Student Services Newsletter: Creating Opportunity, Cultivating Success at Alder GSE
Third Quarterly Release | December 2020

Dear Alder Resident,
December brings a much anticipated break with opportunities to relax, rejoice, and reflect, especially as you conclude the Fall term, your first semester of bring in the classroom (albeit virtually), and the immense sense of accomplishment that you are halfway to your dream of becoming a teacher. The Office of Student Services wants to take the time to express our sincere appreciation of being able to support you in this journey. As you prepare for the new year, we want to wish you good health and wellbeing. We know that 2021 will be a year that will carry much meaning for you, since it will be the year you graduate from Alder GSE- so much to look forward to! The third quarterly Student Services newsletter seeks to provide some key highlights regarding initiatives and supports from the team. 
Please reach out to with any questions. 
Student Services Highlights
Tess- Connect with a chatbot that provides free emotional support and check-ins to boost your wellness. This is a new offering from Claremont (Alder's benefits provider). Please see here for more details. To start using this resource, text "hi" to Tess and enter "Claremont" as your company name. To get started: 650-825-9634
Tax Information- As we approach the new year, please remember that tax season will be soon approaching. Refer to the 2020-2021 Tax Resources for Alder GSE Residents for the information you need to ensure you are aware of the tax implications for the 2020 year. If you have additional questions regarding your taxes, please reach out to
Testing Voucher- If you haven't already, please complete the voucher form to request the testing support that Alder offers to offset some costs. For more infomration, please contact Jessica Tevis to learn about accessing the voucher at
Alder GSE Store- Are you still searching for that perfect Christmas for that special family member? Feel free to visit the Alder Swag Store

"Making the Residency Work" Regional Resource Guides
The Student Services Team has developed regional Making It Work resources that are supportive, aid in financial and mental health wellbeing, are available in your local community, and focus on ensuring capacity to make the residency work. Access the resources by region below:
Friendly Reminders
Action Items
  • Residency Referral- Alder GSE needs your help identifying the next group of amazing residents (like you!) for the Alder Teacher Residency! If you know someone who wants to become a teacher or someone you want to encourage to become a teacher, we will enter you into a $250 Alder gift card raffle. Help us leverage your amazing network to bring more great teachers into the organization! Please submit an Alder GSE Teammate Referral Form by Monday, February 15th. Congratulations to Monica Gonzalez from KIPP SoCal for winning the $250 Amazon E-Gift Card for the first round raffle! 
  • Wellness Workshop Series-As we think about developing supports to help you navigate the residency, we are hoping to start workshops focused on wellness and sustainability for the Spring term. Please complete this quick 3 minute survey to help us coordinate which workshops might be helpful to you.
  • Alder Resident Financials Survey- On December 18th, you received one final email to complete the Financials Survey. We want to congratulate the three gift card winners selected from those who have completed the survey--they are: Gustavo Padilla, Madeline Kronenberg, and Ruitao Liang! 
  • Compelling Need ScholarshipsTo learn more about the Compelling Need Scholarships and how to apply, please click here. Note that this is meant to support residents who are experiencing need based or an unexpected circumstance, and the amounts, due to limited resources, will range from $250-$750. 
  • EAP Resources-We know how busy the residency year can be, so we hope you will check out the EAP resources offered to all our residents. The supports they offer include counseling services, work/life referrals, and financial/legal advice.
  • Please continue to access resources through the page on the Alder GSE website. We will continue to ensure that it’s updated with the most recent resources and supports.

                                             Friendly Reminders from Enrollment 

  • CPR and US Constitution Requirements- By the program’s completion, you'll need to fulfill the CPR and US Constitution requirements for your Preliminary Credential. You do NOT need to complete these during the winter break, but we thought we would share the info with you in case you'd like to get it out of the way! Please click this link to learn how to check  your status and next steps for the CPR certification and US Constitution requirement!

Wellness Corner: Promoting wellness through healthy lifestyles and support services.
We all deserve some happiness during this season. Here is a December 2020 calendar from the Greater Good Science Center at Cal Berkeley to help you practice generosity and connect with your loved ones.
Columnist, Emily Sohn, reports different methods and insights in seeking social support despite the distance learning. Please read the article to learn about the different practices and advice. 
If you are having difficulty locating the perfect winter break movie, then read this article about your favorite Broadway artists such as Patti LuPone and Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.’s winter performances and traditional and new age musicals and plays to stream over the holidays.  

Writing Resources

  • - Need help with writing or testing support? Alder’s is a database for all residents who would like to get feedback on their writing and citation support. It is a 24/7 service that residents can meet with a live tutor or submit their papers for feedback. You can also use this site to prepare for your CBEST or CSET! To access this database, visit the library’s page, or your course canvas page or Populi. 
  • Mometrix- Preparing for CBSET/CBEST or RICA? You can also use Mometrix Database for test prep materials and sample questions. Visit the library page to access Mometrix. 
  • Need APA Citation Check or Brush Up? Excelsior OWL provides APA in-text citation, formatting or references help!
  • During the break, visit the Library’s OverDrive for leisure reading. Select audiobooks and ebooks including How to be AntiRacist (audiobook), Sonia Sotomayor: A Biography. and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
  • Questions? Contact Librarian Ray Pun at for support in academic research, citation or writing!

Thrive and Succeed -

Words From Those that Came Before You

"Wow. During this time of year, I remember being in the midst of EdTPA, completing a research project for one of the courses, and STILL needing to pass the RICA! I was dealing with so much procrastination when it came to EdTPA and coursework. I taught A LOT in the classroom and my students always came before any coursework/studying however, I learned that if I really wanted to be their teacher I needed to prioritize the workload in front of me. This meant speaking up for what I needed. Luckily I had a very dedicated and encouraging Director that provided the warm demander I needed to get things done. By advocating for what I needed, my director was able to help me create a plan, create a space and time in which to complete the work. She regularly did check-ins about the progress of how much work I completed. My cohort was also very encouraging and checked in on me or provided resources that were helpful to them that might be helpful to me. I really leaned on them when I became overwhelmed and because we were all in the same boat we were able to understand each other and encourage one another. Like Dory says: just keep on swimming. It seems like it will never get done, but trust yourself, ask for what you need, and get it done." - Frania Ramos-Arce, Aspire Public Schools, 2018-2019 Cohort
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