OFFICE OF ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENTTeacher Prep Student Support Services
Marvey is currently a Freshman Majoring in chemistry at WSU. She plans on attending grad school, and eventually teaching students abroad.
“I got an email over the summer, and at first, I didn’t know a lot about it. Then I met Ali who laid it out to me. [Teacher Prep SSS] helps you with scheduling your classes so you know which classes you have to take. You get a peer mentor who is also majoring or minoring in education, and they mostly help you with getting assignments done within the 104 class, or they’ll talk to professors for you and help build that communication.”
Teacher Prep SSS students meet twice a week for the UNIV 104 class.
”I was pretty nervous about going to WSU, because WSU is a pretty big school. Since the class has only 8 students, it helps you build some friends and a community that’ll be there for you. It also helps you get a good basis for your freshman year, and you become more aware of how to do certain things you aren’t taught in school, like time management and financial tools. We also had a mental health specialist come in and talk about mental health and how college students have been affected by Covid and doing classes online.”
“[Teacher Prep SSS] has boosted my confidence about my academics, and I am planning to go to grad school now.”
Sebastian is a Freshman at WSU majoring in History, and minoring in at risk youth.
All Teacher Prep SSS participants are interested in becoming educators. Sebastian hopes to one day teach high school Civics.
“I’ve had some really good teachers that made me want to get involved outside of school. I feel like a lot of students neglect their social duties, because they don’t know how big of a footprint they have. It starts with a good teacher to make you realize that, and I want to be someone’s motivator, so they generate their own ideas and stand up for themselves.“
“During Freshman year we take UNIV 104, it’s basically a seminar class and is a way to explore everything that [Teacher Prep SSS] has to offer. [Teacher Prep SSS] does their best to provide many outlets of information, because college can be really stressful, especially if you’re the first person in your family to go. We had a Wazzu admin come in to make sure that we’re on track with our budgets, we’re reading Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime and having conversations about discrimination and how that affects education, and two of our guest speakers have been mental health professionals.”
“From the class, you get priority registration, a network of advisors that care about you and always check in on you, and you get to know a group of kids that are somewhat similar to you in background. It can spark friendships.”
“I’m really grateful to be able to ask questions that you couldn’t ask people who haven’t been through college. That’s what I’m really grateful for, just people with experience.”
A sophomore-to-be in the Honors College, Elizabeth Warren is interested in a career working with youth through Future Farmers of America.
Growing up in Rochester, Wash., she was heavily involved with FFA and throughout high school, she visited WSU yearly for the State Convention. It made WSU an obvious college choice for Warren, who is aiming for a career in FFA leadership.
She is well on her way, and she has tremendous support from ATLAS. The program offers personal advising and mentoring for future teaching professionals.
“You get someone that gets to know you a little better,” Warren says. “It’s really nice having an ATLAS advisor – I can meet with them more often (once a week) and it’s easier to figure out my path, career-wise.”
“I think one of the biggest things we offer is someone who knows the student and cares about them, and sees them on a really consistent basis,” adds ATLAS program director Ali Bretthauer. “Because they know them so well, they can give them advice that is personalized. We have the time and resources to put into each student.”
Warren turned to her ATLAS advisor when she was registering for classes and plotting out her academic plan.
“I really like to learn – it’s a minor addiction,” Warren admits. “I wanted to take all these classes and do all these things and (my ATLAS advisor) was really helpful in helping me decide what I needed to take now, and how I could keep myself sane while balancing all my classes.”
Update: Elizabeth has completed her Bachelor’s of Agricultural Food Systems in 2019, and a Master of Teaching in 2020.
After a rather hectic start to her career at WSU, Yvette Herrera was in need of some guidance.
She found was she was looking for in ATLAS, and she’s now on a solid path toward becoming a special education teacher.
“I know I have someone I can count on to give me good advice when I’m lost,” says Herrerra, a sophomore-to-be from Lake Stevens. “There are just great people here, great mentors. I think it’s especially great for first-generation students, like myself.”
Herrera had been planning to attend college in New York to study nursing, but decided to opt for WSU the week before classes began. She changed her career path and her ATLAS advisor helped her stay on top of a busy schedule during her first year at WSU.
“My advisor and I had weekly meetings and I’d plan out what I needed to do each day,” Herrerra says. “I have really bad organizational skills, but I went to workshops to improve my planning and to organize myself better. I also had a check and balance system with my advisor.”
Now that Herrerra feels grounded, she can reach for her goals. She wants to study abroad, attend graduate school and eventually work with special needs children in a public school.
“Being a first-generation student from a low-income family, I didn’t know the resources here on campus,” Herrerra says. “It’s been really great to have someone I can count on through ATLAS, and to get to know all the opportunities that I have.”
Update: in 2018, Yvette completed her Bachelors in Foreign Languages & Cultures.
Students often face major challenges completely unrelated to their studies that can derail their chances for success. In Shannon Beebe’s case, her spring semester was thrown into tumult when her father and brothers were in a car accident and her dog, Eddie, was wounded in a fight. Beebe was left emotionally strapped, stressed and anxious.
Guidance from her advisor in the Aspiring Teacher Leadership and Success program helped Beebe through a tough time, and kept her on track toward her goals at WSU.
“She was just there to help me in any way possible,” Beebe says of her ATLAS advisor Nancy Carvajal. “It was awesome to know that I have such a good support system behind me.”
A junior from Kennewick, Beebe developed a passion for working with young English Language Learner (ELL) students. She runs a program at the local YMCA for young children and excels in the classroom. But preparing for a career can be a complicated process.
“My advisor makes sure I’m taking the right classes, going the right route with the career that I want to get into,” Beebe says. “I think that coming into ATLAS has definitely prepared me for the future in ways that I didn’t know about, and it’s made me look into new avenues with personal and academic opportunities.
“I’m normally a very prepared person, but this took it even further.”
Eddie, Beebe’s pet pitbull, is now fully recovered from his run-in, and her family fortunately suffered only minor injuries in the car accident. But the events made her appreciate the helping hand ATLAS provides.
Update: Shannon has completed her Bachelor’s in Speech & Hearing Sciences in 2019, and a Master in Speech & Hearing Sciences in 2021.