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A Student’s Perspective

Northwestern’s Literacy Center

By Heather Armbruster

ALVA, Okla. (Aug. 24, 2018)— Northwestern Oklahoma State University has provided me with countless opportunities and positive experiences throughout my college career. The best opportunity, favorite experiences, and best memories took place at the Northwestern Literacy Center. I began tutoring at the Literacy Center during the fall of 2016, as a part of a course I was taking for my major. During the semester, I tutored an elementary student once a week, working to improve literacy skills. I learned a great deal about individualized reading instruction for young students. 

When the course came to an end, I found that I had developed a passion for reading intervention and working with students individually to achieve their goals in all areas of literacy. I continued to volunteer as a tutor during the spring and fall semesters of 2017. 

During the spring semester of 2018, I was able to assist Dr. Jen Oswald in transforming, expanding, and improving the Literacy Center, thanks to the generous donation of Northwestern alumni members Darrell and Grace Wessels. The process of this transformation was a tremendous learning experience for me. With the donation to the center, new technology, curriculum, resources, and materials were purchased to better facilitate learning for the students that the Literacy Center serves. 

All these improvements better equip education candidates, such as myself, to advance and aid literacy instruction, as well as expand our knowledge for effective instruction. I was lucky enough to not only see the changes occur in the center, but also to be a part of the construction. This opportunity was so special, and I am thankful that I got to be a part of it all. 

My time at the Literacy Center was well spent; my knowledge of instruction has expanded rapidly. I learned how technology can be used as a helpful tool in teaching and engaging students. I also have learned how to carefully analyze and select curriculum and resources for appropriate instruction. Most importantly, I learned how to adapt instruction to meet individual needs and interests, while engaging students in meaningful learning opportunities. For all these things, and much more, I am grateful. 

The time I committed to the Literacy Center gave me a chance to learn and grow as an educator and will positively impact my effectiveness as an Oklahoma educator. I credit my confidence of preparedness for my future career to the strong education program here at Northwestern and my time spent at the Literacy Center.

About Heather…

Heather Armbruster, a graduate of Burlington High School, Burlington, Okla., is a senior at Northwestern. She is an Early Childhood Education major, and plans to graduate in December 2018. Her goal upon graduation is to achieve a master’s degree (Reading Specialist) through Northwestern.

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