According to Students, Professors Don’t Receive Enough Credit for Students Staying at BVU

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According to Students, Professors Don’t Receive Enough Credit for Students Staying at BVU

Hannah Appleseth, Contributing Writer

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I was asked to write this piece by the Tack because I had an experience a few weeks ago that inspired my stance. I am the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. The president’s council was asked to meet with a representative from a company called Credo to talk about what BVU is doing well and in what areas BVU could improve.  

The representative started out the session by asking us about the academics at BVU. The presidents in attendance all came from different majors. Each of us had nothing but incredible things to say about our professors and our programs. All of us talked about what gave our programs an edge, how much our professors had helped us, and how incredible our professors were as individuals. I finally said, “It is not the academics that need to change at BVU, if anything the academics have kept BVU thriving. We need to focus on changing other things.” With all of the new updates and changes BVU is making, I do not want us to lose sight of what has kept BVU alive and well: the professors. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the new renovations and very happy BVU is so motivated to make necessary changes. However, when I justify paying the amount of money I have for my experience at BVU, I do not talk about the new renovations, or where I live, or the social scene—I talk about the academics. I have invested in an education that has changed my whole life. My education has ignited my passion for learning, given me new perspectives, and changed the way I move through this world. Professors have invested in my learning experience and my well-being far beyond what they are getting paid to do. Because of the psychology and communication studies departments, I feel completely prepared for my future endeavors. And I know I am one of the many people who have had an experience like this.  

Jade Cunningham, a senior who transferred here last year, says, “My ENVS [environmental science] professors, specifically my advisor, Dr. Maas, have given me numerous opportunities to expand my knowledge while also building my resume.” Cunningham has completed a summer research project for BVU and the city of Storm Lake that she received a grant for. She has attended and presented at two out-of-state conferences where she was able to network. Jade says she made the right choice transferring here because she feels she gets more out of her classes and is more challenged at BVU. Cunningham is currently applying to graduate schools, a process that BVU professors have helped her with and prepared her for.   

Destiny Einerwold, a junior biomedical science major, says her professors are willing to go above and beyond to make sure all students are getting the best education. Einerwold adds that, “They are extremely willing to work with us as individuals in anything that we are passionate about. We have great facilities that help make our interests very reasonable as the money and funding we have supply ample opportunities to get outside of the BVU community. This allows us to gain more experience in fields all over the world.” 

Holly Schneider, a senior education major, believes all of the professors in the education department are able to bring many different strengths and specialties to the table, which is ideal for the students who want to specialize in different content areas. Holly says, “My professors have really challenged me throughout my time here. They are constantly pushing me to think about things in different ways.” Schneider will enter the teaching realm with well over 200 hours of classroom experience in various diverse settings.  

Emily Kenny, a senior digital media major who interned at the Minnesota Zoo this past summer and traveled to Ireland and South Africa the summer before, credits her professors for helping her get these opportunities. Emily says the professors have helped her gain experience she would have never gotten without them and they have made a significant impact on her personal and career development at BVU. The strength of the digital media department is also boasted by their many awards won on both the state and national level.  

Alex Savary, a senior business major, says, “I believe that my professors have put me in a position where I know what to expect when I get into the business world. Every professor has had experience working in the business world and they bring that expertise into their teaching. Every class is centered around the idea of learning applicable, real-world knowledge.”  

Egan Bonde, a senior computer science major, believes his classes have taught him how to handle a rigorous work load week to week. Bonde states, “My professors have taught me that no matter how daunting a task may be, it can always be solved with hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of logic.”  

Every person that offered testimonies for this article also talked about how BVU’s small class sizes create an ideal learning environment. One might argue that I only sought out testimonies from a skewed population, and that person would be right. I purposely chose upperclassmen who I know thrive in their departments—ones who have bought into the process and truly immersed themselves in their education—because I want to demonstrate how much value can be elicited from an education received at BVU. I tried to provide a diverse group of testimonies from individuals in different majors to show how strong BVU is across the board.  

We need more on-campus students at BVU. Young adults are about the here and now, developmentally. While nice things pull them in and catch their interest, we need to show them examples of how personalized their education can be at BVU. Everyone wants to feel successful and cared about, generally speaking. We have such a special group of professors. They are here because they care about their students and love their fields. I believe that if we advertise how incredible our professors are, we will create a larger population on campus. If we can convince more students the benefits of investing in your time and effort in your education, I believe our retention rates will rise. I am calling upon the BVU community to give the professors more recognition and advertise how powerful and beneficial an education at BVU can be for someone. To the current BVU students: invest in yourself, invest in your education, and invest in BVU’s professors, because they are ready to invest in you. In this society, going to college is a privilege because not everyone has access to it—don’t take it for granted.