Student Voice

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May 29, 2024

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SWEA provides help, options for education majors

February 22, 2007

The Student Wisconsin Education Association (SWEA) was set up on the UW-River Falls campus last February, and has been increasing in numbers.

The organization continues to help students build résumés, experience and insight into the world of the education profession. There are currently 56 students involved in the SWEA on campus.

“We are not a club, we’re an organization,” chapter founder Melissa Danczak said.

Danczak started the UWRF chapter of the organization last year when she arrived on campus and realized there was no similar program in place at the University.

She said she started the organization on the UWRF campus due to the importance it places on future education providers and preparing them for the working environment in which they will be placed.

“This is an organization that is recognized nationally by 90 percent of schools in the country,” Danczak said.

There are three different levels of the Wisconsin Education Association (WEA). The first is the local level, which is based on colleges or universities. There is the state level for students where the student board of directors and the president of SWEA are. There are almost 2,000 members at the state level. The national level is the National Education Association (NEA).

The goal of SWEA is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of teaching and what is involved in being a member of the NEA, Danczak said.

“Everyone has to pay dues to the NEA if you work in an NEA-affiliated school,” Danczak said.

There are many benefits to being in SWEA for students at UWRF. The organization provides seminars to help students understand and informs them of the different license laws they will have to deal with in Wisconsin and Minnesota in order to become a licensed teacher, Danczak said.

Speakers are a big part of being a member of SWEA. They provide presentations and speakers on varying issues in the world of education, such as the No Child Left Behind Act that was recently enacted. Other presenters are also available to bring real world perspective and experience to students looking to enter the education world.

This program offers students the opportunity to take part in training seminars that help create cover letters, résumés and provide interviewing tips.

“For elementary education there are 25,200 applicants to 1,237 openings in 2004-05 for elementary positions” in the state of Wisconsin, Danczak said.

The organization also offers online mini resumes for members where they can put in their qualifications, and employers can search for someone who meets their requirements.

In addition to the assistance this program gives to education students, it also gives back to the education community. Every year in the spring, SWEA conducts their “Outreach to Teach” program, where students go to a school that is short on funding and helps by providing services and maintenance the school is unable to afford.

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