MEd in Special Education

Jennifer with long blonde hair, black rimmed glasses, and wearing a long-sleeved black shirt with shoulder cut-outs. She is smiling and standing in front of a field and mountains in the background.

"I loved the relationships that I developed with my peers. I have made lifelong friendships with people who share my same passion for providing a high-quality education for all students."


Ewa Beach, HI


Special Education

Related Degrees

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Special Education (PBSPED)

What is your current position? 

ʻEwa Makai Middle School, Fully Self-Contained (FSC) classroom grades 6-8th

How did you become interested in the field of special education?

I have always known I wanted to work with kids. Growing up, both of my parents were special education teachers. When I was an undergrad student at Mānoa, I loved my Psychology Child Development class. After graduating I started working as a behavior therapist for an ABA company. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to work in special education in a classroom setting.

Why did you choose to pursue the MEd SPED, BCBA-Track program?

It allowed me to combine my passion for public school education with ABA.

What was the best part of the program for you?

I loved the relationships that I developed with my peers. I have made lifelong friendships with people who share my same passion for providing a high-quality education for all students. I am also so thankful for the Mānoa Sped COE staff and instructors. They were very knowledgeable and a great support throughout the program.

What words of advice would you give to people looking to pursue this program?

It is important to have a strong support system while completing the program. Having family and friends who will cheer you on and be able to help out are crucial. Connecting with your peers in the program is also very helpful. They understand what you are going through and can be a great support in your classes. There will be hard and challenging times, but it will be so worth it once you complete the program.

In what ways do you hope to make a difference using the knowledge you have gained? 

I hope to be able to make a lasting impact on my students through using effective evidence-based strategies. I also hope that I can inspire and encourage others in education to also be using interventions are are evidence based to help support all of our students.

How are the people and the program in the COE helping you along your way?

Everyone in the COE program was supportive and helpful. All of my field supervisors were knowledgeable, supportive, and understanding of the challenges that occur while in the program.

Have you received any funding for your program? If yes, which one and how has it supported you on this journey?

When I was completing the post-bacc program I received the DOE stipend that covered the entire program. This was a huge incentive to completing the program. During my master’s program, I received several stipends and scholarships that covered about half of my tuition.

What are your post-program plans?

I plan to continue to work in the DOE as a special education teacher.

Photo: Jennifer Macadangdang presenting her Master’s Plan B research project with her faculty advisor, Dr. Rhonda Black, at the 2023 Pac Rim Conference. To learn more, check out p. 8 in SPEDʻs April 2022 SPED Monthly newsletter.

Jennifer and Dr. Black standing in front of a table displaying their research poster.

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