Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

Michele Cook

Educators come in all shapes and sizes, and at various levels of higher education. Some of our best teachers and education professionals have just one degree from their institution of choice, while others, mostly those serving as or looking to become superintendents or other administrators, have multiple. Take Michele Cook, EdS, EdD, of Williamston Community Schools, for example. As Director of Curriculum and Special Education at Williamston, she works with her fellow educators daily to ensure their students get the best education possible. In speaking with Michele, as she is twice a graduate student of UM-Flint, her testimony indicates that more education can be key in moving forward. 

You might remember Michelle Cook from her earlier Victors in Grad School podcast episode, but Michele graduated from UM-Flint with a degree as an Education Specialist in 2014, and again in 2017, this time with her doctorate in education. As a Special Education teacher, she first focused her Specialist degree on researching how best to teach students with autism– from there, she developed this research into her doctoral dissertation. With this knowledge gained from her programs, Michele moved forward in her career– without these degrees, she doubts she would be in the place she is today. Starting her career as a special education teacher, she had an interest in innovating on ways to best teach the students in her care. With this need to learn new techniques and support her students, going back to school seemed like the best option. 

“The way UM-Flint does it is really excellent,” she said, on her Education Specialist experience. “It was made to suit my schedule while still working as a teacher. I loved that I could come in once a month on Saturdays, and the rest of my courses were online– not many places did that at the time, or now!” UM-Flint formats our graduate programs to suit the needs of a working adult, well-aware that most of our graduate students are looking to enhance their career. In Michele’s case, she needed both of her degrees to become a Director at her school, and highly recommends it to other educators considering leveling up. She even recommended her Education Specialist program to her oldest daughter, who also went through the program. 

“I am a lifelong learner– I’ve always loved school. I knew I wanted a leadership role, and my education at UM-Flint was the way to do it.” Michele said. Educators wanting to keep up with current trends, and learn from others still active in the field at different levels ought to consider our Educational Leadership pathways. Whether it be our Education Specialist program, or our Doctorate, as Michele shows, both can greatly benefit the career of a passionate educator.