For a teacher there is nothing comparable to the moment when a student makes a connection between ideas. Dawning comprehension literally lights up the eyes. That has happened for me each and every time I have had the pleasure of teaching REACH students. In contrast with my own experiences, the article about the REACH program that appeared on May 13 focused on the frustration of the parents of one or two students.
In most ways our REACH students are just like students admitted to the bachelors program: They have a period of adjustment when they first arrive, they sometimes have trouble juggling their different course responsibilities and they have to adjust to the greater demands of college work.
It’s important for students to successfully manage such challenges for themselves. In my experience the REACH staff have done a wonderful job of helping students surmount the difficulties and challenges of college life. They have also done a terrific job of training and helping faculty teaching in the program.
The College of Charleston is fortunate to have a bright, talented student body. The REACH training helps professors adapt and expand their teaching style to a more intellectually diverse audience. That’s important because people learn in different ways and at different speeds.
I believe I am a better teacher because of the challenges provided by REACH students and the assistance and training provided by the REACH staff.
It’s too bad the reporter did not talk to professors teaching in the program. My experience has been literally awesome.
Von Bakanic, Ph.D.