Dana Collins - Alumni Stories from the Department of Education | Judson University Christian College
Doug Olsen

Dana Collins

Elementary Education, 2010
ESL Teacher at McHenry School District 15
McHenry, IL


What do you do in your current job and what do you enjoy about it?
I am an ESL teacher. I meet the language needs of students whose native language is something other than English. I work on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with K-3rd grade students while laughing with them, telling stories, learning about them, and loving them.

How did your Judson experience influence you professionally? What were your favorite parts of being a Judson student?
My experience at Judson influenced me to be a respectful, confident, and knowledgeable individual. When I left Judson, I felt prepared to teach in any school using any curriculum. I have many favorite memories from my time at Judson. My first two years were spent living on campus and I was really able to immerse myself in the Judson culture. During my freshman year I went on a spring break mission trip to Costa Rica led by Dr. Sanders, his wife, and an awesome team of students. My experience from the trip is one reason I added an ESL endorsement to my education degree. I left Judson for a few years after that and explored three other colleges, but God had a plan for me and led me right back to Judson to complete my degree. The education professors at Judson are beyond great teachers. They are amazing individuals and taught us not only how to teach, but also how to love our students. My favorite part of Judson is the friendships that I made. I feel unbelievably blessed to have had the opportunity to meet, learn, and live with some amazing people. The friends I made at Judson are friends I still keep in contact with and will know for a very long time.

What are the strengths of your major/program at Judson?
I have nothing but great things to say about the education program at Judson. The professors have quality experience, they are up to date with what is happening in schools today, and they teach with a love seen at few other colleges. Throughout the program, students participate in several practical experiences, including student teaching, which really prepared us for the classroom.

What advice can you give to current and prospective students about their time at Judson?
Jump in with two feet. College is an opportunity to start fresh, go out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and truly understand the person that you are. I remember my first weeks at Judson: I was nervous, but I prayed that God would really help me to step outside of my comfort zone, and He did just that. You will be presented with challenges at Judson, but I encourage you to really take your time there and give it all you have. Be open to the possibilities, make new friends, and let God lead you.

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