Opinion: Western Kentucky University is a clear choice for any graduating high school senior.
- Author: Erika Clark
- Author: Thursday, August 6th, 2020
The higher education landscape has faced heightened scrutiny since the COVID 19 pandemic, and with restart plans like Western Kentucky University’s Big Red Restart and Healthy on the Hill circulating among communities, the decision to attend college this fall may hold a new and heavier weight for incoming freshman and their parents and/or guardians.
As a recent graduate of WKU, I experienced the difficulty of COVID 19 disruptions firsthand; however, I can confidently say that witnessing the protocol and procedures quickly put into place by WKU leadership solidified my already confident, positive and warm opinion of the university. While I acknowledge my bias, I’m hard pressed to find a university other than WKU that catered more to their students’ health and success during that time.
Specifically, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (CEBS) worked tirelessly to ensure student teachers like myself were comforted and protected during the uncertainty of those first few weeks. When Governor Beshear first called a statewide closure of public schools, I heard it first by checking my WKU email. I felt safe because I knew that my health was at the forefront of the decisions made by the university, college, and our partnering districts.
From the start of virus mitigations, communication was transparent. Everyone had questions and CEBS aimed to answer those efficiently and effectively. CEBS and our dedicated school districts provided ways for non-traditional instruction to take place and for our graduation to still occur. Throughout the process, student teachers received thorough emails and texts – we also participated in frequent Zoom conferences when there was new information regarding non-traditional instruction (NTI) or updates from the university.
CEBS did not stop once the dust settled after the initial weeks of NTI practice. We received consistent communication with helpful resources which included interview tips, instruction into gaining our licensure, and study tips for the Praxis exam. Additionally, with social restrictions in place, CEBS and our partnering districts worked tirelessly to facilitate a digital job fair for our graduating student teachers.
My advice for incoming freshman is to not let the fear of a pandemic have more power over your future than you do. In the years to come, WKU degrees will be sought after to improve our local and regional economies. While the college experience may initially look different, a pandemic does not devalue the importance of an education. With current WKU leadership at the helm, students’ well-being, safety, and success will continue to be top priorities of the university in the years to come. Based on my experience this spring, there is no better university or college for incoming freshman than Western Kentucky University and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.