An awesome aspect about DePaul is that it prides itself with having classes having to do with being outside of the classroom. One example is the junior level class where students are required to take an Experiential Learning course. This could be a study abroad, an internship, or a specific class; however, this is a course where DePaul forces you to do something in your major outside of the classroom.
I took the TCH 320: Exploring Teaching in Urban High School for my Experiential Learning course. Although I wanted to do an internship, this class is required for the TEACH program and also satisfied the credit. What I did not know going into this course is that students actually have to spend time in an urban high school. Students must have 20 student-teacher observation hours at a CPS (Chicago Public School) that you get placed at, in the subject matter you’re interested in teaching.
Although I was very scared about going to some high school I did not know, this experience is going to stay as a highlight of my DePaul career so far. I was very nervous on my first day, but, since then, I have really been looking forward to doing my observation hours. I was placed at Noble Street College Prep School, a CPS school in between the West Village and Wicker Park. I followed three classes - an AP Literature class with seniors, and two different AP Language class with juniors.
I am just finishing up my 20 hours right now and I am so happy about my decision. After spending time in an environment I have never been to before, I realized that I indeed do want to be a teacher. Coming from a very secluded and white area in Los Angeles, I was happy for the opportunity to see a very different type of school, and one that I hope I can work at for the future. My teacher has been an amazing mentor, and the school treated me well. Not only did I have an excellent experience, I now have a newfound knowledge of how education works and a connection with Noble Street for the future. The junior Experiential Learning courses and experiences are a great addition to the programs DePaul has to offer!
College is a stressful time financially. Your grandparents will tell you that they made it through college with the funds they made during their senior year of high school working at the Dairy Queen. But life is very different for us in this day and age. Being a student with a job is the norm.
Having an on-campus job is a wonderful way to make money and stay involved in your community! I work in the Production Office in the School of Cinematic Arts, where I am half a receptionist but also a producer of sorts because I organize and “rip” movies (another word for digitizing), and run our Quarterly Casting Sessions and other events.
I love this job for multiple reasons. First of all, it is nice working on campus because your peers and bosses are all on the same schedule as you. My bosses are both CDM film professors so they understand the stress of midterms week, the lull of Week 7, and the amount of work students have assigned. When I am overloaded with stress or when I have an exam when I am scheduled for work, they are very understanding. This also means that I only have to work when the academic year is up and running. I don’t have to work on school holidays. I don’t have to unless I want to, work over breaks. As an out of state student, it is great that I can work the hours when I am on campus and when I go home for spring break or summer, I don’t need to worry about being fired for having weird times off!
I also get to do something that I am mildly interested in. Although I am not a Film major anymore, I still get to work with film students, read scripts, and help with casting. These are interests that I care a lot about! My roommate is a Film major herself but she works in the Theatre School because she also has a passion for theatre! By getting an on-campus job, you have a way of making some money while still being a student, people who understand the schedule you have, and a built-in networking system and DePaul community involvement at your fingertips.
Happy job hunting!