Waubonsee Community College adjunct instructor Heather Engelhart’s adult education college students usually credit score her with serving to them overcome obstacles to finishing their educations.
Engelhart teaches English Language Acquisition, math, science and Integrated Career Academic and Preparation Systems courses. Those courses are a part of Waubonsee’s Adult Education division, which consists of English language acquisition, previously referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL), and highschool equivalency applications, previously known as General Education Development (GED).
Padma Witcher, who got here to the U.S. in 2018, mentioned Engelhart taught her about important considering, together with which sources are probably the most dependable and the best way to decide if an argument is logical.
“She is an amazing teacher,” Witcher mentioned. “She encourages us. She’s intelligent, vibrant and has a lot of energy. She catches your attention right away and she makes you feel there’s a reason to be here.”
Engelhart lately was acknowledged as Waubonsee’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member within the Adult Education Division for 2022. Adjunct college members are nominated for this recognition by their division management and friends for his or her demonstration of high quality instruction, dedication to scholar success and contributions to the credit score and noncredit divisions.
“It’s so important for individuals to take advantage of our adult ed program to learn English, technology skills and/or work to obtain the [high school equivalency]. It’s such a great opportunity to gain confidence, improve their employment, or prep them for career/college options,” Engelhart mentioned. “Definitely the most rewarding part of my job is seeing my students achieve their goals.”
Another scholar, Monique Moore, mentioned that the best way Engelhart explains issues make the topics simple to know. She’s additionally listener, Moore added.
“We have fun in class, but she still gets us to do what we need to do,” Moore mentioned. “She taught me a lot. She helped me to learn a better way to understand the lessons.”
Will Smith, who mentioned he has not been at school since he was 14 years previous, got here to Waubonsee’s Adult Education Program at 65 to earn his highschool equivalency.
“I had plenty of doubts,” he mentioned. “Ms. Engelhart saw my doubt and frustration. She encouraged me and gave me confidence. She was my cheerleader.”
Smith, who had made his residing as a grasp painter at Caterpillar, mentioned he was dyslexic, making studying and learning tougher.
With every check that he handed, Engelhart cheered him on, and he mentioned his doubt was slowly slipping away. When he failed the mathematics check, she advised a tutor who might assist him. When he took the check a second time, he handed.
“She showed me it was possible,” he mentioned.
Smith is in his second semester of school. He is learning to develop into a drug and alcohol counselor.
“She’s the best teacher I’ve ever had,” he mentioned.
Addressing maybe the primary hurdle for college students coming into the adult ed applications, Engelhart and a colleague created a Tech Bootcamp, the place, earlier than courses begin, college students are launched to the fundamentals of know-how used within the courses, permitting them to be ready on their first day.
Engelhart additionally mentors new academics and conducts skilled improvement programs for different Adult Education college. She additionally served on a group to create curricula for this system.
“I like working with new technology and trying new curriculum and new sites to reach more students and then sharing this with other teachers,” she mentioned.
Engelhart, whose educating expertise consists of 17 years in elementary faculties in Aurora and Geneva, has been educating at Waubonsee for the previous six years. Engelhart has a level in education from Northern Illinois University and a grasp’s in educating and curriculum from Aurora University.
“The connections with my students has been so rewarding,” she mentioned about educating at Waubonsee. “I really enjoy who I work with. We collaborate to improve our teaching skills, come up with new ideas and have developed great friendships. Our administration has always been so supportive and easy to talk to. Whether we need help, have requests for our students, or just want to chat. I’m grateful for this environment.”