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TRIO Teacher Prep students gain valuable tools for teaching by attending conferences

Phaeren Roby and Megan Welter
Early and Special Education and TRIO Teacher Prep students Phaeren Roby (left) and Megan Welter.

Phaeren Roby and Megan Welter, who are both pursuing teaching degrees in Early and Special Education, recently discovered first-hand how the TRIO Teacher Prep program’s support of professional development for students like them can have a big impact on their education and preparation as future teachers.

With TRIO support, Roby was able to attend a Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) conference in Little Rock, Arkansas in November, and Welter attended a Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) conference in Orlando, Florida in January. Funds available through TRIO Teacher Prep assist eligible students in the program by covering the cost of registration and overnight travel expenditures to in-state or national conferences.

“I believe that when students take advantage of opportunities to attend professional conferences as undergraduates, it demonstrates a commitment to their learning and growth,” said Adriana Veloza, program coordinator for TRIO. “These events foster the development of a professional identity, expand students’ view of what it means to be an educator, and connect them with a community of practitioners and leaders. (Conference support) is one of my favorite services offered through the TRIO Teacher Prep Program.”

Students who attend these events return inspired and eager to put into practice what they have learned. “I felt extremely welcomed by everyone (at the conference), said Roby. “It was an incredible opportunity to meet others who were as dedicated to this field. Ever since COVID began, I had started to feel a little burnt out and didn’t feel as passionate about my degree as I used to. The CASE conference reminded me why I love Special Education and reassured me that this is the field that I need to be in.”

Welter also felt the CEC conference she attended offered new opportunities and support she may not have had access to otherwise. “This conference was beneficial for me as a future teacher,” said Welter. “I was able to network with educators from all over the United States. I gained many resources and learned about many opportunities with teaching that I had not thought about before.”

The TRIO Teacher Preparation program is one of five student support services programs located within the Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities in the College of Education at Boise State. TRIO Teacher Prep encourages and supports students who are either first-generation students, students with limited income, or students who have a disability to pursue and attain an undergraduate degree in education.

Learn more about the TRIO Teacher Preparation program and apply:

TRIO Teacher Preparation Program at Boise State