Inspired by her brother who had multiple strokes, a young woman pursues a career in special education

“When my little brother was two and a half, he had multiple strokes and bleeding in the brain. He was in a coma for almost a month. Through his treatment and with all the therapies that he went to, I met a lot of special needs children and specialists in the field. I really liked the courage and the strength that these children had, and I wanted to have a career in that field,” Madelaine Perry, a recent graduate of Finger Lakes Community College in New York, said as she described why she is pursuing a career in special education.

Madelaine and her little brother

Madelaine and her little brother

“I just finished my associate’s degree in childhood education,” she added. “In my bachelor’s program, I’m going to get to work firsthand with special needs children and study more of the different disabilities and illnesses.”

Madelaine will start working on an online bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Mississippi State University in the fall. She’s had a lot of experience with online courses. “I’ve actually taken about 50 percent of my associate’s degree online,” she noted. “I like online classes because I can spend more time on things. I’m a perfectionist, so I spend a lot of time studying.”

Even when Madelaine took her face-to-face classes for her associate’s degree, including General Biology II, she supplemented her studies with online learning tools, like MasteringBiologyTM.

To master the course’s content, Madelaine did online practice problems. She explained, “I used MasteringBiology for extra work. When I wasn’t sure about a problem, I used the ‘hints’ feature. It was helpful. I also used a lot of the flashcards and the chapter quizzes.”

MasteringBiology is a great study tool.


Madelaine did well in biology, earning an A in the course. She is excited about taking the next step in her learning journey at Mississippi State University and beginning her career in special education.