News from The Mahurin Honors College
Kylie Bray Spotlight
- Sydney Windhorst
- Tuesday, February 1st, 2022
You could walk up to any Mahurin Honors College (MHC) scholar on campus and ask them what are the requirements for graduating in MHC, and they will immediately recite, “Scholars need 28 honors credits to graduate.” Honors classes infuse the core values of the MHC such as collaboration, research, and innovation into each scholar’s academic pursuits. To reach those said 28 honors credits, some scholars, such as Kylie Bray (MHC ‘22) augment their normal classes. To maintain the same level of quality of true honors classes, augmented courses require a scholar to review the set syllabus for a course and work with a professor to see how the course can be altered (or augmented) to become an honors course for the scholar. For Kylie, the augmentation process ended up shaping the rest of her life.
“My MHC augmentation experience could probably be described as extremely challenging, but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. In fact, I am still reaping the fruits of it,” states Kylie. “Overcoming the difficulties and challenges of augmented courses gave me the confidence to tackle a CE/T (Capstone Experience/Thesis) project and eventually helped me to select a minor.”
Kylie completed her CE/T on the overrepresentation of English language learners and special education.
“So in my thesis, I found that a lot of causes of overrepresentation of English language learners were actually caused by teachers not knowing how to provide interventions for English language learners. I wanted to know more about the students that are going to fill the seats in my classroom soon, so that when I come across an English language learner, I don't think it's a disability when it's not, it's just a language acquisition issue. That realization compelled me to minor in teaching English as a second language.”
Kylie has already begun to use her education and research to serve others around her community remarking, “I've been able to teach ESL to refugee populations here in Bowling Green, so that families are able to actually get involved in their student’s education.”
Alongside other WKU professors, Kylie’s impressive research and hands-on application landed her a spot in presenting at the National Conference for Teachers of English (NCTE) 2021.
As mentioned earlier, scholars seeking to augment a course must work out an agreement with the professor. This enables a scholar to grow a personal relationship and form connections with faculty and professors at WKU.
“The MHC has really helped me build relationships with faculty and professors. Instead of leaving class early, oftentimes, I've stayed back and talked to them about my personal goals, which led to my ability to augment their course. Honestly, if I wouldn't have had the MHC to hold me accountable in doing that, I would have cruised along never challenging myself or finding where my passions lie. I'm extremely thankful for the accountability that my augmented courses provided throughout my college experience.”
Many scholars shy away from augmenting classes because they are intimidated by the workload or fear it is a waste of time. Kylie considers this the biggest myth about augmented courses.
“There've been so many times where I've taken a course that had nothing to do with my major, but when I chose to augment said course, I was able to take it back and apply it to something that I was going to use in the future. So, for example, I took a folklore course and a media course. Neither has any direct ties to education, but I was able to actually create a lesson plan that had to do with folklore, legends, and myths, and I taught that to my class. I also took a drama and cultural art course. I used that class to learn about the ways students with autism are able to be a part of arts programs. Each augmented class, though seemingly unrelated to my career aspirations at first, greatly benefitted me and provided creative outlets for me to improve myself as a teacher.”
Kylie is just one example of how the augmentation process can not only help you complete your MHC curriculum, but may also allow you the opportunity to find something interesting that you want to spend the rest of your life doing!