On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Nora McCaughey

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

We’re excited to share the entries with you; please read on for Nora McCaughey’s essay.

coed logo vertical full colorBy Nora McCaughey

It can be difficult for college students to find their place in a university. Not everyone has the luxury of finding a club, sport or other extracurricular that they love. Even those who have been so fortunate may find themselves hungry for something more. That’s precisely why it’s so crucial for each student to have a college where they are with like-minded people. It’s an opportunity for them to flourish with others who have the same passions, the same ambitions. Of course this could theoretically be done without designating the College of Education as its own college, but by separating it from the College of Arts and Sciences, Marquette is effectively giving all education majors more opportunities. I think that this is especially crucial with this specific college. Education majors are as dedicated to their subject as any other, but often don’t get the “glam” of being a nurse or engineer later in life. Less pay and less acclaim in the future can be disheartening to young future educators, but they are given a space to be with others who share the same core values and have the same ideals for their life. Having a separate college validates education students who are feeling that they aren’t as accomplished or as valuable as STEM or other majors.

Marquette University having a College of Education has been beneficial to me time and time again. It began in SPARK, when all College of Education students were placed in the same group. I cannot think of a better way to have started my college experience than by bonding not only with other scared freshman, but with students who were interested in the same field of study as me. Even though we all had different second majors, our love of teaching brought us all together. I still see many of these SPARK students in my education classes, and it is so fantastic to be able to walk into a class on the first day and already have a group of people that you know. Since SPARK groups are formed by college, I’m not sure if I had been placed in the group for the College of Arts and Sciences that I would have had the same experience that I did, and I am certain that I wouldn’t have felt so at home in my first classes if I hadn’t had been in a SPARK group with others like me. This is only one example of the many that I feel the College of Education is deserving of, and I am eager to see what other benefits Marquette’s decision will bring to incoming and current education students.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Check us out online today!

To My Future Colleagues in the Educational Administration Program

downloadBy Oscar Silva

To my future colleagues:

The Educational Administration program in the College of Education and its faculty mean the world to me, so I hope my passion is able to be conveyed through this letter.

When I began looking for a program to get my administrative license, I had a set of expectations that the school had to meet. I needed the courses to be rigorous and relevant, and I needed to work with professors who were dedicated and experts in their field. Marquette met all of my needs and surpassed my expectations. One look at the curriculum, and you will see how relevant the work is towards helping our kids. You can immediately see the difference on paper between this program and others. Once you meet the others in the program, your decision will be solidified. The emphasis on equity and learning about the politics of education promotes the type of thinking to begin the work that is needed in the city. The concepts Dr. Ellwood and her colleagues teach you will seep into your way of thinking. Raw ideas are transformed into methodical plans with each project and research assigned. You are immediately able to put into
practice how they teach you to look at data. Each book and piece of research you will read can be applied to your work. The rigor is balanced with the relevancy of each course. There is not one piece of information or assignment that I was given that was irrelevant to the work I wanted to do in the future.

Let me be clear, the work is not easy. It will take dedication and motivation that is difficult to balance when you are still teaching, but the dividends will be fruitful. You will be working alongside other passionate individuals who have a similar mission. Work with them, confide in them, trust each other and the work becomes easier. The professors have a wealth of information and the resumes to prove their impact in various school districts. You will be learning from the best to become the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information about the program. I could go on for days, but I wanted to keep it short. Best of luck in your decision-making, and I hope to see you around campus soon!


Interested in learning more about our graduate programs in Educational Administration? We offer a supportive cohort model and generous financial support to teachers in the greater Milwaukee area and Catholic school personnel!

Getting to Know Our Students: Mia Meyle

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Mia, one of our current freshmen!

miaMy name is Mia Meyle, and I am a freshman studying elementary education and communications. I grew up in Deer Park, Illinois, and I have lived in Milwaukee ever since I started school at Marquette last fall. I have two older brothers who are graduating with degrees in construction management and fire science at the end of spring 2019. My mom works as a human resources manager and a high school counselor. My dad is a project manager for Motorola Solutions.

