Newman University is meeting the need for more teachers in the state by providing a convenient and accelerated education degree program in Western Kansas.
The program has benefited hundreds of students, including Chase Elizabeth Boggs who was offered a job not even halfway through her student teaching.
The university’s outreach center in Dodge City provides online and in-class courses for aspiring teachers. Due to the need for teachers in the area, Assistant Dean for Non-traditional Outreach Programs Jessica Bird said nearly 100% of her students are offered jobs prior to graduation.
Dean of the School of Education and Social Work Cameron Carlson said, “Jessica’s program responds to a tremendous need. Many of our Wichita student teachers accept open contracts before student teaching as well. It’s fairly common for our program.”
Boggs will graduate in May 2020 from Newman’s western Kansas program and has already secured a job as a kindergarten teacher for the Kinsley-Offerle school district, where she currently student-teaches.
Boggs was inspired by her grade school teachers as well as her father, who teaches industrial arts and digital multimedia, to pursue an education degree.
“I had some really good teachers when I was in grade school that made a difference in my life and I want to be that person for my students,” she said.
She was working full time in the business office of the Edwards County Medical Center while attending classes.
“The outreach program was perfect for me because the classes are either online or in the evenings so I could still work,” said Boggs.
Friends had recommended the western Kansas center to Boggs after they had completed an education degree there.
She was thankful for the support of the faculty and staff during her time in the program.
“I could text or email any of my instructors and they would reply right away. If I asked a question that they didn’t know or something they didn’t deal with, they would find me the answer or give me the contact information for the person that could help me,” she said.
Boggs said she feels prepared to take on her teaching career, which was only further solidified when she passed her licensure exams the first time she took them.
“All of the instructors are very knowledgeable in their content areas. I enjoyed every class that I took through Newman and I liked that this was an accelerated program. It was difficult at times but now that I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree I’m glad that it went fast and that I’m able to start my career sooner.”
Boggs added, “I would tell someone that is considering Newman in western Kansas that it’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it in the end. Since it’s an accelerated teaching program, classes are usually eight weeks long so there’s a lot to learn in those eight weeks, but once you get to the end of your bachelor’s degree you will be glad that it went so fast.”