Spring 2022 Practicum:

Hawa Conteh, Human Development, Iowa State University

My best experience while participating in the ASPIRE teaching practicum was teaching a mini-lecture in a developmental psychology course. My mentor was very helpful in easing my nerves about teaching. I also found communicating with peers about my experiences was helpful.

William Guiler, Neuroscience, University of Iowa

The best experience I had was when I taught my chemistry lesson and helped students understand complex concepts and material. The feeling that I had helped facilitate that learning experience is exactly why I want to be a community college professor. The ASPIRE teaching practicum has solidified my career path, and I hope to gain more community college teaching experience before I graduate!

Spring 2021 Practicum:

Bruno Do Rosario Petrucci, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Iowa

I had a great time at this program, and learned a lot about Community Colleges. If, like me, you've been considering a teaching-focused career, I'd recommend you give this a shot. It taught me a lot about how CCs function, helped me dispel some misconceptions, and showed me a side of teaching that focuses on community building and personal improvement that speaks a lot to me as a person. While I'm not sure yet if I'll follow a teaching-focused career, I certainly will consider CCs as a possible path if that ends up being my choice, and this practicum had a huge role in that. Please consider it! You really won't be disappointed.

Rachel Smoak, Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa

I loved my experience in the program. I joined to learn more about the community college system and practice my teaching skills. I was able to do that and so much more. I experienced the vibrant, engaged environment in a community college classroom. I saw my faculty mentor's commitment to her students and the broader community. I watched students flourish as they gained confidence in themselves and the curriculum. My experience was amazing, and I would unreservedly recommend the program to anyone who is interested.

Nathan Miner, Civil Engineering, University of Iowa

The teaching experience gained from this program helped me realize how rewarding it is to teach a small class of motivated students. I had the opportunity to lead a lab session where students were willing to ask questions and have conversations with me and their classmates. I really liked seeing this student-to-student interaction in this small class setting because it was not something I was used to seeing in larger classes at universities. The opportunity to be mentored by a current community college faculty member helped give insight into what it takes in terms of class load, time commitment, and service requirements.

Jonathan Sullivan Wood, Physics, Iowa State University

I found the Iowa Mentored Community College Teaching Practicum to be a very insightful and enjoyable experience. I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in teaching, but unsure where they want to teach. The program open my eyes to a different teaching environment that I was not aware of, showing me how engaging, personal, and fulfilling teaching experiences can be at community college. It help me be aware of philosophy difference between community colleges and different types of universities and debunk a bunch of unfortunate myths that surround community colleges and their students. This experience reinforce my desire to teach more than any program or training I've been in as a grad student.

Kasra Zarei, Healthcare Administration, Engineering, and Public Health, Iowa State University

I would certainly recommend this program to others. It's a valuable opportunity to get teaching experience in a setting that many graduate students aren't always familiar with. I loved learning from my mentor, and had only positive experiences teaching and observing in classes. Through the experience I learned about community colleges and developed practical teaching skills that I can continue to use in different environments. Getting experience teaching in a community college has been inspiring in so many ways. Equity in education is important to me, and observing and working in a community college has helped me think about how to continue engaging with community college students in the future.

Vanessa Castillo, Psychology, Iowa State University

I would recommend this program to individuals who are interested in a career in teaching. Through this program, I observed my mentor teaching class, gain online teaching experience, and learned about the teaching environment at a community college. This program is great at explaining how community college environments are different from other institutions and how to apply at a community college. Overall, this is a wonderful program, and would recommend that others join this program

Emmanuel Nsamba, Genetics and Cell Biology, Iowa State University

I highly recommend this program to anyone thinking of a career in teaching. The primary focus for the community college is teaching and was so lucky to get such an opportunity. I was able to integrate my 4-year teaching experience (TA), and research into teaching several courses. In contrast to my TA experience, I was in control of the material I taught and my mentor was always there to align it to the CC expectations. In addition to teaching, you will also have an opportunity to mentor and make impact to CC students in several ways. Personally, I gave a symposium to Honors and STEM clubs where I not only talked about my research but also the different research opportunities available in research labs on ISU campus. After this program, my CV looks very strong!

Nicole Corcoran, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Iowa

I would recommend this program to anybody who is curious about teaching at a community college! Within the program, I had an enriching experience and learned much about the culture of community colleges. I engaged with students and teachers and learned about the goals of the programs and the ways they are achieved. The experience gave me an inside look at the role of community college teachers, and an opportunity to understand more about community college students. Overall, I think this was an excellent experience. We could all benefit from knowing more about the different forms of academic learning!