I chose Marquette because I love being right in the center of the city of Milwaukee. There are so many great volunteer opportunities in all the K-12 schools nearby. A club that I participate in outside of the classroom is called MU Pollinators. When we meet, we get to do all sorts of crafty Pinterest type activities like making Chapstick, dipping candles, or harvesting and jarring our own honey. It’s extremely fun and tasty! If you’d like to receive emails for this club, you can contact this email address mupollinators@gmail.com.

My favorite educational experience is the time spent tutoring at a technical institute in Les Cayes, Haiti last summer. I helped teach English and computer skills to Haitians aged 5-25. These abilities are key for them to be able to apply for higher-end jobs in their community, such as airport attendants, hotel clerks and governmental roles.

The people that inspire me to have such passion for education are honestly all the amazing students. I see the future in their eyes and seeing them thrive drives me. I like knowing that I’m making a real difference in their lives. They bring me real joy. The social justice issues surrounding the educational system are a huge heartache to me. I want only the best for my students, and I hope to make many positive changes for them in the years to come.

As I am exploring job opportunities for myself, I recently signed up to take the WorkKeys test so I can get my paraprofessional license. That way I can apply for jobs as a teacher’s aide for summer school in Illinois. My oldest brother took this test a few years ago and he didn’t have a hard time with at all, even though standardized test taking isn’t his strong suit. It’s really exciting that I am able to take hold of this opportunity so early on in my studies. I highly recommend my fellow Marquette education friends to take advantage of this! Having the classroom experience would be a great resume builder and an amazing learning experience.

Want to learn more about our undergraduate education programs? Head on over to our website for more information– or, even better, come visit us on campus!

One the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Hannah Jablonowski

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

We’re continuing to share our students’ essays below!

downloadBy Hannah Jablonowski

Since 1881, Marquette has proven what it means to be the difference. From the many accomplishments the university has had as a whole to the everyday accomplishments by current students and alumni, Marquette is full of success. I believe that creating the College of Education is one of those accomplishments. Creating a College of Education was a way to help aspiring future educators feel a sense of belonging and importance in the community, while also creating an unlimited amount of opportunities for them.

When I considered Marquette for my college path, I was blown away with the College of Education. From the Service Learning opportunities during the first semester of freshman year, to the happiness I felt knowing it was a tight-knit community, I truly felt like I was home. If Education were merely a school, I am not sure if I would feel the same way or even have chosen Marquette. Having a College of Education is important for not only the university and its students, but for the community. Teachers are everywhere in our daily lives. Everyone has been impacted by teachers throughout their lives. The amount of work that teachers and other educators do for their students often goes unrecognized. It is important for communities to know that we are designated as a College because they know that education is something we value. We value students who are studying to become educators so much that Marquette wanted to have Education to be a College. Communities know that we are passionate and strive to be the best educators possible. Having a College for Education proves that.

Being a part of the College of Education is very important to me. I am the eighteenth member of my family to attend Marquette University. My mom, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins have all studied in various majors at Marquette. The reason why I wanted to be involved in education is because of my three aunts. They attended Marquette and graduated from the School of Education. They are incredible teachers and I have always looked up to them. They were taught everything they know about being a teacher from Marquette University. I knew if I were to go here, I would be just as great as they are one day. I remember discussing with them how I was excited to be a part of the College of Education at Marquette. I specifically remember them becoming so excited that I would be the first member of our family to be a part of the College of Education.

It truly is an honor to be the first family member involved in the College of Education at Marquette because this university means so much to my family. My aunts knew how much the School of Education did for them, and they cannot wait to see what the College of Education will do for me.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Check us out online today!


Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Claire Bernatz

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Claire, one of our current upperclassment!

claireHello, my name is Claire Bernatz and I am studying Secondary Education and Broad Field Science with a minor in Music and Biology. I am currently a Junior, meaning I’m going on year four of living in Milwaukee. I grew up all over the country, but I like to say Houston, Texas, is home. My family includes my mom, Lynn, my dad, Fritz, and younger sister, Emma. My Dad graduated from Case University with a degree in Chemical Engineering and my Mom graduated from Ohio University with a BA in International Studies. My sister is currently a freshman at A&M University pursuing a BA in Psychology. My family has instilled a competitive spirit within me, because whenever I am home, we make sure to set time aside to play a board game.  

One of my favorite times at Marquette was studying abroad in Italy. For this class I brought my oboe across the Atlantic and played with some of the best musicians Italy had to offer in concerts around the peninsula. It was definitely hard having such a quick turnaround for preparing pieces and traveling ever three to four days, however playing in ancient ruins, or in theaters older than the United States was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I made some of my best friends on that trip, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.  

Something I am super excited about this year is being a part of the pep band. Within the pep band program, I get to go to all the volleyball games and perform at Men’s and Women’s basketball games. Luckily this year both of our teams are doing fantastic, and I will be able to travel with them to Big East tournament. Hopefully (knock on wood), the teams will also make it far in the NCAA tournament where I will also be able to travel with them and give them the most support possible.  

Besides the basketball, there was a lot of reasons I chose Marquette to be my home for four years. Milwaukee is a wonderful city in which to spend your early adulthood. There are endless things to do, and it is the perfect size. Being able to get across the city either by foot, bus, or car makes the entire city accessible from the moment you step on campus. As for Marquette, it too is the perfect size. I never had classes that were over 120 students, and now that I’m getting into my upper division, the class sizes are small and are all still taught by the professor instead of a teaching assistant. The opportunities that Marquette offers was one of the biggest draws for me. What drew me to teaching and to the College of Education is my passion for discovery. I knew that Marquette would offer me the challenge and knowledge needed to be a successful teacher, and that drive is what lead me to teaching.  

When I’m not in the classroom, what takes up most of my time is band. I am the principle chair oboe player in the Wind Ensemble, I play piano for the Jazz Band, and alto saxophone for the Pep Band. If I’m not at Varsity theater you can find me on the Marquette Club Quidditch team. Quidditch is a co-ed full contact sport. However, due to injury, I am taking this semester off. To fill that gap of time I am actively going to yoga classes and attempting stand-up comedy. Marquette offers any hobby or club you can think of. So even if you curious about something, just go to the meeting and find out more about it.!

I get a lot of my inspiration from the younger generation. Even though I am only 21, I feel the potential for the younger generation to succeed and be better than me is overwhelmingly positive. I want to do everything in my power to be great so that I can give that younger generation everything they need to be able to change the world and have the skills to be better than the people before them. They are the future, and I want my future to be bright.  

Something that motivates me every day is the phrase “Do Good, Be Good” so I hope you find something that encourages you to do something good for the world today!  

On the 10th Anniversary of the College of Education: Oscar Guzman

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

Please read Oscar Guzman’s essay below; he was our third place winner!

downloadBy Oscar Guzman

He walked me down the hall; my heart was beating steadily: inhale, exhale – I told myself. After introducing me to the professor who would lead the interview, he walked back to the larger group of eager graduating high school seniors applying for Marquette’s scholarship for the College of Education. Remembering which professor sat across from me that cold February morning is beyond me. Still, I recall sharing my first drive into Milwaukee that morning with my dad and friend, Gustavo. A firm handshake, my father advised in his native-Spanish tongue, always look them in the eye, y como siempre, echale ganas. His words echoed in my attentive ear as I watched the professor prepare a list of questions. Her first question: tell me about your experiences with volunteering. Her second question: share with me your aspirations for wanting to pursue a profession in education. With nervous eyes but a hopeful heart, I spoke my truth. Then, four years after my interview and being rewarded the scholarship, I would like to say this: to whomever interviewed me that late-winter morning, thank you for recognizing my truth as worthy for Marquette’s College of Education; if I could sit with you once more prior to graduation, I would like to share that my journey as a Golden Eagle has been one of faith, family, leadership, service, and reflection. So today, I reflect on why it is critical that Marquette recognized Education as deserving of being its own college.

