natalie rhein


1. What was your graduation year and major?

I graduated in May of 2022 and majored in Early Childhood Education (PK-5) and Special Education (K-12, mild to moderate and moderate to intense), receiving the dual licensure from Mount St. Joseph University.


2. What inspired you to pursue your major(s)?

I wanted to become an educator because of the amazing teachers that I had along my educational journey. There were several teachers who took a personal interest in me and challenged me in numerous ways. I was a student who always had to put in a great deal of effort, things not always coming natural to me. My teachers recognized this and ensured that I was supported within the classroom and beyond. I wanted to pursue a major in which I felt as if I was making a difference. As a teacher, not only do I have the power to create change, but my students have the power to create this change as well.  


3. Why did you choose the Mount?

I chose the Mount because of the high-quality education that you receive from this university. As I was exploring different colleges, I was drawn to the Mount because of the small class sizes and the truly welcoming community. After graduating, I can’t think of a better place to have attended for my undergraduate degree. The school of education program at the Mount is amazing, and I found that all of my professors were supportive and would go the extra mile to ensure that myself, and peers included, were receiving all the support they could. It is not every day that you go to a university in which your professor and other professors, advisors, etc. can call you by name and truly take a personal interest in you. As a graduate from Mount St. Joseph, I can’t think of a better place to have gone to earn my degree.


4. What field did you pursue after graduation? How was the Mount instrumental in preparing you for your future career path?

I just recently graduated from the Mount, and I am currently nannying twice a week and working at Metzcor. Once summer comes to a close, I will take a different career path and will work at Mt. Washington School as a lead preschool teacher. I believe that the Mount was instrumental in preparing me for my future career path as I have the knowledge and the expertise to face whatever challenges come my way. I am so fortunate to have attended the Mount and received courses that are now applicable in the career path that I find myself pursuing. The school of education does an amazing job immersing students in various different educational settings to allow for a holistic educational approach. I was able to partake in various practicum settings as well as student teaching experiences, which allowed me to build the knowledge and skills needed to become a teacher. I loved that the Mount had students in my career path (dual licensure majors) alternate between Early Childhood and Special Education practicum settings as well as alternate between the different grade levels we worked with. This allowed me to become well adept when working with students of various ages, needs, etc.


5. Was there a professor/instructor that helped your development as a person?

I had many amazing professors that helped me develop as a person. I truly think all of my professors in the education department did a tremendous job instructing myself and my classmates to become the best educators possible.


6. Did you co-op/intern? If so, where?

I completed a co-op going into my sophomore year. This was at Little Village by City Gospel Mission. This was a truly remarkable experience that allowed me to learn more about interacting with young children as well as gain experience beyond the educational setting, learning about the business sector as well.


7. What was your involvement like at the Mount? Extracurricular activities, major projects, etc. that you would like to share.

I lived off campus at the Mount but enjoyed coming up for events that were held. I also would come on campus after hours to work on projects, homework, etc. Although I commuted, I still felt as if I was very much a part of the MSJ community.


8. How would you rate your educational experience at the Mount, and how was it a strong fit for you?

I truly loved my educational experience at the Mount and am very thankful that I earned my degree from this university. It was a strong fit for me because I met amazing people here, all of which helped push me in the academic setting and beyond. I loved the individualized attention that was provided to myself and other students as well as the inclusive community that was evident.