
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Micaella found her experience at NIE to be truly enriching and eye-opening. “The Master of Education (Special Education) program integrates evidence-based practices and research that covers assessment to application. The colleagues I have met in the program all came with different backgrounds in the medical, military and corporate sectors and we all had the same goal of catering to students with diverse needs.”

She added, “What I think is unique to the program, is that the courses offered cover all phases of the life of a student with special needs (from early intervention to transitioning to the workforce) which allows professionals to choose courses that are in line with their research or interests the most. The program promotes professional competencies in the field of Special Education and working with students and families.”

In particular, she found the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to learning most beneficial. “The opportunity to cross-enroll in courses with other specializations offered in NIE during my first semester set the tone of how I viewed collaboration with my peers. I was able to exchange ideas not only from people enrolled in Special Education but also peers from Developmental Psychology and Curriculum and Teaching programs. Our discussions were rich and gave me an in-depth understanding of human psychology while still relating it to my program of study.”

“The professors were also very welcoming and their extensive expertise in their field on a global scale empowered me to actively participate in tutorials and lectures. The facilities in NIE namely the library and the Graduate Student Lounge allowed for opportunities to balance academic rigor and personal development,” she continued.

When asked if she would recommend NIE to prospective international students, she replied affirmatively.

“Yes. NIE offers various program for people who are interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees and who are all coming from different sectors. The set curriculum for each program provides academic rigor for professionals who are considering how to hone their craft in both application and research. The support given to students through various facilities, resources and collaborative nature of the community also is what makes NIE standout in the field of research.”

 

The National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore is an autonomous institute under the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). It has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 education institutions in the world and top 3 in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.

For more information on the range of graduate programs offered by NIE, visit www.nie.edu.sg/ge.

SPECIAL EDUCATION
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