Marquette High School established the Individualized Academic Center (IAC) in 1998, in order to provide an educational alternative to students who were failing or had a history of failing multiple classes. The IAC setting provides individualized instruction, a non-threatening learning environment, and a nurturing "home" for those students in need of emotional support and guidance to become successful. The Individualized Academic Center focuses on helping students to complete the coursework necessary to graduate while building self-esteem and academic skills.
The Individualized Academic Center operates as a resource area for students grades 9-12 who have been referred by a concerned teacher, counselor, or administrator. Once a student has been referred, they must complete an application. Once a student is accepted, IAC works with his or her teachers to coordinate time for the student to receive IAC services. Most students find success if they utilize IAC at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time. Content and deadline modifications may be made for students per teacher agreement.
Ideally, students are weaned out of the program and placed back into their classes full time. Generally, this may take several weeks or years depending on the needs of each individual. Progress is monitored closely to avoid a decline in grades over the remainder of their high school career. Students are encouraged to seek help, but also, to work toward independence from the program.
Currently, The Individualized Academic Center at Marquette High School is run by Mrs. Shawn McAteer who is responsible for all students enrolled and the paperwork involved for each. Parent volunteers, student cadets, and college students sometimes assist with tutoring and administrative tasks. The Individualized Academic Center is located in room 323 on the Marquette campus.
Students are referred to the Individualized Academic Center (IAC) by a concerned teacher, counselor, or administrator. A referral packet must be completed and submitted to IAC. The IAC instructor reviews the referral and collects feedback from the Marquette High School staff. If the student fits the criteria as set by the IAC instructor, the student is contacted and asked to complete an application for acceptance into the program. Once the application is complete, it is reviewed and the student is invited to learn more about the program. If the student feels that he or she would like to receive help from the IAC, then they are enrolled and information is sent to the parents and to all of the student's current teachers, administrator, and counselor. Students continue to receive help from the IAC until their grades rise and stabilize. Students are then released and monitored for a year.
Students may be asked to leave IAC if they fail to attend school, show increased apathy toward school and learning, or abuse the privilege.
The Individualized Academic Center was created, implemented, and is run by Mrs. Shawn McAteer. Mrs. McAteer earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Missouri State Teacher's Certification from Central Methodist College, and her Master's Degree (MAT) in social science from Webster University. Mrs. McAteer is in her eleventh year of teaching. The past 10 years have been at Marquette High School. Prior to the opening of The Individualized Academic Center, Mrs. McAteer taught language arts for five years.
Mrs. McAteer enjoys playing competitive soccer, lifting weights, and spending time with her family. She is an assistant soccer coach for the girls' program at Marquette.
"I created the IAC out of a desire to help students who had given up on themselves. I want every student to feel both valuable and valued."
The students of IAC each have their own story. For all, IAC meets a need that previously left them unable to succeed in school.
"IAC has helped me since my 10th grade year (I am now a senior) and has let me have the opportunity to work one on one with a teacher, without all the distractions of being in a whole class of 25-35 students. I can work at my own pace and get as much personalized attention as I need. This has both raised my GPA and my self-confidence--it has been very helpful." --Brian
"My first two years of high school were pretty rough. Lots of homework and a lot more responsibilities. In my junior year, I knew that I needed some help. I went to my counselor who suggested I try a program called IAC. Ever since then, I have raised my GPA and feel more confident about coming to school. IAC is a great place to go if you're having trouble with anything. You could not be getting along with classmates or teachers and Mrs. McAteer will allow you to vent in her classroom. It is a safe-haven that I couldn't have done without." --Tracy
"When I first started in IAC, I didn't think that it would do me any good. I thought of it as time to do nothing, but I was wrong. Mrs. McAteer has helped me bring my GPA from a 1.7 to a 2.3. If it weren't for Mrs. Mac helping me when my teachers were tending to other students, I probably would be reclassified or maybe even have dropped out by now." --anonymous
"When I first came into IAC, I had a GPA of 1.33. Now with the help of Mrs. Mac, I have a 3.0. --Kristi
"The IAC Program has helped me a great deal. Mrs. McAteer helps me with my grades and also with my problems. I don't know what I would do without her." --TaVonna