A Passion for Special Education

Since high school, Isabelle Duck knew she wanted a career in special education. She came to NCC to realize her dreams.

Isabelle Duck
Isabelle Duck/Photo by Randy Monceaux

“In high school, I was chosen for a student internship in the Autistic Support Room, and I instantly knew I should pursue special education,” says Isabelle Duck, a special education major from Canadensis.  “I looked into education programs in the area, and a lot of really strong reviews were made for the education professors at NCC.”  She also wanted to complete her education classes quickly and inexpensively, 

She jumped right into the NCC educational experience as a dual enrollment student when she was in tenth grade.  To fit around her busy schedule of multiple jobs to pay for college, it is convenient for her that all her courses are online.  She enjoyed seeing how her professors still gave students virtual time in the classroom during the COVID pandemic.  She has learned many different styles of teaching from worldwide videos on YouTube.  “I have not lost any knowledge or experiences, and I am grateful,” she says.

Although she has not yet decided, the freshman is considering transferring into a new special  education associate degree program, which will roll out in Fall 2021.  The program will include two pathways, both conferring associate degrees: one for special education majors who plan to become teachers and will need to transfer to a four-year school to complete a certification program after completing the associate degree and another for those who plan to be special education paraeducators who can seek employment with the associate degree alone.  The program will be offered across campuses and will be available online and on-ground.  Articulation agreements are being explored with East Stroudsburg, DeSales, Bloomsburg and Kutztown universities.  NCC also offers a special education specialized diploma, which can serve multiple purposes.

Isabelle Duck/Photo by Randy Monceaux

“I was very excited when I heard about the new special education program,” Isabelle says. 

Duck leads a busy life.  A work-study student, she works the information desk at Monroe, doing temperature checks, and gives tours of the campus. 

Outside of school, photography is Duck’s special passion, and she has worked for four years as a roving photographer and supervisor at a resort.  “I love my job!” she says.

She looks forward to becoming a special education teacher, while keeping her photography job, for school vacations and weekends.

For more information about the special education program at NCC, visit www.northampton.edu/special-education.htm.

Myra Saturen has been a writer for organizations for thirty years, including 14 for NCC. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton and a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. In addition to writing for organizations, she has written for a variety of magazines and has had two young adult novels published. She also works as a writing tutor in NCC's Learning Center. She is a native New Yorker who has lived in Bethlehem Township for thirty-one years. She is married with two adult children. Her hobbies are reading, yoga and exercise.