on faculty since 1998
Developmental Education Specialist Certification, Appalachian State University, 2008
M.A., Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois, 1993
B.A., Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1972
As the Director of Academic Support & Services at Trinity Christian College, Nancy Kwasteniet finds herself in a unique position. For five years she was a member of the education department, teaching future special education teachers how to accommodate students with learning challenges. It seemed a logical step to move from this full-time faculty position into directing the College’s efforts to ensure that students with physical, emotional, attentional and learning disabilities receive the accommodations to which they are legally entitled and to enable all of its students to access needed academic support services. The position requires close collaboration with the College’s teaching staff and an understanding of the pressures they face.
Initially she was concerned about leaving full-time classroom teaching to work individually with students. “A college classroom is an invigorating environment. It was a privilege to work with students dedicated to a career in special education.” Kwasteniet has found that interacting closely with a more limited number of students throughout their college years as well as assisting professors in making course accommodations has proven equally rewarding.
The Detroit native attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she completed her degree in elementary education. She came to the Chicago area in the late 1970’s and later finished her master’s degree in learning disabilities at Saint Xavier University in Chicago.
Kwasteniet considers the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures with and through the eyes of college students a particular joy. She has led student teams to the Philippines, Belize, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Spain, and most recently, India. During many of these January Interim trips, she has conducted teacher training sessions in both small and large Christian schools while Trinity students have taken over classroom instruction. “It’s exciting to see students grapple with issues of world hunger and distribution of wealth and to see some begin their careers in developing countries after graduation.”
In her spare time, Kwasteniet likes to cook, travel, read, and listen to music, particularly choral music and jazz. She and her husband Jim, live in Palos Heights, Illinois. They have three children and attend Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Illinois.
“The #1 Essential Component in College Survival Skills Training: Building Community.” Abstract accepted to present at the 16th Annual Teaching Academic Survival Skills Conference. West Palm Beach, Florida. 2005.
“Professional Partnerships: The Rewards and the Rubs in Rubbing Shoulders.” The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities. Prato, Italy. 2004.
“Cyber Chat: Connecting General Educators, Special Educators, and Teacher Candidates.” 2004 National Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children. New Orleans. With Meyer, J. April 2004.