Faculty & Staff Testimonials


Deb Lively

"SVSU's Early Childhood Graduate Program offers students a wonderful opportunity to study in depth young children's (birth-8) development and home/school/family relationships. Earn a ZA (Early Childhood Endorsement) to add to a teaching certificate and/or obtain a master's degree in Early Childhood. A new area of study, Early Childhood Special Education, has been added to help students meet the needs of young children with special needs. Online, hybrid, face to face and weekend format courses offers students an opportunity for a variety of learning experiences. Faculty are always available to provide support to make student's experiences positive."

Debra Lively, Ph.D.

Professor of Teacher Education
Coordinator of the Early Childhood Program

Saginaw Valley State University


Tammy Barrientos is the mathematics coordinator at SVSU's Regional Mathematics and Science Center, and graduate of the MAT, with a Natural Science Specialization. A former middle school teacher, Tammy designs math curricula for local schools and helps educators improve their teaching.

Tammy says that in earning her master's degree, she learned that her work with research made her a better teacher. She now advocates for all teachers to learn more theory through graduate studies, adding that it will markedly increase their success with students.

Tamara Barrientos
Master of Arts in Teaching Natural Science Specialization


A new urban teaching specialty was added to the graduate curriculum in the fall 2009. According to associate professor of teacher education, Barbara Jean Jones "most textbooks have one chapter on multicultural education." Yet in a multicultural world we live in, and in an economy where urban settings often offer the best hiring possibilities, teachers must be better prepared for the special kind of training required for success as an urban teacher.

The program, Masters of Arts in Teaching - Urban Teaching specialization will "give teachers a guide on how the can develop their teaching style based on the cultures in the community they work in," says Dr. Jones, adding that teachers will come away saying, ‘this is what I need to know about myself, the community, the families and my students' and learn to incorporate that into their teaching."

Barbara Jean Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Teaching, Masters of the Arts in Teaching Urban Teaching Specialization  



Before Dr. Jonathon Gould went from undertaker to school teacher --- yes, you read that correctly --- he interviewed a local elementary school principal to find out which university he'd prefer to hire from. "And without hesitation he told me SVSU; he said ‘with more time around students and a better balance of theory and practice, you're going to come out of there well-rounded.'"

Now a full-time professor at SVSU, Jonathan teaches future educators what he learned through a decade in K-12 education. And his favorite moment in teaching? "When you see that students realize they have an ally in their education, step up to the plate and give their best effort ... right or wrong, they're going to grow, and they're going to learn from it."

Jonathon Gould
Master of Education, Education Specialist