Program: Office Professional
Education/Industry Certifications: Master of Business Administration degree, Colorado Technical University, 2000; Indiana University, Composition Studies Certificate, May 2017.
Has Taught at SCC Since: 2003 (as an adjunct and full-time)
Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 15
Describe your teaching philosophy. My teaching philosophy is guided by the advice I received the first day I taught at a post-secondary institution. The program manager at Colorado Technical University advised me that I had "a duty, over and above" to teach the students the course material. He continued to stress that students were relying on me to prepare them for their careers. I continue to follow that advice today by actively engaging students in the classroom, implementing adult learning theory, and fairly assessing completed work.
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?I actually fell into teaching at SCC. I had been teaching as an adjunct at CTU in South Dakota when we moved to Lincoln. That summer there was an advertisement for an adjunct to teach a section of Business Communication during the summer term. It fit really well with my past work experience, so I applied and was selected to teach that section. I have been teaching some form of business or technical communication ever since. I'm passionate about teaching these skills to students because writing well will go a long way in their careers. It is a must-have skill for almost every industry.
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?Students will find that the Office Professional instructors are deeply invested in helping our students develop excellent soft and hard skills which are necessary to succeed in the workplace. We teach students necessary Microsoft Office skills as well as career management, time management, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Employers call us when they have a job opening, and we like to recommend our top students. Providing employers with well-qualified employees is as important as providing our students a top-notch education.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?Prior to teaching, I worked at a credit card company in South Dakota where I held the positions of leadership development training supervisor and career advisor. My duties included facilitating leadership classes such as Franklin Covey's What Matters Most and Writing Advantage, as well as working individually with supervisors in team development and developing supervisory skills. As a career advisor, my responsibilities included working with non-exempt employees in determining a career path by identifying working styles and setting career goals.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program? My advice to all students is to work hard in school and strive to become a lifelong learner. We should all commit to a life of learning.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?Teacher-student relationships are important to me, and I think to students as well. Not all students have a support system in place, and I feel I can sometimes fill that supportive role for students so they are able to continue to move forward in their education.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?My mindset is very team oriented, so I appreciate the great co-workers I have in my area. I also appreciate the opportunities to be a part of various campus committees. As a committee member, I've had the chance to learn more about the College and to participate in various activities.
What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?I have multiple small successes rather than a few big ones. I take pride in the success of my advisees and students in my classes. It's great to see a student improve over the term or to see students graduate and get a good job. Those things make me happy.
What do you like to do when you're not teaching?In my free time I like to read, craft and quilt; however, I'm currently completing a graduate certificate so it seems like I don't have much time outside of my obligations as a teacher and student. I'll be done in May (2017), so I'm looking forward to getting back to my hobbies.
What would students be surprised to know about you?I'm an open book already!
Is there anything you'd like to add?I'm passionate about education because, to me, it is the solution to most of society's problems and issues. Students who are teetering on the edge of poverty, and even those who are not, need to continue to move forward and earn a degree so they can begin a career with a decent wage. Granted, not all jobs require an education, but it is so much better to have a degree than not have one and need it. A minimum requirement of a degree makes the perfect job unattainable when the potential applicant doesn't meet that requirement. I encourage students to start with an associate degree and move forward from there. Education doesn't need to stop or end, and we all need to be constantly learning and changing in order to stay informed and knowledgeable.