Leia Gearhart says that majoring in the English, Secondary Education (BS) degree fulfills two of her desires: being of service to others and delving into the world of literature.
“I love English because it’s opened my mind to new perspectives on life. The world may be vast and filled with different cultures and languages, but through literature it becomes clear that we humans are a small part of everything and deeply interconnected,” said Gearhart, who plans to graduate in 2017. She’s looking forward to taking what she’s learning in the program and helping her own students succeed in whatever they choose to pursue in life.
“English teachers are great at getting students to analyze, dissect and think deeply about everything around them,” she said.
“Providing the necessary tools to look critically at the world enables them to grow into thoughtful, careful citizens. I look forward to using what I’ve learned in my own classroom.”
As a Secondary Education major, Gearhart says she has access to the best of two worlds at Appalachian. “Taking classes and working closely with faculty in both the English department and the Reich College of Education have been so valuable,” she said.
“Both are highly regarded on campus. There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained from both components of this program, especially the opportunity to study your professor’s teaching techniques. Every one of them wants you to succeed and will do whatever they can to make that happen,” she said.
Gearhart plan to pursue a graduate degree through Appalachian’s Accelerated Admission program, sometimes called 4 + 1, because she believes it will allow her to grow further as an educator, and thus provide her future students with more challenging experiences.
“By taking advantage of the 4 + 1 program, I can continue to work with the faculty and professors who have been so integral to my academic success,” she said. “I believe that teachers should be experts in their field and use that expertise to help their students. A graduate degree is the best way to achieve that status.”