By creating a college for Education, Marquette succeeded in not only creating a community within its campus, but forming bonds and opportunities with the city of Milwaukee. Since my first day at Marquette as a freshman, I have completed field experience at various schools throughout Milwaukee. Perhaps, by creating a college dedicated for education, our faculty were granted the resources and opportunities to recognize and form relationships with Milwaukee Public Schools, allowing our students to gain experience through practice and service, a quality upon which the College of Education prides itself. Moreover, recognizing education as a college opened doors for innovate and applicable research for its faculty and students. From our Hartman Literacy and Learning Center to research in multicultural counseling, our facilities and the scholarship help our faculty and students to demonstrate why it is worthwhile to do some good in our community. Our being a college offered me opportunities to develop professionally through practice and service, and by allowing me to participate in research alongside our faculty. However, most importantly, our being a college has encouraged Marquette to invest in its education students, and such an investment through scholarship is the reason why I am here. As I prepare to leave the halls of Schroeder Complex, I say goodbye with a heavy heart but with a head held high hoping that someday another eager freshman Mexican-boy will be roaming these halls, and I know Marquette’s College of Education, with its Jesuit values, will make a teacher out of him, a teacher of students.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Check us out online today!

Dear Teachers

As part of Dr. Melissa Gibson’s class Teaching Middle Secondary Social Science, students are asked to think about social studies in a new light — and throughout the course, their perceptions do shift. Through their blogging during the semester, we can see these changes in the students’ own words. Read on to learn along with our students!

By Elie Ortiz

The first eight years of my life were spent in Puerto Rico. It was a place where everybody spoke Spanish. I was comfortable — comfortable talking to my parents, extended family, friends, and teachers. But all of a sudden, my life took a huge turn. I was no longer in Puerto Rico; I was sitting in a classroom where everybody spoke English. At the time, I knew about three words: door, window, pencil.

Social studies was a drag. I was forced to memorize vocabulary words such as “allegiance” and “sovereign.” I might know what they mean now, but when I was a little girl I didn’t, and I was traumatized by my entire social studies experience. All of the kids around me knew what they were talking about; they constructed arguments, they debated, and seemed like experts in the subject. Me? I was struggling to even form a sentence in my head just to ask the teacher about a homework assignment.

By high school, I was fluent in English, but I was definitely not fluent in social studies. I still hated it. It dragged just as much as it did in elementary school. Why? Because social studies was never taught beyond the books. We did not go out to explore our community, there were no guest speakers, and our readings were bland. While we did more inquiry and took informed action, I still had a negative attitude about social studies until college. I never loved social studies until now, all thanks to my amazing professor. As it turns out, social studies is not just about world wars and looking at historical documents. It’s about learning about ourselves, our community, our world — using our knowledge to question the world and take action. It’s about the impact each individual person can have on the world.


I am not telling you my story so you can feel sorry for me about my experience with social studies. Rather, it’s to emphasize the importance of teaching our kids to be sociologists, geographers, historians. Students, especially during their younger years, are curious about the world. If we lecture them, have them take notes, then give them tests all of the time, are we really impacting our students? No. We are teaching them what to think, not how to think.

Overall, my thinking about social studies in K-8 classrooms has changed tremendously throughout the semester. At first, I viewed social studies as only boring history facts, but now I see it as a powerful tool to help students not only succeed in school but as human beings as well. The C3 Framework presents the following four Dimensions: Developing questions and planning inquiries; Applying disciplinary concepts and tools; Evaluating sources and using evidence; and Communicating conclusions and taking informed actions. These dimensions can be applied in the classroom and in the real world as well.

For example: Let’s think about poverty. Why are people living in poverty? How is poverty affecting our economic status? What is the data? How many people live in poverty today? What can I do to stop poverty?

As we can see, we can apply what we learn in the classroom into the real world and actually make a difference. As educators, let’s impact our students through social studies. Every single student deserves to learn about how powerful it can be.


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