When Jackie Schroeder graduated from Mizzou in 1961, she was grateful for the role that the university played in her personal development.
“I loved Mizzou when I attended many years ago. I found professors who were interested in my welfare and who mentored me to use all of my capabilities to succeed,” Schroeder said. “It’s a very nurturing environment that makes campus feel smaller than it is.”
Now working as a teacher assistant in the Mizzou K-12 Online program, Schroeder mentors others and shows the same interest and care for her students that she received as an undergrad.
“I work with fantastic people in a wonderful program that allows me to use my teaching skills,” Schroeder said.
Housed in the University of Missouri’s College of Education, Mizzou K-12 offers correspondence courses for high school credit to students without access to education. It is the only online K-12 program in the country to be supported by faculty from a research-intensive, flagship university. Schroeder works with more than 3000 students and teachers from nearly 50 different independent schools in Brazil.
“I see education as making connections for all kinds for students,” Schroeder said. “We teach the material, but we also teach HOW to investigate and HOW to make to make connections so that the learning sticks and stays organized in a ‘file folder’ in our brains.”
Schroeder has always had a big appetite for learning, she has accumulated 294 total college credits from various areas. While living on a horse farm, Schroeder wanted to learn about the business side of farming so she attended an accounting seminar in Lexington, Kentucky and picked the brains of certified public accountants. Wanting to improve her French and Spanish, Schroeder went to live with a family in another country for a few summers and attended language school as well. At UMKC, she received her Master’s in Reading Education and in 1991, she entered the Interdisciplinary doctoral program in Education and Urban Leadership where she became certified in ESL (English as a Second Language).
“I love the expression ‘lifelong learner,’” Schroeder said. “I applied for a fellowship with the Greater Kansas City Writing Project and it was one of the best things I ever did for my teaching. I still use something that the wonderful supervisors taught me every day.”
Schroeder is starting her third year with Mizzou K-12. When she first started teaching history and French classes, the students could not read their textbook and Schroeder became interested in how to best reach these students. Reflecting on the support and care that she received as a student at Mizzou, Schroeder uses the skills she has developed over the years to positively impact the students that she teaches.
“I loved Mizzou. It taught me to reach higher as a person,” Schroeder said. “But it’s the people who make it. Mizzou is lucky to have so much talent on campus and I’m lucky to have found them!”