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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2011 > Senior Aims For Well-Rounded Collegiate Career

Senior Aims For Well-Rounded Collegiate Career

Senior Lauren Apgar has strived for a balance in extra curricular and academic success to better prepare herself for a career in education.

Lauren-Apgar_lndscp.jpgby Patrick Beal (November 2011)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four years ago, a high school senior from Allentown, Pa., ventured onto Penn State’s campus, still unsure where she wished to attend college. She had visited multiple state universities in the previous weeks, sure that she wanted to stay in state, but unsure of which college specifically. That all changed once she saw Penn State.

“Once you step on campus,” says Lauren Apgar, senior-elementary and kindergarten education, “you feel home.” Combined with Penn State’s reputation for its education program, the atmosphere and spirit on campus proved to be all the convincing Apgar needed in choosing a college.

Apgar has known since high school she wanted to be an educator. “I’m very enthusiastic,” she says. “I want to make an imprint.” She has spent her time on campus stressing a well-rounded collegiate career in better hopes of preparing herself for a career in education.

On top of her major, she is a double minor in special education as well as human development and family studies. Apgar believes the family dynamic is vital to success for a teacher, both understanding the students’ family background and bringing such an environment to the classroom. With a minor in special education, Apgar will be well rounded and prepared.

The past few years have seen Apgar become involved in several groups and extracurricular activities. This will not be her first year involved with THON, but it is her first time as a morale captain. She has wanted the position since her freshmen year and describes the position how it relates to teaching. “You have to get in front of a room of 30 people and lead, inspire, and educate them,” says Apgar.

As an incoming freshmen, Apgar participated in LEAP (Learning Edge Academic Program), which brings together freshmen in summer session, provides tours on campus, explains resources available to students, and gives the freshmen access to an upper classman mentor. She applied to be a mentor this past summer and was promoted to the program’s lead mentor.

Her academic advisor, Myrna Covington, also invited Apgar to participate in Spend a Summer Day. The program brings prospective education majors together from high schools across the state and neighboring states to ask questions they have and to learn about the major. Apgar says Covington has been a key component to her success, adding, “She has helped me grow as a student and a person.”

Dealing with high school students is different from the elementary students she is learning about, but both involve similar techniques. “Every educator has to relate to their students,” says Apgar. “Students have to feel that their teachers are approachable.”

With classes and her above-mentioned activities (Apgar is also part of Lion Scouts and served as their Homecoming Chair this year), Apgar has always been able to prioritize her life. “Time management is important,” she says. “I can be a workaholic, but you have to keep things in perspective and take breaks to avoid stress.” Her recipe for success is working. Apgar will finish classes this spring and student-teach in Philadelphia next fall before graduating in December 2012.