Last semester on Nov. 12 former President Mark Heckler sent out a mass email revealing the secondary education program would be one of five programs being discontinued. The cut of this program is a result of many contributing factors including financial problems that were highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secondary Education is a 44 credit degree program that offers students hands-on skills to become licensed teachers in any area of teaching they choose. It is a sought after program by students who are passionate about being educators and want to dedicate themselves to making an impact on other people's lives.
“Everything just fell into place with everything that I thought about education,” said secondary education major Maeve Scheltens. “I just have this passion for wanting to help kids learn.”
Additionally, Secondary Education Major Nicole Muszyniski said that she was inspired by past teachers to join the program.
“I took a class first semester sophomore year and I was like yeah this is want I want to do, I think that everyone has that one teacher growing up that like stood out to you and that you want to be and like I’ve had that so I want to embody that,” said Muszyniski.
Although Valpo will continue the elementary education program, the secondary program will not be offered to incoming students. The University, however, has guaranteed that students currently enrolled in the program will be allowed to continue their majors and graduate with a degree accordingly.
Since the announcement of its discontinuation, the news has brought upset to those who are currently studying the major. Even though students are allowed to finish what they’ve started, there are those who do not agree with the school's decision to get rid of the program.
“I think that there should definitely be a reconsideration because if your going to keep other education programs like elementary education, special education, music education, that kind of stuff, but you’re telling me I can’t be a secondary education major I think that's a little ridiculous in my opinion,” sophomore secondary education student Jared Wood said.
The cancellation of the program also means that the professors who are currently teaching the classes in the program will no longer be employed.
“Some of my professors are talking about how they're looking for jobs right now, they're trying to teach the best they can but they have so much on their plate,” Muszyniski said.
Passions are high as the secondary education program meets its end. Though the students enrolled are still able to finish, there are people who do not take this decision lightly.
“A teacher has the power to affect so many individuals' lives, they can touch so many people that some of their professions might not be able to,” Wood said.