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Graduate Diploma in Education Alumna Alicia McCormick

September 29, 2020

My name is Alicia McCormick, and I’m a bilingual teacher-librarian in the Surrey school district. I took the Inclusive Education Graduate Diploma in Education program at SFU, which I discovered when researching Masters programs offered at SFU.

I chose this GDE program because it centers on people. Regardless of the type of teaching role I pursue in the future; whether it’s administration, back to the classroom, or any other specialist role, I will always be working with people who have diverse needs and abilities. Inclusive Education is a very people-focused program and it dovetails well with any role a teacher could have.

The Inclusive Education GDE environment was a true community in itself. It was a place to explore topics that challenged our thinking and philosophies, share our own stories, and grow in our understanding of the diverse needs of people. 

The skills I gained in the program have impacted every area of my teaching. Together with the meaningful learning activities and speakers who shared their expertise with our cohort, this program has been a transformative experience; I would strongly recommend it to teachers considering professional development.

I have completely changed the way I prepare and teach lessons in the Library Learning Commons. I intentionally design lessons and activities with the needs of diverse learners in mind and try to offer an array of activities that pair with the universal designs for learning educational framework.

If you are considering a Graduate Diploma in Education at SFU, you will not regret it! Plus, it pays itself off in only a couple of years with the TQS category upgrade. It was worth it, and I looked forward to class every week.

The other colleagues in our cohort quickly became like a family. We all hailed from different places and roles, yet we all understood a teacher’s life. Each person’s skills and gifts had a chance to shine. Being with each other weekly was some of the best pro-d I’ve ever had. I could reach out to any of them after going through this program together.

Our main program instructor, Dr. Kristi Lauridsen, was exceptional in every way. The program reaffirmed my belief that people are precious beyond measure.

There is only so much that can be learned on-the-job and in preservice teaching. The GDE experience allows you dedicated time and space to develop yourself professionally and personally, and acknowledgement of this meaningful work is evident in the TQS category upgrade also.