Richard Cassella is an alumnus of the USC Rossier Master of Arts in Teaching program delivered online. In a recent interview, he was excited to share some of his USC Rossier online experiences and about his passion for education.
Source: USC Rossier Online
Why did you choose to get a Master’s and teaching credential from USC Rossier versus a stand-alone teaching credential?
When I moved back to Connecticut and took a paraprofessional position I knew balancing work and school would be difficult. This became nearly impossible when I decided to begin coaching multiple sports. I felt like I was making a positive impact in my community, so when the time came to look for teaching programs I held out hope that I would find one that would mesh with my commitments.
The minute I reached out to an admissions specialist at USC, I was sold. There was an excitement and passion about the program that I felt was unmatched. I saw, and still see, this program as a revolutionary movement in education – I wanted to be a part of that movement.
Has this program made you feel more confident about teaching in a classroom?
USC Rossier gave me the confidence to teach, regardless of the setting. I currently teach over 100 students online as an English Teacher, but I have applied the skills in many settings. Before I finished my credential, I was an In-School Suspension Supervisor. Throughout the day, I found myself reflecting on past discussions I had with my classmates and professors that helped me develop a sound approach to support the needs of my students.
Have you built meaningful relationships while in the program?
The reason why USC Rossier’s online MAT program is unique, is that it stems entirely from their emphasis on human interaction. The professors knew who I was and were invested in my success. Early in the program I met a fellow English teacher, Ariel, who I essentially completed the program with.
Before signing up for courses I made sure the times fit into Ariel’s schedule. Having her support throughout the program helped me tremendously. I will never forget our journey through PACT together. I still keep in contact with her and many of my classmates – in fact, going to graduation in LA allowed me to meet many of them in-person for the first time!
How have you juggled work, family and school?
I am currently doing a lot of travelling, which makes the juggling act more of a challenge. I would have to give the majority of credit to my fiancé and our family who have supported me from the beginning. They are the ones who patiently allow me to devote myself to teaching and coaching.
What would you say to potential students that are considering investing in a USC degree?
The USC family is second to none. This program is the only program of its kind in education. When you combine the reputation of the USC Rossier School of Education with this innovative online program, you will have a unique appeal to schools looking for the next-generation teacher.
Richard’s interview is a depiction of what differentiates USC Rossier online programs and why it was such an important step in his educational career. To learn more about his decision to pursue his Master of Arts in Teaching online at USC Rossier, make sure to watch his video interview!
Facebook: USC Master of Arts in Teaching
Twitter: @USC Rossier