Normandale Reader Story - Antanaya Ferguson

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Information about Normandale Special Education Foundations Transfer Pathway

Information about Normandale's Education Department

Antanaya Ferguson always knew she wanted to work with children in some way. That idea grew when she was at New Horizon Academy in daycare and the preschool center, and it strengthened when she was pursuing a Special Education Foundations degree at Normandale.

When Ferguson was figuring out where to go to college, she focused on convenience to her home in Richfield and getting a personalized education experience with manage­able class sizes. Normandale provided both and opened doors for her to pursue her career in special education.

"Taking classes at Normandale was really beneficial because it felt like the class sizes were just the right size to get a lot of support from the professors," said Ferguson. "Whenever I needed help, they were there to support me and they played a big role in my decision to pursue special education."

Ferguson confirmed that special education was a great fit for her as she took more classes related to the degree. When Normandale Director of Teacher Education Linette Manier talked to Ferguson about staying on campus and getting her degree through the Minnesota State University, Mankato Special Education Partnership Program, it sounded like a good option.

"It was a great experience to stay on the Normandale campus and be able to connect with all of the great Minnesota State, Mankato professors to get a quality classroom experience," said Ferguson.

After graduating from the program, Ferguson took a job with the Burnsville-Eagan-­Savage School District in the Focus Program. In the Focus Program, she works with children who have an Emotional Behavior Disorder (EBD). Ferguson helps them with behavioral replacement techniques and focusing on building up their academics.

"My experience at Normandale and Minnesota State, Mankato was positive from beginning to end," said Ferguson. "The professors were always there for me, and I always felt prepared for the classes in the major, the assignments and my student-teaching opportunity. I had great hands-on experience, and it was beneficial in so many ways."

For more information about the Special Education Foundations degree and other partnership degrees offered at Normandale, contact Normandale Education Department Chair Linette Manier at or go to