Noelle and the Dual Degree Teaching Prep Program

By NK Medani, Senior Accounting Major and Public Relations Minor

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, I interviewed Noelle Haskell, a USF senior in the Dual Degree Teaching Prep program and learned more about her experiences in the program and her plans for after graduation.


(Noelle Haskell, student in the Dual Degree Teaching Prep program)

She chose to enroll in the Dual Degree Teaching Preparation program because it provided an accelerated, rigorous education leading to a bachelor’s and master’s degree, as well as a preliminary California teaching credential. As part of this unique “four plus one” model, students complete graduate-level courses as undergraduates and work in the field alongside mentor teachers throughout the program. She prefers this to studying two to three additional years after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.


The most prevalent skills she has learned while in the program have been social awareness and patience. It is a very overwhelming environment to learn in with practices and theories. She says being more socially aware through interpersonal communication has helped her combat daily social inequalities and educate kids and others about these ideals. Additionally, a teacher in a class of kindergarteners needs to be able to take a step back, gather patience, and analyze the situation to best meet the needs of the environment and the students in that space.


She talked about the experiences she has had so far in college involving teaching. Undergraduate students are required to have 90 hours of field work for kindergarten to second grade and third to fifth grade. Students are not in charge of the full classroom; they act as teacher’s assistants. She had a class last semester for kindergarten and currently volunteers there. She also currently teaches a fifth grade class twice a week at Rooftop Alternative school. In fieldwork, students teach at one private school and one public school to complete the 90-hour requirement. Students get a one-on-one experience with the kids and learn about them beyond the classroom.  The student’s graduate year consists of two semesters of student teaching. The first semester includes nine hours per week in the classroom leading additional lessons and taking a full teacher role. The second semester consists of full-time teaching each week and curriculum work at night. Students create a full teaching agenda and have full control over the curriculum.


In her opinion, fieldwork classes are most valuable and memorable. Fieldwork allows her to reflect on her experiences and get first-hand knowledge from the professors who have been in the same situation and how they overcame their conflicts, and they are able to provide effective advice on how to proceed. She said, “You can’t help every student, but, with the skills I learned, I can do my best to meet the needs of every student I encounter.”


Her career plan for post graduation is to immediately go into teaching her own class. To get her teaching credentials, she will teach a normal classroom for at least two years. She has aspirations of teaching abroad in a few years. She said that she did not have to worry too much about a plan after graduation once she got in the program because the program is very structured and creates opportunities to teach after the completion of the program. While currently in her senior year, she believes that this program has prepared her for post graduation. People in the program are very prepared with experiences and knowledge for what is coming in their teaching careers. There is also a mentor program that guides students and gives them the resources and confidence to be independent and learn skills to be successful teachers.


Noelle’s suggestion for students interested in a career path in teaching is to take the “Introduction to Teaching” course. Students get a basic idea of teaching without the big commitment, and they see a school setting and how a teaching program works. She said, “It is not the easiest career path to follow, but it is truly one of the most rewarding because you get to directly make a positive impact in others’ lives.”


For more information about the program and how to enroll, visit the program’s website here or email dualdegree@usfca.edu.





Minor Matters: Jana DeGuzman and the French Studies Minor

By Caitlyn Shen, Junior Communication Studies Major

USF Senior Talks About Her French Minor’s Influence on Her Life and Her Summer in France

As I question what my Chinese minor has to offer me and where I should study abroad next semester, the perfect opportunity came up. I specifically chose to interview Jana DeGuzman because we are in the same boat. Both of us are upperclassmen communication studies majors with a language minor. DeGuzman is pursuing a French minor while I am pursing a Chinese minor. Speaking to her about her experience has helped me choose my future.

Q: “What made you pick the communication studies major and French minor?”

A: “I came into USF as a communication studies major. I have always loved writing, and I think I have strong verbal communication. I didn’t come into USF with a French minor, though. I came in looking to pursue a performing arts minor, but I didn’t like the program here. I had to fulfill two semesters of a language, and I chose French. I wasn’t like most people where they have a French background or took it in high school. I literally just picked it up my sophomore year. My professor actually had to convince me to switch to a French minor, but I’m so glad I switched because I love it.”

Q: “Do you think French and communication studies complement each other?”

A: “They totally do. You know they both have to do with language and culture. Communication studies helped me understand more about different cultures, and it helped me adjust to different perspectives through culture. “Communication and Culture” really helped.”

Q: “What is the hardest aspect about French?”

A: “The whole language in general is just complex, especially since I started sophomore year without any other exposure to French. The courses are pretty challenging, especially this literature class I’m currently in. We read 17th and 18th century literature, and there’s a bunch of vocabulary I have never learned before. All of these old words I really have no clue what they are.”

Q: “Would you recommend pursuing the French minor? Do you have any advice for anyone interested in French?”

A: “I totally would! I love it so much. I don’t really have any advice. Maybe just don’t overcrowd yourself. Try to balance everything out. Right now I’m taking four French classes and one communication studies class, and I regret it because next semester, my last semester, I won’t learn any French and only COMS courses. So balance everything out. Oh! Also, study abroad!”

The port of Cannes is one of the biggest attractions in France.

The port of Cannes is one of the biggest attractions in France.

Q: “Like you said before, you studied abroad. Where? Did you go to France?”


A: “This past summer I studied abroad in Cannes, France, for about two months. Every day I had three hours of intensive French classes, but I loved it.”


Q: “Do you think about it a lot? Do you still talk about the people you met there?”


A: “I think about it every day. Like every day. The trip was too short. I want to go back. I still talk to those people. We have a group chat.”


Q: “Please describe your life in five to ten years. Do you see yourself living in France or living in a French speaking country? What will you be doing?”


A: “I’m not sure what I want to do, but I wouldn’t mind teaching English in a French-speaking country like Morocco, or being a travel blogger. I’m definitely open to moving to France, as well.”


Jana has me thinking I picked the wrong language to minor in! To hear how French has made an impact on her life has influenced me to pick somewhere I can practice Chinese and put my minor to good use when studying abroad. Jana obviously had such a wonderful time, and I hope I can experience the joy she felt while studying abroad.