These teachers in training are diligently working toward their Wisconsin teaching license. They are stepping into the classroom at a time when kids need leadership, consistency, and the commitment of a dedicated teacher. These four students in Concordia's Accelerated Program for Teaching and Learning have an exciting job market and rewarding career ahead of them. Built for parents, young professionals, someone looking for a career change, or anyone with aspirations of becoming a teacher, this program is preparing the next group of educators one class at a time.
Kids are in need of leadership, consistency, and the commitment of a dedicated teacher. These four students in Concordia’s Accelerated Program for Teaching and Learning have an exciting job market and rewarding career ahead of them. They are all in an accelerated program working toward their teaching license.
They all have busy lives and other commitments, yet make time for their dream degrees. The program was designed specifically for parents, young professionals, or anyone looking for a program that fits into a busy lifestyle.
Joanna Binsfeld, Business Education Teacher in Training
I found this degree appealing because of the transparency of the program. I knew exactly the courses I would be enrolling in and the timeline. I found this to be different from other programs I researched for my teaching license. It also seemed manageable as I am coming to this as a second career (I spent 12 years working in higher education at the University of Wisconsin Law School) so I wanted something that would be efﬁcient in terms of time. I also appreciate knowing class is Wednesday nights and will not change. My family know Mom is in class Wednesday nights and can plan accordingly. For a working parent, this is very helpful!
The courses have been well planned out to get us to the end goal. They are challenging, but so much of the content is directly related to my work in the high school setting (I am completing my second year working as a Tutor and Study Hall Supervisor). I could discuss a theory in Wednesday’s class and see it illustrated the next day in the high school. All the instructors are professionals and have extensive teaching experience.
When I complete this program I will be a licensed Business Education teacher (Early Childhood through Adolescence K-12). Most Business Education teachers are in the high school setting.
Voloria Jackson-Branch, Elementary and Secondary Teacher in Training
What is appealing about this degree program?
When I started the program, I was a single mother of two young girls. I had just started a full-time teaching job to support my children. I’ve always loved working with children, but I never set out on the path to teach. My undergraduate degree from Spelman College is a BA in Political Science Pre-Law and Spanish. Growing up, I dreamed of being a lawyer. However, God had other plans. I got called to be a teacher. I love everything about the Spanish culture and language. So, when I was presented with the offer to teach Spanish to young learners, I prayed about it. I decided to accept the offer, and I was on an emergency license. I fell in love with teaching. I was re-inspired, re-motivated, and re-charged to evoke positive change into the world, only one small human at a time.
I needed to get started in a program to maintain my emergency license and position. I called and researched numerous programs. Concordia was appealing for many reasons. First, I was able to maintain my full-time position to take care of my family’s needs. Also, it was affordable, due to financial aid, like the Uncommon Scholarship Opportunity. Due to being employed at one of their Preferred Education Partner districts, I received a scholarship. Also, I had a concrete, reliable schedule. I was aware that my classes would be on Tuesday nights, one time per week. Maintaining a consistent schedule for my children was vital for me since my children are younger. Finding reliable childcare is not always easy and can be expensive. Therefore, the accelerated pace that Concordia offered, meeting once per week was essential. This gave me peace of mind. Last, but not least, Concordia transferred credits from my undergraduate degree. This saved me time and money!
How are the courses?
Although an accelerated pace, the courses thus far have been informational and helpful. I’m very appreciate for the knowledge I’ve gained thus far. I learn new strategies and I’m so excited to get back to the classroom and implement them. I love that I can apply what I’ve learned right away. My Contents and Methods course has been my favorite thus far. I got to work more with creating lesson plans and learning the different theories of language learning. I also took an undergraduate course that I had to take to fulfill my science requirement. I took Forensic Science. The course was amazing. It was very hands on, and the instructor was fresh and exciting to work with.
