We had the chance to speak to Dan who has recently joined WESLI as their Student Success Coordinator and asked him a few questions:
1. You have recently joined the team at WESLI. Tell us more about your role and what you like most about it so far.
Presently, I am working as the Student Success Coordinator at WESLI. My focus is to track student performance each term and check in with students about their classes. Additionally, I work with instructors in the school to ensure students are meeting class objectives. From there, I design plans to help the students improve in their courses. I find my job very rewarding since I am able to meet with students one-on-one and help them realize and meet their learning goals.
In addition, I teach classes every morning. Currently, I am teaching an advanced listening & speaking course and intermediate classes in reading and writing. My experience in the classes has been overwhelmingly positive, as the students have been very involved in every activity. We have held some great discussions, and the students are always energized to ask questions and take personal involvement with their learning.
2. What do you see as the biggest challenge of your job?
As any educator knows, teaching and working with students always has numerous challenges. Each student comes to a classroom with a unique background and learning style. In a class, it is my responsibility to make sure that instruction is constantly being updated to meet the needs of the students. This means reflecting on the success and failures of every lesson and adjusting instruction to meet student expectations.
Fortunately, the community at WESLI provides me with plenty of support. Every instructor and administrator at WESLI understands these challenges, and they are always willing to talk through all obstacles in classroom management and student progress.
3. From your point of view, what makes WESLI a Quality English school?
I believe that WESLI perfectly exemplifies the qualities of a Quality English school. First, the administration and teaching staff in WESLI provide top-tier instruction. Teachers are constantly updating their curriculum and teaching style to meet the needs of every learner. Additionally, curriculum continues to be redeveloped to ensure that students who are looking into attending universities in the United States have the necessary skills needed to be successful students. Many students who graduate from WESLI continue on to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in a range of academic disciplines, and these students can feel comfortable knowing that they have the skills necessary to excel.
Personalized accommodation is another focus of WESLI’s mission. The institution’s small size allows each problem that arises to be met with direct communication from administration. The best example of this is the homestay program, where visiting students live with families residing in Madison. Through active communication, students are matched with families, and this guarantees that each student will have the best experience abroad. This program enables students to interact with others in English outside of the classroom, which is paramount to helping them develop their communication skills.
Finally, The staff and instructors at WESLI are dedicated to making WESLI “a home away from home.” Students are welcomed and encouraged to spend time in the school during their time outside of class, and doors are always open for students to come and chat with teachers or staff. Also, WESLI provides a range of excursions in the local community, so students can spend time with others outside of class. This month, I am looking forward to attending “Fall Day” with the students, where we will pick apples, carve pumpkins, and enjoy the best agro-tourism events that Madison has to offer.
4. Why would you recommend students to come and study in Madison, Wisconsin? Do you have any insider tips on where to go and what to see?
Madison is unique because it has all the amenities of a large city but maintains its small town identity. Anyone who lives near the downtown area can visit a range of restaurants and entertainment destinations. The restaurants offer a wide variety of international food from every corner of the globe, and, during the summer, the city comes alive with multiple festivals, markets, and concerts. I would recommend to anyone who visits that they check out the huge farmer’s market that takes place every Saturday during the summer.
For anyone who enjoys the outdoors, the city provides over 200 miles of biking trails, and renting boats to enjoy on Madison’s lakes is always a treat. Personally, I love camping and biking, and I have had a great time exploring every state park and riding my bike up and down the hills in the Wisconsin countryside.
Finally, Madison is the political center of the state of Wisconsin, and therefore, the community in Madison is both diverse and progressive. There are many opportunities to get involved with community projects and address social issues. Madison’s college town atmosphere provides students with the perfect environment to explore new ways of thinking and meet others from all over the world. At WESLI, we are committed to helping students integrate into the Madison community by introducing them to local events and academic programs. Overall, the community in Madison is safe, friendly, easy-to-navigate, and less expensive than many other destinations in the United States, and it is the perfect destination for any student interested in experiencing life in the United States.