COE Student Spotlight: Raven Stepter

Raven Stepter
Raven Stepter

Hometown: Peoria, Ill.
Major: Early Childhood Education
Year in school: Senior

What inspired you to pursue this degree/career? As a young child, I had a very unique learning experience. At one point, I had a really supportive and caring teacher who believed that I was capable of anything. Having a teacher like that inspires you to be that person for others. My goal in life is to help young children understand and appreciate the unique features that make them so special. I want to advocate for children as my teacher advocated for me.

Why did you choose the NIU College of Education? I chose the NIU College of Education because it’s an outstanding program. Students are offered so many relevant and meaningful opportunities that will help them in becoming better, culturally aware, professionally aware and properly prepared educators.

What has surprised or impressed you the most? I was most impressed by the number of professors in the program who were willing to take me under their wings in research studies. I am impressed by their dedication to their profession and their dedication to obtaining more knowledge.

How has your NIU College of Education experience been so far? My experience has been really good until COVID-19; however, NIU has done a great job with keeping COE students stimulated with work, while being understanding of the circumstances.

Raven Stepter
Raven Stepter

What are your career goals, and why? My current career goal is to be a early childhood teacher for about 10 years or so. I will be working on obtaining my master’s in administration or early childhood education during this 10-year span. I will also be committing myself to research to better prepare pre-service teachers to work with diverse groups of students and families. After that, who knows? The world is full of endless possibilities.

What are you learning here that you know will help you to shape your career? Currently, I am learning how to be flexible and how to adjust to adverse situations. The COE is encouraging its students to be as involved in the eLearning process as possible. This has pushed me to learn more about available resources for connecting with students and keeping track of student involvement. I am sure these skills will be critical in the future.

Why would you recommend the NIU College of Education? I would recommend the NIU College of Education because of the professors and advisory staff. You will not find a group of people more committed to providing the best educational experience possible for their students. With the COE staff, it’s not just about what you can contribute to the program, but it’s also making sure that you are PREPARED! Teacher preparedness is so important, and they do their best to instill the skills necessary for our success.

Raven Stepter
Raven Stepter

What advice do you have for future students? I know it sounds cliché, but no matter how long a task takes, no matter how tedious it is, and no matter how much you think you already know, always do your best and always be prepared to learn more. There is no limit to how much content can be learned. If it benefits your students or the population of people you are serving, LEARN IT! GIVE IT YOUR ALL! I promise you; you won’t regret it. All hard work pays off in the end.

Are you involved in any activities at NIU? I have been involved in different research teams within the NIU College of Education. Right now, our primary focus is preparing teachers to work with diverse groups of students and families. This is by far my favorite research topic, and it’s what I will commit my professional life to.

Fun fact: My favorite thing to do is read stories to children. I tend to take on the persona of each character in the stories. It’s so fun to watch the kids react and interact with the characters.

Do you know an amazing student who should step into the COE spotlight? Email with names and Z-ID contact information of your nominees.

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