Testimonials from College of Education Alumni

In addition to the testimonials below, be sure to check out videos of recent graduates sharing how USF prepared them for success in their own classrooms and beyond.

Alumni reflect on their experience in the College of Education.

Why St. Francis? To be honest, every school is going to teach you to write lesson plans and implement them, but no other school is going to do it with the zeal of St. Francis. Here you do not simply learn methodology, you learn to cultivate the whole person. From my experience with the College of Education, I will never forget how I learned to view teaching as more than a profession and a class as more than a group of students. I instead walked away with the realization that teaching could never simply be just a job, and that a classroom of 30 kids is seen instead as a room of 30 unique and special individuals, each capable of changing the world.

Ashley Sichak ’15
Secondary Education, Math
The University of St. Francis College of Education does not simply teach students the fundamentals required to be a teacher, the program goes above and beyond in its effort in making St. Francis educators the best in the Midwest. The caring and compassionate nature of Saint Francis is instilled in each and every one of its graduates, preparing them to truly make a difference in the lives of those disenfranchised by society. It is not simply the knowledge that goes into teaching that is taught here at the University, but it is the heart and soul that separates the average from the exceptional teachers that is instilled here at the University of St. Francis. This school has given me the tools needed to become the best teacher that I can be and it has surrounded me with some of my best people that I have ever met in the process.

John Niendorf ’15
Secondary Education, History/Social Science
Four years ago, when I was choosing colleges there were two factors I considered when making my final decision of USF: they had my major and they offered me the most scholarship money. I had no clue what I should look for in a college or what it would be like, and my parents had no experience with it either. My only thought was, here are four more years of schooling that I have to do- let’s do it and get it done! After four years here, I am glad I can say USF has greatly surpassed all of my expectations I had for colleges and it has been one of the best schooling experiences I have had!

If I had known then what I do now, I would have chosen USF for many different reasons than just because of majors and money. I would have chosen USF because they challenge you to do the best you can and push you further than you think you can go. USF provides you with experiences that prepare you to be the best possible teacher you can be so that you can have a positive impact on your future students. USF makes you think deeper about yourself than you’ve ever thought and learn more about yourself than maybe you’d like, but it is these thoughts that prepare you for the future and help you to succeed. USF wants you to be successful and they will do everything they can to help you on your journey, but they also help you realize it is ultimately up to you to get there.

But most of all, USF provides you with a support system like no other, that is more like a family than a group of people lecturing at you or that you sat in class with. When you end your teaching program, you are not professors and fellow classmates that took a class together, you are a family that is there for one another and will help each other no matter what. I never thought one place could impact me so much, but I am glad I was wrong and that USF did. They helped me to become who I am today- the teacher I will eventually be- and I hope to carry what I learned over to my future students so that they too can realize the potential in them to be successful. These are reasons to choose a college and I hope you consider these factors when you are stressing over which college to go to and it makes your choice a little easier!

Stephanie Studer ’15
Elementary Education
The University of St. Francis has given me so many opportunities to be successful in the classroom. I feel very prepared to enter the field and am ready to take on my own classroom. With a very supportive and committed staff, as well as the Franciscan values, I felt at home at USF. While the classes are not easy, I am fortunate that I was able to be challenged academically and I feel that ,ultimately, it will make me a better teacher. If you have the heart of a teacher, USF is the school to attend!

Monica Davidson ’15
Special Education
I cannot say enough wonderful things about the College of Education at USF. I have learned so much about what it takes to be an exceptional teacher while working closely with professors and other COE faculty. The COE has helped me find myself and more importantly find out who I want to be as a teacher. I learned how to express my love for what I do within the classroom walls and let my passion shine through. I have received endless support with course work, field experiences, and job searches from all COE faculty. I do not feel that I would be graduating with my dream job if it weren’t for my time in USF’s College of Education.

Kelly McKay ’15
Special Education
The past two years that I have spent at USF have been a truly amazing experience. From the first day that I walked onto campus I was treated as a priority and not as a number which was great. I spent the majority of my time at USF in the College of Education which has gone above and beyond in terms of preparing me for a career in education. The College of Education at USF goes a step beyond most universities in the fact that they create a family like atmosphere within the program. The College of Education sponsors a yearly weekend retreat, Chrysalis, where they offer the opportunity to reflect on the reasons as to why we want to become teachers. This opportunity was like no other because it brings the staff and students together to create an understanding that teaching is a way of life as opposed to a job. As a student who recently transitioned into USF from the military this weekend retreat was a great way to discover the joy of teaching while at the same time getting to know my fellow classmates. This retreat was a great way for me to gain important relationships with my classmates and professors which helped add to the family like atmosphere in the College of Education. I am very thankful for my time at USF and the College of Education because I not only feel ready to begin my career but I feel like I have the respect and support of every single person within the College of Education.

Cory Schild ’15

Elementary Education