Lexie Downey graduated with a dual major in Early Childhood and Special Education in 2019. Since then, she has been doing an amazing job of teaching and is now pursuing graduate work in education at Purdue University.

Q&A with Lexie Downey:

What inspired you to enter the teaching profession?

My interest in becoming an educator didn’t truly develop until my freshman year at CCGA. I spent many hours tutoring fellow athletes at the college, and shortly thereafter began working for The ATTIC as a supplemental instructor. I quickly developed a love for teaching matched only by my love for learning, and began to seek out related opportunities such as coaching youth club volleyball, and tutoring young students at the local Children in Action Sports Club. Becoming a teacher allowed me to combine my tutoring skills, coaching skills and passion for working with children.

Why did you chose to attend the College of Coastal Georgia?
When selecting a college, I started out looking for opportunities close to home. Little did I know that CCGA would quickly become my home away from home! The amazing volleyball program, affordability, respected academics, and beautiful location were all factors that ultimately led me to select CCGA for my undergraduate studies.

How would you describe your experience in the Elementary/Special Education dual major degree and certification program?

My experience with the teacher education program at CCGA was excellent. There are very few programs that offer the option to earn a dual certification in both early childhood and special education simultaneously. In the current public school climate, in order to best serve our student populations, there is an immense need for all general education teachers to possess the skillsets of special education professionals. I also appreciated a number of unique field experience opportunities at CCGA, through which I was able to spend time teaching in several different grade levels during my junior and senior years. In addition, our cohort was often able to meet at an elementary school, and then immediately enter classrooms to implement the tools and techniques we had learned. The support and individualized attention I received from all of my professors is something only a smaller school can offer, and I am deeply appreciative of the faculty I had the chance to work and learn with at Coastal.

What have you accomplished with your degree since graduating from the College of Coastal Georgia in 2019?

Since graduating from CCGA in 2019, I have moved back to Washington state to be near family, and have nearly completed my third year of teaching. I have spent three years working with first grade students and have loved the challenge of teaching foundational skills in all subject areas, while helping young students develop social emotional skills and self-regulation strategies. Teaching during the pandemic has been no easy task, but as I have taught students in-person, remotely, and in a hybrid model, I have witnessed the notable increase in student engagement through the use of technology. This has ultimately led me to seek out a master’s degree program in Learning Design and Technology, and I will begin courses at Purdue University this May. I am beyond excited for the opportunities this degree will afford me in both the classroom and the instructional design realm.