Meet Sarah Delaney

An interdisciplinary major at USJ is a great way to gain expertise and experience in different areas of interest. For an interdisciplinary major, you pick one major area of study, along with two additional areas of study. This major allows you to take classes in all three areas you choose, which is one of the reasons I love it. I didn’t know this was an option at first, but one of my special education teachers mentioned it to me and how she believed it would be a perfect fit for what I want to do.

Coming to USJ as a freshman, I was very interested in special education, child study, and psychology. But as a traditional child study major, I wasn’t able to take many special education classes. My professor helped me create an interdisciplinary major combining these three areas so that I can take many classes in each and create my own unique academic experience.

I am very happy I chose the interdisciplinary path because it allows me to develop strengths in three areas, which I feel has helped make me become very well-rounded academically. I have had the opportunity to take many education and special education classes, and through these classes, I have gained amazing experiences within the field. Opportunities I’ve had have included the ability to observe general and special education classes and teachers at several different schools, completing a semester-long clinical at The Gengras Center – where I was assigned to a class and was able to plan and execute lessons – and learning how to administer and score achievement tests with students in a Hartford public school.

My child study classes have allowed me countless opportunities to observe and assist teachers at The School for Young Children, where I got the chance to work with the children and develop and implement a behavioral intervention plan. My child study focus area is also the reason I am completing an internship currently with a special education teacher in a West Hartford public elementary school. Two days a week I get to work with students, delivering instruction and assisting them with their classroom activities, along with observing their testing. Having psychology as my third focus area has allowed me to take classes such as Intro. to Autism, Behavior Analysis, and Art Therapy, all of which really compliment what I am learning and doing in my other classes and experiences.

I feel as though this major really allowed me to pursue my passions in a few different areas, and made me very well rounded as a student. This major really helped me develop so many beneficial skills that will be utilized regularly in my future plans. But perhaps most importantly, this major allowed me so many more unique opportunities that I wouldn’t have explored if I had just settled on one pre-designed major. I feel as though I will be headed into graduate school and my future career with the unique advantage of having well-developed skills in many areas that will set me apart from others going forward.

Overall, I am very happy I decided to pursue an interdisciplinary major, and I think it is a great opportunity for anyone looking to gain knowledge and experience in more than one area of interest!