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Student Voices

  • Lauren Weis '20

Lauren Weis ’20


Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin


Elementary Education and Special Education

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the Christine A. Hobbs Outdoor Learning Classroom. Some of my favorite memories of classes are when we had the chance to take our learning experience outside. Since Carthage is located on the Lake Michigan, I enjoyed being able to experience the outdoors while expanding my knowledge of various academic areas.”

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I hope to obtain a teaching position in the primary grades in the field of special education in which I can foster a positive and nurturing learning environment.”

Favorite professor

Professor Jun Wang has impacted my life and my Carthage career because she is very knowledgeable about the field of special education and has always been very supportive me.

“I had Professor Marilyn Ward for two of my education classes. Her passion for children’s literature and her love of literature is simply contagious.

Professor Patricia Rieman and Professor Karin Sconzert both deeply care about each and every individual. They want to see everyone be successful while reaching their fullest potential.

“Finally, Professor Nina Weisling is a new professor at Carthage whose knowledge of the field of special education is tremendous. She is always very supportive of student needs and learning styles while encouraging us to expand our thinking process in a safe and inviting learning environment.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class was South Asia Through Children’s and Young Adult Literature because I learned about the importance of introducing multicultural books into my classroom and was given the opportunity to participate in practical projects that I could apply and use in my future classroom.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class so far has been Methods for Teaching Elementary Level Exceptional Learners. We were required to write parts of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Although this was my toughest class at Carthage, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to take it because my knowledge about the field of special education grew in practical, real, and tangible ways.”


“At one of Carthage’s career fairs, I came across and was eventually hired by Caravel Autism Health to be a behavior technician. At Caravel Autism Health, I had the opportunity to use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy for in-home treatment of children who have autism.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve had the opportunity to present about what it is like to be a behavior technician at Caravel Autism Health to classes. I have had the chance to talk to special education classes within the Teacher Education Program (TEP) to educate others about what ABA Therapy is and how it is commonly seen in the field of special education.”


“I received an academic scholarship that covered nearly half the cost of my tuition, and I received an endowed scholarship. To me, these scholarships have only pushed me to work harder towards becoming the best version of myself as a college student. I am very grateful to have received these scholarships because it has taught me that I can achieve goals that I have set for myself while pursuing something that I am passionate about.”

Campus involvement

“During my first two semesters at Carthage, I was involved with the Children’s Literature Advisory Board Committee, which is run by Prof. Ward. It gave me the opportunity to volunteer at book sales, hear authors of children’s literature speak at local libraries, collect donations for local schools, and attend various art shows.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“Some of my favorite moments all involve having the opportunity to participate in clinical experiences at local schools. For example, I had the pleasure of completing clinical experiences at Pleasant Prairie Elementary School for three years in a row, which has helped me build a relationship with a teacher that I worked with every time. I also had the opportunity to observe special education in a high school setting, which I did not have the chance to do before attending Carthage. I likewise enjoyed becoming close to fellow colleagues and professors who share that same passion that I have for the field of education.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise so far has been how supportive professors are. Although I would expect nothing but the best, professors at Carthage truly go above and beyond to make sure that each student is fully supported. They are always looking to find ways to improve their courses and programs so that each student has the opportunity to receive a quality education.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would think of my current studies/career path as being noble. When I was younger, I received special education services for having a learning disability and a speech and language impairment. For me, teachers were the ones that made me want to pursue being an educator because I had one particular teacher that never gave up on me and was willing to do anything to ensure that I reached my fullest potential.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Start reaching out and build relationships with education professors at Carthage and educators currently in the field. Education professors and educators currently in the field are the greatest support system to have while pursuing a degree in elementary education and special education.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Looking to teach? Count on becoming a familiar face in local schools. Carthage students accumulate 135 hours in local classrooms before their student teaching semester. Make that 450+ for those entering our new urban teacher program.

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …