Angelica Kasper remembers playing schoolhouse with her friends as a child – and realizing early on what she wanted to be when she grew up.
Now she is prepared to achieve her goals and be a role model for young children. Her years of steady dedication to her dream were rewarded when she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education Friday, Dec. 8 at the Purdue University Northwest (PNW) commencement ceremony.
Confidence and determination
As a lifelong resident of La Porte, Kasper wanted to stay close to home and near her family while pursuing her degree and found PNW to be a perfect fit.
She discovered, however, that entering the education program was not a simple task. Required to pass the Indiana CORE Assessment for Educator Licensure (CASA) exam for admittance, Kasper found herself facing a challenging situation. Struggling to pass, she retook the exam multiple times and contemplated changing her major repeatedly.
Her collegiate career was extended by an additional year as she persevered through the discouraging circumstances until she finally passed and was admitted into the program.
“I never gave up on myself and I thank my parents the most for helping me overcome these challenges. I want to become a teacher, and that is what I will do,” Kasper said assuredly.
“She was confident that she wanted to be a teacher and she wouldn’t let anything get in her way. She is one of the most persistent students I have encountered,” said Academic Advisor Christy Livergood.
“The education program at PNW is fantastic,” Kasper said. “I was able to build amazing relationships with my classmates and professors.”
Kasper found her courses on learning how to manage a classroom through traditional and on-site methods to be encouraging experiences. “We were able to go to schools to meet local teachers and observe what they were doing,” she said.
In addition to the field experience, the courses covered meaningful instruction and lessons on how to build community in the classroom, along with acts of kindness, inclusivity, and time management.
“She was always very attentive,” said Julie Feikes, director of student teaching and field experiences on the Westville campus. “When I observed her teaching a lesson, she was so compassionate and creative. She will be an outstanding teacher and she is going to make a difference in this world.”
Reflecting on her academic years
“I absolutely loved my decision to attend PNW. The professors and staff helped me become a better person and guide me in all the right directions.”
Kasper, without hesitation, advises future students, “Do not give up, no matter how hard you think it is! You will see the light at the end of the tunnel in no time.”
Upon completing her semester as a student teacher at Riley Elementary School in La Porte, she is gearing up to be a substitute teacher and preparing to take the state licensing tests. She will then be eligible to submit her application to be a fully licensed teacher in the state of Indiana.