Shelby McCrackin

Shelby McCrackin

"Expand your mind and professional reach."

College: Education
Degree Program: Mathematics Education
Degree: Doctorate

Award: McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (2023)

Why FSU?

I chose the Mathematics Education program of the School of Teacher Education at FSU because I already had well-established mentoring systems here. My family lives in Tallahassee, so I have very close familial support here. I am also able to attend graduate school while living at home, allowing me the opportunity to save money.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to earn a doctorate degree. I continued having the same passion once I became a teacher. I knew after three to four years of full-time teaching, I would return to graduate school. I'm here to fulfill the hopes of that little girl.

Importance and/or impact of research and work

Algebra I in educational research is often called the gatekeeper course of high school mathematics. Typically, we study the policy decisions related to the course and its effect on study achievement, but we are not hearing the voices directly from the students and how their Algebra course (and its variants) are impacting their learning. My aim is to listen to students' stories about their mathematical experience as it relates to their self-efficacy and motivation. I also want to capture the updated look of Algebra I in the United States of America.

Career aspirations

At the moment, I aspire to become a project-based curriculum developer for secondary mathematics education, particularly for Algebra I. I am also interested in becoming a program evaluator for secondary mathematics education curriculum/programs. If possible, I would like to become a consultant or host of semi-formal professional development on humanizing teacher-student relationships, to encourage an asset perspective of students.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school

Seriously consider if you need a graduate degree. It is possible that the career you wish to pursue does not require a graduate degree, but rather dedicated time to "start over" or explore a different career path. If you still consider pursuing a graduate degree, recognize that this is an advanced degree with lots of reading and writing. Thus, it is important to find ways to keep yourself grounded.

Accomplishments during graduate career

I am happy to have been awarded the Anne Spencer Daves Fellowship and General Scholarship. Moreover, I was the Mathematics Education and Special Education (MESE) working group coordinator for the Spring 2023 semester. I am also proud to have been awarded the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (2023).