Kristina Moore embodies how Cuyamaca College’s Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) is impacting lives every day. Suffering from PTSD and living with extreme anxiety disorder since she was a teen, Moore has benefitted from the program’s counseling, priority registration, proctored exams and help with taking notes during lectures. Those services paid off June 6 when Moore walked across a stage for her associate degree in child development at Cuyamaca College’s 41st annual commencement.
“I don’t think I would have finished, truthfully, had it not been for the services provided by DSPS,” said Moore, 25, who pointed out the skills and training she’s learned at Cuyamaca have led her to finding a full-time job working with toddlers and infants at a San Diego child care center. “School was really hard for a while, and these kind of services have made classes easier to manage.”
Moore is among the 839 Cuyamaca College graduates from age 18 to 72 who make up the Class of 2019. They were awarded 1,202 degrees and 202 certificates.
Born and raised in Chula Vista, Moore graduated from Mater Dei Catholic High School in 2011. Even after enrolling at Cuyamaca College in the fall of 2012, Moore was uncertain of her career path. That uncertainty ended after she took a class in child development.
“I absolutely loved it and decided right then that early childhood education was my future,” she said.
Still, Moore was struggling. It was only after she reached out to a counselor that she heard about DSPS and signed on.
Disabled Student Programs and Services is about equity and making sure any student can reach his or her full potential. DSPS assists students with disabilities so they have equal access to all programs and activities on campus. It provides support services to students with a wide range of physical, learning or psychological disabilities. Among the array of services are priority registration, specialized counseling, mobility assistance, test proctoring, tutoring, interpreters for hearing impaired or deaf students, and more.
Suddenly, going to class was far more manageable. Less than a year after majoring in child development, Moore was working at a local preschool as a teacher’s aide. After completing the required 12 units of core courses in child development and elementary education, she landed a job as a preschool teacher. She’s been working full time at Congregation Beth Israel’s preschool program for the better part of the past year.
“I’ve had Kristina in several of my classes and in each class she demonstrates her passion for child development and the children she works with,” said Child Development Program Chair Kristin Zink. “She is using her education her at Cuyamaca to build and enhance her career, and that is so rewarding to me as one of her instructors.”