Space Mountain at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida (Image courtesy: Julia Almonte)

SNHU seniors have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements at the “happiest place on Earth” after years of hard work, dedication, and unexpected global challenges. In the past, the senior class trip occurred after classes wrapped up for the spring semester, however, SNHU moved it up to Spring Break. While this trip is open to all on-campus seniors, there is one group that will be left out.

As a part of the School of Education and the Teacher Certification Program, Education students at SNHU are required to complete a full year of student teaching at a local school. These schools operate on a different schedule than SNHU, meaning student-teachers don’t have the same breaks as other SNHU students.

Amber Dee (’23), who will be student-teaching this school year, expressed her disappointment in SNHU’s decision to move the trip up.

“I was initially confused because I knew that SNHU had traditionally done the trip in May,” said Dee. “Then I was even more confused when I realized that the trip was not inclusive to Education majors.”

In an email sent to Dee, the Office of Student Involvement stated, “Unfortunately, the Disney trip that we advertised is the only trip that we have for seniors.”

“SNHU is giving Education majors an ultimatum; we either continue our commitment to our education by student-teaching, or we take an unexcused leave from our classrooms and education that we prioritize and spend so much time and resources on,” said Dee.

According to the Office of Student Involvement, SNHU’s decision to change the trip was based on cost and that their hands were tied.

“Airline costs during our usual week are astronomical,” said the Office of Student Involvement. “The trip would cost students more than $2,000; that just isn’t reasonable. Winter break is too short, and students have other commitments and want to be with family, so it left us with the only other option which would be Spring Break. The option we were presented with was to host the Senior Trip that week or not host it at all.”

The Office of Student Involvement pointed out that Education students not being able to go is disappointing, but that there are always groups that miss out.

“We’ve always had students who are unable to attend for one reason or another: student-athletes, those still away for Study Abroad, internships, those that receive job offers with earlier start dates, etc. No timing is going to be perfect, but this is the best option for the most number of students to be able to attend the trip,” said the Office of Student Involvement.

“Some students choose to plan Spring Break trips so this will hopefully provide them with an alternative option to what they might have been thinking anyways. Our office also has communicated with the School of Education in order to help their plan for accommodations for student teachers in an effort to support students being able to attend; however, there will unfortunately never be a perfect time to plan the trip for all students,” said the Office of Student Involvement.

Dee noted that her peers share the same dissatisfaction with this decision and that it has affected many within the School of Education.

“At this point, I know of many other Education students that were upset, including myself, because this is a trip where the seniors get together and celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy some time with the people we’ve spent our years at SNHU with, but now this trip eliminates the possibility for Education majors to go [at all],” said Dee.

Going forward, Dee has a message for SNHU to reciprocate the idea of being inclusive to all those around them.

“A message I have for the SNHU administration: as educators, we are expected to teach future generations to be inclusive and fair to all their peers, yet the administration feels that it is okay to overlook us as a part of our senior class in such a memorable experience,” said Dee.