Elementary and middle school special education major
Obscure campus fact specialist
"Pick a school where you are comfortable. Think about what fits. When I visited St. Ambrose, it felt like home."
When Nick searched for the right college, he knew he wanted somewhere close to home so he could stay in touch with his four siblings and parents (Nick's father ran track as a Fighting Bee, too).
If you visit campus, Nick might give your tour (just part of his workstudy job with the Admissions Office). Or you might find him playing video games in Franklin Hall, throwing the javelin at track practice, or consuming enough calories in the cafeteria to fuel his workouts. Or he may be prepping lesson plans for student teaching at Wood and J.B. Young intermediate schools in Davenport. On the weekends, he hangs with friends or travels to track meets around the Midwest and as far away as Florida. He does his best to make Mass on Sundays.
When you come out of high school, you think you know what you want to do, but until you get the experience, you don't really know.
I knew I wanted to teach, but I wasn't sure about the content area or grade level. In the summer after my freshman year, I worked with middle-school students with special needs in a program sponsored by Lutheran Services of Iowa. We took those kids into the community and worked on independent living and social skills-stuff like handling money. That experience steered me to special education.
In my teaching program, my methods classes and observation hours have really prepared me for what I need to do: construct lesson plans, get organized and actually teach in front of a class.
I was surprised by how easy it is to plan your classes. The advisors are so useful-they can tell you exactly what you need. You won't have to figure it all out by yourself.
Because the classes are smaller, the professors can communicate with you to make sure you understand the material. They carry on conversations with the class, rather than speak at you. Classes are more meaningful for me that way.
I've definitely grown as a person. In high school, my parents were my motivators. At college, they're not around 24-7. I've learned to be my own motivator and to organize myself accordingly.
I earned both athletic and academic scholarships. That helped a lot. And my mom and I were proactive about applying for a truckload of scholarships while I was still in high school. But I also took some loans to cover the difference. If I teach in a shortage area, there are federal programs that can cancel out some of my loans.
There's tremendous value in what I'm getting out of my Ambrose experience. Quality education and instruction are an investment.
Bring Febreze for your dorm room.