The other aspect that I truly enjoy about the courses is my cohort. We’ve gotten to know each other very well. I created a GroupMe at the onset of our classes to allow us all to work with and support one another. We’ve grown into a small family of sorts. I’ve met some people who I know I will be in contact with for years to come. They are important to me. We’ve forged a true bond and friendship. They’ve been to my home, my bridal shower, and my wedding. Without Concordia, these bonds wouldn’t exist.
Describe your instructors.
Thus far, the instructors have been a great resource. They are all professionals from the field of education who maintain a wealth of knowledge and experience. It has been wonderful to have them share their experiences. They are forward thinkers who are not afraid to take risks. That has been instrumental, especially during these difficult times with COVID-19 impacting the world. The professors have been flexible, kind, and empathetic. They really care about you, not only as a student, but as an individual. They want to see you succeed.
After completing the program, what degree will you have earned and what grades and subjects will you able to teach?
Once I complete the program, I will have my Master’s in Education. I am seeking dual licensure. Therefore, I will be able to teach Elementary – 4K – 9th and Secondary – 4th – 12th. I will be licensed to teach Spanish as well.
Hi, I’m Peter Kavicky, a Concordia University- Appleton student in the Concordia Accelerated Program for Teacher Licensure. I have a wonderful growing family, work full time, and love to be active in our many church programs. I have a bachelor’s degree with a different focus, but discovered at a later time in my life that working with children is my true passion. It was time to make a career path change, and I found that Concordia was the perfect ﬁt for me and my family.
What I appreciate most about CUW is how ﬂexible they are. With a busy lifestyle, I am still able to pursue continual education one evening a week without sacriﬁcing what is important to me. Other programs I looked into were large time commitments, would have me graduating with a second bachelor’s degree, and were unable to use many of my credits. Concordia was able to work with what I have to move forward in life to reach my goal and provided a direct path to follow from day one. With accelerated classes, Concordia allows me to become a licensed teacher while attaining my master’s degree at the same time, saving me both time and money.
The program opens up an avenue for connections and contacts in my future career. The majority of our classmates are in the program for a career change, so they already have families or are working in the classroom. The professors are experts in their courses and bring years of experience in education and administration.
About the instruction:
“Concordia professors also bring a Christian perspective into the classroom. We discuss how we can view classroom management and numerous teaching strategies through the lens of Christ, which really equips us to carry on our work as educators in a loving way. This is one of the most valuable aspects of the program that will help me use my God-given talents as a teacher one day.”
About the classroom experience:
“This real life experience brings its own unique advantages to learning, and I have found that discussions have been much more meaningful and relevant. The content and material we are learning in each class can be applied to our lives now rather than after graduation which is seen in a traditional university path.”
Jennifer Thompson, Elementary and Special Education Teacher in Training
Hello, my name is Jennifer Thompson, I am a current student at Concordia, and I am delighted to be a part of this program. Before coming to Concordia, I looked into multiple different programs so I could earn my teaching degree for my licensure. Once I did all of my research the program at Concordia worked best for me.
I am a working wife and mother of four beautiful children so I needed a program that would be accommodating to working and going back to school. Concordia is perfect because it is once a week for at the most four hours. Once you go to class you need to study for your class and do the classwork.
I love the instructors who teach there they are people, who are leading busy lives with jobs like me. They are compassionate and fun people who want to see us be successful and encourage us to learn. When we have questions, they are there to answer the questions that we have along the way. They are excited to see us accomplish our milestones too.
Once I have completed my program, I will be certified for not only four-year-old kindergarten thru ninth grade in elementary education. I will also be able to teach cross-categorical special education. This is my dream job and thanks to Concordia I can live my dream.
Alicia Schmidt, Elementary Teacher in Training
If at a point in your life God is telling you to make a change do it! This program has brought so much joy into my life. I have been blessed to have been able to join the license to teach the program at Concordia Wisconsin. The professors have been amazing especially during this pandemic. They bring a lot of teaching knowledge and experience to the classroom. The teachers are very qualified and I know they want us to succeed in the profession of education.
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