EST student helps other English majors through new mentor program
- Author: Jordan Fries
- Author: Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Sarah Lyons, a WKU junior from Shepherdsville, has had a few changes in her educational journey, but now finds herself in a place to help her peers as a mentor in the English for Secondary teachers’ program.
English for Secondary Teachers is a program in WKU’s Potter College of Arts & Letters in partnership with the School of Teacher Education. The EST program prepares students to teach English in grades 8-12. Lyons started out majoring in another program before deciding to change.
Seeking out help from her fellow students helped Lyons find her place. “It took going through a lot of different people with a lot of different degrees, talking about the future and laying out what I wanted, to understand that I wanted to become an EST major.”
Lyons is one of many English upperclassmen who are using the knowledge they have accumulated during their time at WKU to help new English majors seek out opportunities within the department. The English Department Mentor Program was introduced this year in order to aid incoming English majors with everything from scholarship opportunities to changes in concentration.
“There are so many unanswered questions whenever you’re new to the university and new to your degree,” Lyons said. “The goal of this program is to give people an opportunity to grow inside their university, to figure out who they are, what they want to do, and have support doing it.”
According to Lyons, all students involved in the program benefit from it, whether they are a mentee or a mentor. “I’ve applied more of my student observations to working with my mentees than have in most of my classes,” Lyons said. “For me, specifically, because I am going to be working with younger people in my career, who have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, it really is a great opportunity to practice some of those skills.”
What makes the experience rewarding for Lyons is giving the mentees the opportunity to navigate the English department with all the right tools. “It makes it harder to do things when you’re not really aware of what they are, so bringing more awareness to all the stuff that’s going on in the English department is beneficial to anyone that’s in the department.”
For more information on English for Secondary Teachers, contact advisor Peggy Otto or visit https://www.wku.edu/english/englishforsecondaryteachers.php.