A jump start on education 

Marquette has been offering dual enrollment education classes for high school students since 2019 — now the program is expanding

Marquette is helping local high school students explore their professional futures as educators while receiving high school and college credits. It’s all possible through LAUNCH Future Teachers, a profession-based learning program that provides a pipeline for future teachers. In partnership with the College of Education, the program offers dual enrollment education classes for high schoolers in the Elmbrook and Wauwatosa school districts.  

“The purpose of the program is to address the high demand for educators by helping more high school students gain direct experiences in considering education and teaching as a professional pathway,” Dr. Leigh van den Kieboom, professor and associate dean of the college of education and Marquette liaison for LAUNCH explains. 

Approaches like this have been proven to positively impact teacher retention. The Department of Public Instruction concluded that individuals who take well-developed Intro to Education programs are half as likely to leave their field in the first few years of teaching. 

The courses offered by Marquette are “designed to help students learn about schools and schooling, child and adolescent development and learning, and teaching practices”, van den Kieboom says. 

In 2020, Marquette began extending two intro service-learning education classes to high school juniors to take in their fall semester, EDUC 1000: Critical Perspectives on Education and EDUC 1001: Child and Adolescent Development and Learning. 

This year, the program expanded. Another education class has been slated for dual enrollment: EDUC 2001: Instructional Designs and Teaching Models, which will be offered in the spring semester. By the end of the spring 2024 semester, 26 high school students will have completed the three dual enrollment education classes.

Marquette alumna Stephanie Kelly is a co-teacher in the LAUNCH program. For Kelly, collaborating with professors who were mentors during her time at Marquette is “the opportunity of a lifetime.” 

“I’m able to expose a new generation of teachers to Marquette’s education program,” Kelly says. “Marquette has always championed the importance of discerning your vocation; I know deeply that this is mine.” 

Kelly teaches classes on educational inquiry with Nicole Augustin, who also teaches AP Psychology in the program. Dr. Terese Brecklin, adjunct assistant professor in the College of Education, teaches Educational Psychology in the fall and an Instructional Methods course in the spring semester.  

“Our high school students can leave the program with up to 12 college credits, nine of which are through Marquette,” Kelly says. 

“High school students completing the coursework can transfer their credits into any teaching preparation program,” van den Kieboom says. “And we certainly think that Marquette University’s Teaching Preparation Program is the best place to continue to learn about education as a profession.” 

Aside from coursework, students have up to three hours of field experience every week. The students work in their local elementary, middle and high school classrooms. They lead breakout groups, plan lessons and engage with students in other meaningful ways. At the end of the semester, the students will present final projects on campus to Marquette faculty.  

By the end of their experience, the future teachers have over 128 field placement hours within their school district. Kelly believes this program will save promising educators time and money down the road. 

“If I would have had this program in high school, I think my journey would have been more straightforward.”