Why did you choose the act! program?
Hi I’m Amanda. I’m currently student teaching through the act! program. I started back a few years ago when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I am going for science. The act! program was really great for me because I needed to be able to work full time in order to support myself while I was taking classes. I was able to take classes through multiple universities and it was all online so it was very flexible. I was able to continue my work and continue school at the same time.
How did you complete the act! program?
Dr. Beeth has been wonderful. I’ve probably sent him hundreds of emails that he has responded to very quickly and has been very helpful with anything I’ve needed along the way. I was also fortunate to have the support of my parents throughout the program and the Noyce scholarship was very helpful. The scholarship ends up covering pretty much the entire cost of the program, from start to finish.
What have you gained from the act! program?
The act! program was also helpful in teaching how to be a teacher. I know we don’t go through the exact same coursework that a traditional teacher goes through, but through the methods course and the act! orientation, there’s a lot of good information that everyone can learn from. The face-to-face classes were nice, but I really enjoyed the flexibility that came with being an online learner and being able to continue with everything else going on in my life at the same time. They were good at placing me in a student teaching position in the town that I live in so I don’t have to travel to do my student teaching, which is excellent. It’s an 18-week placement in a middle school. They also taught me how to create a portfolio that will be used through the end of my program and I can also submit it to my WECAN application for when I’m applying for jobs. They taught me how to use the WECAN system and how to apply for jobs and how to figure which kinds of classes and teaching I can do through the Noyce scholarship. It’s really just been a blessing to get me to where I want to be. I was working as a teacher’s aide for a few years and really decided that I wanted my own classroom. This was the best program that I could find that would allow me to do that in the shortest amount of time. I have nothing but good things to say about the program.
How was your overall experience with the act! program?
It was challenging to find classes sometimes that I needed to take. I spent hours and hours trying to find courses that were either close to me or online classes. I was able to find some classes through UW-Stout, UW-Superior, and UW-Madison, all things that I was able to take online. My biggest suggestion would be to just have a plan. Know what classes you need to take and what semester you want to take them. I took about two classes per semester while working my full-time job to make sure that I could maintain good grades and still do everything I needed to do. So make sure plan ahead. Also save things for your portfolio because it’s a lot easier than having to find things or recreate things that you have already created. So make sure to plan ahead for that as well and use Dr. Beeth as much as you can as a resource.