McKenna Barlow, Class of 2017 - Education / PAL

McKenna Barlow's interest in childhood education began early: "My mom is a preschool teacher, so I was around kids all the time, and I really loved how they were just excited about learning," she said. "I wanted to see what it would be like to understand how they learn and be able to help them learn."

Now a senior at Curry College, McKenna is well on her way to becoming a teacher herself, with a double major in Education and Integrated Liberal Studies.

Although she enjoys learning about how to assist others through education, McKenna struggled with high-school test taking. One of the main reasons she chose to attend Curry was its renowned Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL), designed to support students with learning differences.

"I knew that I would need extra support with my academics, plus I wanted to play softball," said McKenna. "When I had my initial interview, everyone was just so welcoming, and because of PAL, I felt that I could be at home here."

McKenna credits the help she received from various aspects of the PAL program to her improved grades. "I was able to get extra time on tests and not have to rush and panic about other people already being done." She was glad to be given additional time to finish exams, and as a result she began to feel more confident about her performance on them.

"The technology at the AT (Assistive Technology) Center is great," said McKenna, praising another part of the PAL program that proved to be beneficial to her and many other students. She mentioned Kurzweil 3000 and Dragon Naturally Speaking as just two of many AT Center software programs that helped her as she took tests, studied, or completed assignments.

Related: The Curry Fund for PAL

"They have a ton of computers there," she said. "It really helps every one of us in PAL excel."


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