Amber Martinez: Addressing Student Needs and Benefits of the Pathway

My name is Amber Martinez. I’m part of the College of Education and I am a graduate advisor here at TAMIU. I assist students seeking various certifications, including principal, superintendent, educational diagnostician, and reading specialist certifications. We offer a wide variety of master’s programs, and I assist with those as well.


Honestly, a lot of my work involves scheduling because many of our students are full-time teachers, caregivers, or parents, and balancing these responsibilities with their education can be challenging. It’s all about working with them to see what works best. The good thing is that we are offering more online programs here at TAMIU, which provides flexibility. Students can take online courses and still manage their daily lives. This is crucial because they often need to work while continuing their education.


We offer two routes for master’s programs: an accelerated route and a standard route. The standard route typically takes two years, while the accelerated route can be completed in about a year for those who are up for the challenge.


We often see what we call “stopouts,” where students pause their studies due to life events beyond their control. To address this, we try to offer more courses so that when students return, they are not too far behind and can catch up without feeling overwhelmed.


At our last hooding ceremony, we had a student who had faced tremendous personal loss, including the deaths of her husband and children. Despite these hardships, she managed to pull through with our support. We adjusted her schedule and ensured she could complete her program on time. She made a heartfelt speech that moved everyone in the room. This story highlights the importance of empathy and support in helping our students overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.


Many of our students seek to be part of the Laredo community. They appreciate the personal connections they make here, often knowing each other on a first-name basis. This sense of belonging is especially important in serving the predominantly bilingual population in Laredo. Bilingual education and special education are popular fields among our students, as they want to contribute to these specific communities. Being bilingual is a significant advantage and helps our students advance in their careers.

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