Claudia McClellan MAT '17 Overcomes Odds

Claudia McClellan receives her degree at Commencement

Hillsboro resident Claudia McClellan MAT '17 is looking forward to helping those new to the English language thrive in school.

McClellan is a first-generation American who  didn’t speak English when she came to the United States from Mexico 22 years ago. She has overcome both the language barrier and a personal setback to graduate from Pacific University’s College of Education with a master of arts in teaching degree on May 20.

Her story, as told by the Forest Grove News-Times’ Stephanie Haugen '12, is one of self-determination, encouragement from education mentors, and a strong desire to make a difference in both her local community and Oregon’s education circles.

As the Latino community continues to grow throughout Oregon, the need for culturally competent educators to aptly teach English as a second language continues to surge.

“I really wanted to become a teacher so that I could teach my native language,” McClellan said. “I found that my Hispanic background was not very well represented in the teaching of it, and I wanted to change that.”

McClellan’s inspiring journey is the latest success story to come out of Pacific’s College of Education. Through its accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching Fifth Year degree program, aspiring teachers can fulfill all the requirements for the Oregon Initial Teaching License in just 12 months.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017