Andrea Parrish

Graduate Program Director, Department of Special Education
Doctoral Degree Candidate: Instructional Technology

Andrea Parrish

It was a difficult decision for Andrea Parrish to leave her job as a special education teacher and administrator, but she knew a leadership role in higher education would give her a wider circle of influence in the field. Today, she advises Towson University’s graduate students in special education and enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in their lives.

“New teachers have so much energy and excitement, and my own work is about developing skills to help teachers get better at what they do,” says Parrish. “We push ourselves and our students to be better teachers.”

We are a large institution with lots of programs, but the special education department has a close-knit faculty. ”

Andrea Parrish

Parrish attests that the Towson University special education program is among the best in the region. “We are a large institution with lots of programs, but the special education department has a close-knit faculty. We are prepared to work with a diverse student group and offer flexible program options that focus on initial licensure in special education.”

Parrish finds herself in a unique role as teacher/adviser as well as student in Towson University’s doctoral program in instructional technology. “More and more students have access to a computer and the Internet in the school setting, and that is dramatically changing instruction and what teachers need to be successful at in the classroom,” says Parrish, who is coordinating a national panel of experts to develop a list of competencies to guide the preparation of future teachers. “My doctoral research is about developing an inventory of competencies needed to facilitate instruction in student-centered, one-to-one learning environments.”

As a faculty member, a mother, and a student, Parrish feels she can offer students meaningful and authentic suggestions about balancing life and school. “I can show them it is possible to balance their personal and professional lives with the support of Towson University faculty.”