One aspiring educator attending the University of Houston-Victoria might soon have an audience with the U.S. commander in chief.
UHV graduate student Angela Stewart recently received a travel grant to attend the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ annual meeting Dec. 5-10 in Atlanta. On the event’s second day, the schedule includes an event with President Barack Obama.
“I was so surprised when I saw that; I couldn’t really believe it,” she said as she laughed. “I hope he really is there.”
The commission is the accrediting body for higher education institutions in the 11-state Southern region, which includes Texas. SACS will visit UHV for a reaccreditation review in April.
Throughout the SACS annual meeting, Stewart will gain insider information about retaining students, online courses, certification issues and more.
“That knowledge will be really helpful,” said Stewart, who hopes to teach at the community college level. “My goal is to keep moving up, keep learning. This conference is a great chance to network.”
Stewart, a 32-year-old Victoria native, graduated from Stroman High School in 1999. She went on to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
When it was time to look into graduate programs, she said a couple of factors led her to UHV. Not only did she need to take online classes, but she also was looking for a school that offered a higher education degree with18 credit hours in instruction. That way, she would be able to teach.
Two semesters in, Stewart said she made the right choice. Not only does she enjoy her classes, but she said they’re more than just learning from a book. Her instructors are preparing her for the actual experiences she might encounter in the field.
“When we do our papers or assignments, they’re all about getting us to think about how to handle situations if we were a dean or director,” Stewart explained. “They’re things we need to know – preparing us for real-life experiences.”
Stewart balances full-time work with San Antonio’s Alamo Colleges, a part-time course load with UHV and her most important priority, her 8-year-old daughter. While it makes for a hectic schedule, Stewart said she’s made it work.
She encouraged other students, especially those taking online classes, to stay on target.
“You don’t have a teacher telling you when things are due or to be sure to finish,” she said. “It’s all about time management and having that focus. You have to be dedicated.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, email Paula Cobler , UHV director of marketing and communications, or call her at 361-570-4350.