Why did you choose the act! program?
My name is Brandon and I’m a former act! program graduate. This is my second year teaching in the school district of Menomonee Falls as an eighth grade science teacher. I want to take a moment of your time to describe what I liked about the act! program and how it contributed to me getting where I am today. As I reflect on my time spent in the act! program there are three major themes that come to mind: flexibility, opportunities, and support. All the examples I am going to talk to you about today encompass one or many of those topics. I think it will be evident when you start the program the flexibility, opportunities, and support that I highlight about the act! program will lead to your success at earning a teaching license.
How did you complete the act! program?
Even though I live about 75-minutes away from the UW-Oshkosh campus I was still easily able to be a part of a cohort group and take the classes that I needed to take. For instance, I was able to go to UW-Waukesha for some of these classes. What’s more is I had the opportunity to video conference remotely from that campus to satisfy some of the face to face classes that I needed to take at UW-Oshkosh. Additionally, I appreciated the fact that I was able to incorporate many online courses from various institutions to get the credits that I was missing. Another practical solution regarding courses that the act! program impressed upon was they gave me life experiences for those things that I did time and time again at my old job. Speaking of my former job, I kept full time employment status until my student teaching experience began. That and not adhering to strict program completion timeframe requirements really impressed me about the act! program. I could go at the pace I needed and could handle any finances until I was ready and emotionally ready to make a career change.
How did your advisors assist you in the act! program?
Dr. Beeth and Dr. Ladwig were phenomenal advisors. Both were very open and receptive to one-on-one discussions and they also answered the questions that I would email often. They always offered encouragement and gave great feedback. Furthermore, I appreciated the trips that Dr. Beeth made to Brookfield where I was doing my student teaching. Once again being place bound and able to do my student teaching near my hometown was such an important piece to me.
What was your experience receiving Noyce scholarship?
I was a recipient of this award and encourage all of you who are qualified to do so as well. It has made a tremendous impact. It gave me the financial support to pay for the course I needed to take as well it paid for some bills while I was unemployed doing some student teaching. Since then I have used some of this grant money to further my professional development. I now have a K-12 online course certificate and also purchased some other materials for my classroom.
Do you have any advice for other considering the act! program?
There are other post back programs out there, especially down in the Milwaukee area by me, but choosing act! was a great decision for me. Remember, take advantage of the flexibility the program offers. Remember seize any of those opportunities that come along the way and remember utilize the support your program advisors offer.