Dana Dunams

English, M.A.

 

"I work at a high school, so I am consistently mentoring and guiding students. This is the most fulfilling role that I have acquired in my career thus far because I can physically see how my work is positively affecting my students."

Why did you choose this graduate degree program? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I selected to earn a Master of Arts in English as well as a Single-Subject Credential in English because I had previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Irvine, and I truly wanted to enhance my expertise in this particular discipline. I love everything about English literature. English was my favorite subject in high school, and it developed into a passion while in my undergraduate program. I enrolled in this graduate degree program so that I could expand my knowledge base. My future goal at the time was to eventually earn a doctorate degree in English, but God had a different plan for me. Regardless, I knew that I would ultimately become a teacher; and thus, I wanted to be as much of an expert in this content area as possible so that I could be an effective resource for my future students.

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
I absolutely loved being in the program at CBU because every professor was personally invested in my academic achievement. I experienced a support system that was unavailable to me while in my undergraduate program because UCI was significantly larger than CBU. I appreciated and definitely needed the smaller class sizes as well as the infinite opportunities to meet and collaborate with my professors. I attribute my success in this program to the faculty at CBU. They not only prayed for us daily while in class but they also demonstrated a genuine interest in me and my future educational goals.

Did you complete any field work?
I completed field work for my Single-Subject Credential program at Chemawa Middle School and Arlington High School in the Riverside Unified School District. I had the most amazing student teaching experience! I adored my master teachers and I truly learned a lot from them in regard to how to effectively organize a classroom to ensure student success. We focused on how to develop and implement procedures, systems and structures in my future classroom. I honestly felt ready to facilitate the learning in my own classroom after completing my student teaching.

How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
I grew as a professional while in this program. It became very clear that I needed to expand my academic comprehension while at CBU, and I was successfully able to do so. I feel like I received a well-rounded education because the professors were intentional in providing a holistic experience. I honestly acquired the skills necessary to immediately enter the education profession and thrive!

My faith in God was also strengthened while in this program. The consistent prayers and how we connected our daily learning activities to the Bible was very enlightening and clarifying. I truly learned how to apply God’s lessons to my everyday life.

What have you done since graduating?
I earned my Preliminary Administrative Credential as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University in 2015.

How has your time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after grad school?
My educational background has afforded me the opportunity to instruct students at the middle school and high school levels, and even at the collegiate level as an adjunct professor at CBU. I have also assumed previous roles as an academic coach, International Baccalaureate Middle Years program coordinator and a program specialist for secondary education in the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

I am currently serving the Moreno Valley Unified School District as the assistant administrator of instructional improvement and academic coaching (AAIIAC) at Vista del Lago High School. I believe that the holistic educational experience provided in my graduate program at CBU equipped me with the ability to be exceedingly successful in the education profession. I am beyond blessed and happy! This is sincerely my dream job!

In my role as the AAIIAC, I provide my school site with professional development opportunities, lead the academic progression of curriculum directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards, oversee all testing requirements requested from the district and state levels, coach teachers, and mentor students. For the past year and a half, I have had the pleasure of serving the needs of the staff, parents, community and students in my school district. I believe that my unique compilation of expertise has assisted me to provide sound support for all stakeholders as I relentlessly work to propel them towards the attainment of their personal, professional and academic goals.

Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life today?
I definitely still refer to the fundamental and foundational skills that I learned while in the graduate program at CBU whenever I face an unforeseen obstacle. In addition, I put God first and rely on Him to see me through those challenging scenarios and situations. At the end of day, I am doing God’s work and serving His purpose for me. This notion is consistently reinforced at CBU, and it is what ultimately gives me peace and ensures that I continually grow and progress both personally and professionally. 

How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
My profession is undoubtedly my purpose and I like to think that I am positively making a difference in the world through my work with the youth. I work at a high school, so I am consistently mentoring and guiding students. I am not only ensuring that they are able to successfully pursue their future college and career goals upon graduation, but I am also guiding their social and emotional growth. This is the most fulfilling role that I have acquired in my career thus far because I can physically see how my work is positively affecting my students. It is the most gratifying job in the world!

Would you recommend CBU to others?
I would recommend CBU to anyone interested in pursuing a graduate degree simply because of the support provided by the staff. Graduate programs are exceedingly rigorous and at times can be stressful, but you never feel alone at CBU. This concept and familial atmosphere is the reason why I completed the program and why others should enroll in one!

Anything else you’d like to add?
I think that I was able to share everything that I wanted to say, but my final thoughts are that CBU was a life-altering experience for me. I really “grew up” in this program and was able to find my true purpose in life while at CBU. I wholeheartedly do not believe that I would be where I am now if I had not selected to go to CBU for my graduate degree. Thank you, CBU!

 

Learn More

M.A. in English
Department of Modern Languages and Literature

 

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