A Day In The Life Of Rach—Bethesda College Student

Rachel (Rach) Hoffman is one of seven student of the Bethesda College of Applied Learning at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

In its inaugural school year, the two-year program provides an integrated postsecondary experience for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rach has made a lot of friends and, like every college student, her days include a mix of learning, recreation, studying, eating, a little cleaning and fun.


8 a.m. Breakfast at Dining Hall


Rach and Alec, another Bethesda College student, stop by the cafeteria and enjoy breakfast, drinks and conversation to start the day.

9:30 a.m. Chapel of Christ Triumphant


Faith and spirituality is part of every Bethesda College student’s experience. Rach often attends morning service with friends at CUW’s chapel. After the service, she often pets CUW’s K-9 Comfort Dog, Zoey.

10 a.m. Class: Loeber Hall

Rach shares her portfolio about a foreign country with a student studying special education at CUW. Bethesda College courses focus on academics, career preparation, adult living skills and campus/community life.

Noon Lunch at Dining Hall


Gretchen, who works in the dining hall, enjoys interacting with Rach and the other Bethesda College students. Rach loves the pasta bar, where she enjoys picking out her toppings and sauce.

1:30 p.m. Art Class: Loeber Hall


In art class, Rach concentrates on a small watercolor painting. In addition to Bethesda College courses, students attend some courses integrated with the CUW student body. “It is an awesome environment to learn in,” Rach said.

2:45 p.m. Dining Hall


In her first semester, Rach had an internship working at the dining hall. She won Employee of the Month award, which was presented to her by dining hall staff. “They love me there,” she said. Bethesda College students learn job skills through a series of internships.

4 p.m. Chemnitz Hall


Rach cleans the mirror in the suite she shares with three suite mates and Hannah, Bethesda College resident assistant (RA). A key component of Bethesda College’s curriculum is daily living skills, preparing students for independent living.

5:30 p.m. Dinner at Dining Hall

Rach, Megan and Alec enjoy a laugh after dinner. “Meeting new friends is so awesome and amazing,” Rach said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to go.”

6:15 p.m. Chemnitz Hall


Rach studies with Matt, the male Bethesda College RA. “Matt helps me out,” Rach said. “We study together, watch hockey and he leads Bible study.”

7 p.m. R. John Buuck Field House


Rach and Alec watched the CUW Women’s Basketball Team take on Lakeland College. Their disappointment turned to cheers as the Falcons overcame an early deficient to win the game. Rach doesn’t see her college experience as being much different from her peers at CUW and she is happy about that. “This is an environment I can thrive in,” Rach said. “In high school, everyone treated me like I was different. The people here treat me the same as everyone else. I love it.”


This “Day In The Life” story was written and published as part of Bethesda’s #IamHuman campaign.


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