Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Graduate Testimonial

Where Will You Go? You Choose, CSC Provides the Path and Guidance!!

Michael SandstromThe social science program combines small class sizes, dedicated and knowledgeable staff members, and a diversity of class offerings to help future social science teachers hone their craft.

Chadron State College is a unique destination tucked away in what seems to be the only rolling hills and forest in all of Nebraska. Different factors have brought people to this area for hundreds of years from fur trading posts along the streams surrounding town, the railroads bustling west, but most recently, the largest attraction is Chadron State. Fires may have tarnished an otherwise pristine landscape along the Pine Ridge, but the experience, knowledge, and life-training available through Chadron State College has continued to soar to ever-higher levels. Much like the overall college experience that one can expect at Chadron State, the knowledge and skills acquired from the social science education program provide solid footing for what exists beyond the classroom. The social science program combines small class sizes, dedicated and knowledgeable staff members, and a diversity of class offerings to help future social science teachers hone their craft.

Class sizes were extremely manageable throughout my experience. Introductory classes had numbers in the twenties or thirties, but many upper level classes averaged from ten to eighteen. This professor to student ratio allowed for a more individualized approach than a lecture hall education. Professors were always within reach and had time to deal with individual student issues. The small class sizes and individualized approach should be enough of a reason for any prospective educator to take a long look at Chadron State College.

Small class sizes can only do so much to mask an ineffective staff, but at Chadron State, they actively sought and pursued a dedicated and knowledgeable social science staff. This staff was always available to help students by keeping long office hours or opening independent studies based on need. This aid does not cease with graduation, as a year after graduation, I emailed several of my professors with varying issues and received prompt responses. Such a personal touch on education may or may not occur at other institutions, but I can personally attest to its power in fostering student success in the social sciences education program.

The social science program is not a one-size-fits-all, but rather is diversified enough to allow students to individualize the program to fit their needs. Social science education students will graduate Chadron State College with the ability to teach history, government, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology and geography courses. This alone adds to a candidate’s viability in a difficult job market, but also students are allowed different specialties within the program. My program centered on history, political science, and sociology. The offerings for classes are diverse and then add in the fact that social science students are allowed to cross-list into Criminal Justice and Legal Study courses to meet sociology and political science requirements. This provides a cross-curricular perspective that was extremely valuable in my education. The options for social science majors are really limitless and all individuals can personalize their education within the program.

When I tell people that I would undoubtedly attend Chadron State College again, if given the opportunity, these are not empty words; instead, they are an honest and absolute affirmation of my belief in the direction of the social science program. Any student who believes they have a serious interest and desire needs to consider Chadron State as a legitimate option. I am living proof of these words, not merely as a successful graduate and job seeker, but as someone who is attending Chadron State again. When the decision came for me to attain my Masters degree, I looked around at several options, but few places in the upper Great Plains offer such a combination of value and opportunity. So, when I suggest Chadron State, I am still living up to this challenge; therefore, I look forward to seeing the next generation of Chadron State College social science education students, online and in-person seeking out the best versions of themselves.

Michael Sandstrom
Social Sciences Teacher
Chadron High School Chadron, NE
U.S. History, AP U.S. History, World History, and Civics