Meet a Shocker: Kirsten Long


Kirsten Long, from Haven, came to Wichita State University to start her career in education. She credits her field experiences and helpful teachers with preparing her for teaching.

Kirsten is one of more than 1,200 students eligible for fall 2020 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad. 

What is your degree in?

My degree is in elementary education.

What led you to Wichita State to begin with?

The college is affordable, and I had heard the teaching program was one of the best programs.

How are you feeling leading up to graduation?

I am feeling prepared for teaching, for my career, and thankful for the program. The teaching program has placed me in schools that have prepared me for what it’s like to be a teacher. I’m feeling grateful and excited.

What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?

The most helpful learning experience while at Wichita State has been having teachers that allow me to text them questions and are willing to work with me. I have also learned so much being placed in field experiences.

What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge as a student was adjusting to having some classes once a week. I was not used to meeting for class only once a week prior to WSU and found it odd at first. I have had some great teachers that were easy to get ahold of and ask questions which allowed me to overcome the challenge.

What has been your most helpful learning experience at Wichita State? 

The education program has surrounded me with several good mentors, peers, and excellent teachers that care not only about my grades but about my personal wellbeing.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate, I plan on using my degree to teach the next generation.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans? 

COVID-19 cut off my field placement in the spring, but allowed me to see how technology could be a part of teaching. My student-teaching semester has been full of experiences from teaching face to face, teaching hybrid, and teaching remote. Through the pandemic I have been challenged, but have overcome the challenges and learned from them.

What advice would you give other Wichita State students?

Get to know the city. You’ll love it. Spend as much time on campus as you can because campus is beautiful and a wonderful place to be. You’re going to make a lot of friends and meet a lot of good people that will help shape you.

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