'After Attending Pacific, I Was Absolutely Prepared to be a Teacher'

Andy Haugen ’11, MAT ’13 loves seeing his students’ “ah-ha” moments.

“You always get a different group of students every year, and you never know what their background or thought processes are,” he said. “It’s always fresh, it’s always unique.”

Haugen is a history teacher at Valley Catholic High School, a private school in Beaverton, Ore., where he also is the school librarian.

After earning his undergraduate degree in history at Pacific, he was inspired to go into the teaching profession.

“When I was in high school, I had a lot of good teachers that really encouraged me to find what I was passionate about, and I wanted to pass that along to kids as well,” he said.

Before starting his master of arts in teaching program, though, he had no teaching experience.

“I knew that Pacific would prepare me through their student-teacher program,” he said.

All of Pacific’s preliminary teacher licensure programs are heavy on classroom experience. Students get into classrooms within their first term of studies and spend far more than the required hours gaining hands-on experience. That, coupled with a supportive staff and faculty with connections throughout the region, helps ensure that new teachers are ready to hit the ground running, Haugen said.

“After I graduated, Pacific staff members were really encouraging and helped us through the process of getting our license and completing our tests,” he said. “Their connections and having a degree from Pacific, people recognize that it has merit.

“After attending Pacific, I was absolutely prepared to be a teacher.”

Friday, March 5, 2021