By: Claire Quigle
Happy “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday, Hawkeyes! Meet alumnus Michael Jacobsen (‘15 endorsement in Secondary Education- Social Studies).
Jacobsen is originally from Sac City, Iowa, and is now working as the Student and Academic Support Coordinator for Benton and Iowa Counties at Kirkwood Community College. Before working at Kirkwood, Jacobsen was a high school social studies teacher at Keota High School in Keota Iowa for 3 years, where he also spent time as a coach and department chair.
Jacobsen enjoys his current position because it combines his love of working with high school students and helping them reach their goals while also serving on a number of leadership committees working with other departments within the college. He also instructs an online college credit in a high school professional development course and has guest lectured on the Constitution and Bill of Rights for several sociology and criminal justice classes.
“I also get to collaborate with our wonderful high school counselors, administrators, and community partners as well as the outstanding staff and faculty at Kirkwood who make my job much easier,” Jacobsen says. “The passion they show for our students is infectious and I’m honored and privileged every day to play a small role in helping our students on the path to success and finding out what that means for each student.”
“The College of Education at the University of Iowa played a tremendous role in my growth and development into the person and educator I am today,” Jacobsen says. “I was fortunate to learn from great teachers and mentors who continue to help me to this day. Dr. Greg Hamot, Dr. Jason Harshman, Dr. Nancy Langguth, and Dr. John Westefeld -to name just a few- were some of the standout professors from which I was privileged to learn.”
Jacobsen says that those professors recognized that education is much more than simply rote memorization but an active and ongoing pursuit of knowledge using critical-thinking skills to constantly raise the standards of excellence for students and benefiting society overall.
Jacobsen was a returning, non-traditional student to the College of Education, and was apprehensive that he had what it took to become a teacher. However, he soon learned that this wasn’t the case.
“With the help of the outstanding faculty at Iowa, becoming a teacher and being a positive influence on young people’s lives has proven to be one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Jacobsen says. “I would highly recommend that anyone thinking about going into the field of education give strong consideration to applying to the College of Education at the University of Iowa!”
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