When Taylor Moreno completed her Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, she became WGU Texas’ 15,000 graduate and conferred degree. Not only was this an achievement for Taylor, but it was also a major milestone for our university.
To celebrate, WGU Texas sent Taylor a gift basket complete with branded gear, a $150 gift card, and a framed certificate. In this Q&A, Taylor shares her background, why she chose to continue her education, why she chose WGU Texas, and her plans now that she has her master’s degree.
Give a brief description of your background.
My husband and I live in Abilene, Texas with our two sons. After earning my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from McMurry University in 2012 I started my career as a student-teacher. I fell in love with the students, staff, and community and never left! I’ve taught second grade, and kindergarten for seven years, and will begin my adventure as a first-grade teacher next school year!
I teach in the very same school district that I attended 3rd grade through high school. I’m passionate about giving back and working in the district that helped shape me as the person I am today. I believe students in my community must see people who came from circumstances just like their own, grow up, overcome their circumstances, and lead successful lives. I’ve had so many amazing colleagues that have helped me grow as an educator. My career goal is to become an instructional coordinator in the district. This will allow me to assist and serve other educators as well as students at the campus level.
How did you find WGU Texas and why did you choose our university?
I learned about WGU Texas from social media teacher groups. I kept seeing amazing things about the university and finally decided to check it out! The two main reasons I decided to earn my master’s degree at WGU Texas were: 1. Flexibility. I am a busy, full-time teacher, wife, and mom. I needed something that not only worked with my schedule but my family’s as well. 2. Value. The price to attend is amazing and I found nothing else comparable!
What made you decide to get your degree at this point in your life?
I always knew at some point I wanted to continue my education. I believe all teachers are lifelong learners, continually reflecting on ways to improve their practices and themselves. This was the next step in improving myself. I wanted to learn how to become a more effective educator and how to help other educators do the same.
What was your favorite thing about WGU Texas?
My favorite thing about WGU Texas is the flexibility it allowed me as a student. As a working mom, you already wear so many hats. It was intimidating to put the “student” hat back on! Upon starting my degree, I found it so refreshing to not have due dates and busy work at the university level. If my life was busy at the time, I knew it would be just fine to take a week or so off! I was able to maintain balance in my life as a WGU student.
Was your mentor important to your success? Did your mentor help you overcome any obstacles on the way to completing your degree?
Yes! My mentor, Kim, was great. She was a constant, quiet presence throughout my entire journey at WGU Texas. She cheered me on, checked in on me, and encouraged me to keep going when it got tough.
How was WGU Texas different than your other college experiences?
WGU Texas was so different from my experience as an undergrad. I was able to work completely at my own pace. This was so important to me. I was able to accelerate through courses during the summer last year then once school started, I backed off for a while and focused on what I had time for.
Now that you’ve finished your degree, what are your career plans?
For now, I will remain a classroom teacher. Ultimately, my goal is to be an instructional coordinator or in another leadership position for the district. My administration is aware of my future goals and is supportive in providing opportunities to grow and learn along my journey.
If you could describe WGU Texas in one word, what would that be?
As WGU Texas celebrates its ninth anniversary as an accredited university, yearly enrollment has significantly grown from 2,100 students in 2011 to more than 13,000 students today. The online university continues to help address the state’s critical workforce needs in high-demand fields by offering high-quality, competency-based, online education that is affordable and accessible for nontraditional students. Last year, it awarded more than $1 million in scholarships.
“It is great to recognize our 15,000th graduate and celebrate this milestone with Taylor,” Chancellor Johnson said. “She epitomizes what we see at WGU Texas every day—students who are improving their lives, and the lives of the people in their communities.” Learn about our online degree programs and how to get started.