Student Stories: Kenji Balderas-Sato

Kenji Balderas-Sato

Major: Teacher Preparation

College of DuPage helped Kenji Balderas-Sato determine his career.

“Getting to know my teachers was really the first step into my wanting to become a teacher,” he said. “I saw and realized that they not only did the teaching but also a lot of learning as well. There was always something new in the world to learn about that they then would pass along to their students, especially the engineering teachers. They had to always keep up to date with all the new technologies that have been coming out in the past decade.” 

Before coming to COD, Balderas-Sato got a head start on college by taking dual credit classes in anatomy, electronics and manufacturing. These classes allowed him to earn both high school and college credit.

Dual Credit Program

“I think most high schools in this day and age rally for their students to go to college after they graduate from high school,” he said. “Because of this, the high schools like to promote classes like dual credit or AP. It way my engineering teacher who taught me that the dual credit classes transferred over to COD.

“For anyone still in high school, I highly suggest taking as much dual credit as possible. I completely understand that dual credit may be hard and rigorous, but there is a first for everything and taking a year of a dual credit course is much easier than a semester of a college course. Take it from me: I definitely regret not taking as many dual credit courses as I could have while I had the chance.”

Balderas-Sato plans to earn an Associate in Arts degree and then transfer. However, he is considering an additional year at COD to take more courses, such as manufacturing and education, that are relevant to his career path.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, he is considering several options.

“I want to work at a public school as a tech teacher for high school students,” he said. “However, before doing this, I think after my graduation I want to get some firsthand experience in a trade so that I can have a better understanding of the work involved in what I will be teaching.”

Balderas-Sato is glad he came to COD. Even though he enrolled during the pandemic, he found faculty members willing to help him meet his goals.

“I’m sure that if COVID wasn’t around, I would have received much more personal attention. But even so, the help from everyone at COD has been amazing. I’ve had all my emails responded to very quickly, and personally I’ve met educators who I asked for help or opinions on how to further my education. 

“I am truly excited to become teacher. Learning new tech and teaching students how to use it is becoming increasingly complex and I am looking forward to it.”  

Learn more about the Teacher Preparation program at College of DuPage