Before starting the BA Completion Program at CIIS, Anthony Suarez (BA ’12) worked in retail and volunteered as an HIV test counselor. Once in the program, Anthony encountered a learning environment that was different from his previous experiences in education:
“I was so used to believing in the teacher as the center of all knowledge in the classroom, along with a select few students who were more vocal and articulate. From the beginning, I was challenged by this program to break that idea and find my own voice. Week after week in the BAC, I found myself becoming so engaged and involved in the subject matter in our texts and online discussions that I couldn't wait for class to share all the insights and revelations and healing I had experienced. For once, I was not afraid of the sound of my own voice and how people would perceive me after hearing me speak.”
Anthony also appreciated the cohort learning model; through working intensively with a consistent group of peers, he learned the value of respecting and listening deeply to multiple perspectives.
He is currently planning his next steps for graduate school and is also working on a performance piece on gender perfomativity, which he developed as part of his Senior Project. Anthony reflects,
“This program is challenging on an educational, professional, and personal level, and it is rewarding on all of those levels.”