Recent graduate researches ways to help low-income students succeed

A passion for helping low-income students is motivating the further studies of Madeson Walgenbach ’16 of Oakfield, Wisconsin. She is pursuing her teaching certification and explored the concept of “Students from Low Socioeconomic Background: Succeeding in Spite of the Odds” for her senior research project.

Walgenbach majored in Spanish and educational studies, and earned teaching certifications in Spanish, English as a Second Language (ESL) and regular education. This summer, she is teaching third- through fifth-grade summer school at Murray Park Elementary School in Ripon. This fall, she will be teaching middle/high school Spanish at Waupun Junior/Senior High School.

“I chose the topic (for my research project) because of my interest in meeting the needs of a diverse range of students,” Walgenbach says. “My goal as an educator is to help all students to reach their maximum potential. Especially working with ELL students who often come from different cultures and backgrounds, I decided that finding out how students can succeed despite the odds against them would be a wonderful topic that could aid me and my future students.”

Walgenbach’s study examined factors that help students from low socio-economic backgrounds succeed. When designing her study, she analyzed several factors: student expectations, cultural background, and family involvement.

Her studies found that home life can pay a major role in the success of a child; however, “parents, despite being of low socioeconomic status, can also provide their students with the tools necessary for success, especially if they are intentional about it and understand the importance of education for their student,” Walgenbach says.

Lauren Hince ’18
Blaine, Minnesota


Related Posts

Ripon College President Zach Messitte to leave in 2022

Ripon College President Zach Messitte announced today that he will leave his position at the end of the fall 2021 semester and return to his […]

Chemical reaction

Undergraduate research leads to new discoveries in chemistry for students, professors

Seventeen students collaborated with Professor of Chemistry Joe Scanlon and Associate Professor of Chemistry Patrick Willoughby on ground-breaking research that resulted in a published article […]

Class of 20225 coin

The face of the Class of 2025: Our new first-year students

The Ripon College community is growing. As of Aug. 27, we welcome a class of 250 first-year students and nine transfer students. This compares to […]

Chase Polyak '25 and her quilt

First-year brings family connections, quilt to her Ripon experience

When Chase Polyak ’25 of Lombard, Illinois, starts at Ripon College as a freshman this fall, she brings with her some touching family connections. She […]

Photo of Madeson Walgenbach