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Alumni Spotlight:
Q&A with Abraham Antonio Ruelas

California School of Education at Alliant International University
Single Subject Credential

Professional Information:

Middle and High School Social Science Teacher at Patten Academy of Christian Education in Oakland, CA

Q: How did your Alliant experience contribute to your career growth?

A: On a career level, after having served for a few decades as a university professor and dean, my Alliant experience enabled me to transition to a full-time middle school and high school social science teacher. On a pedagogical level, my Alliant experience helped me succeed in the teaching shift from university level to K-12 education.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: I love watching “the light turn on” when a student gains an understanding of new knowledge or efficacy in an academic skill. This is equally rewarding regardless of whether a student is succeeding or struggling, is grappling with a new language, or has special needs. Those are the moments as a teacher that I live for.

Q: What inspires you to make a positive difference in the world?

A: As I am older than most Alliant students (I’m a member of the Peace Corps Generation and the Chicano movement) from a faith perspective, I just want to serve others the way that Jesus did. I was born in Oakland, I live in Oakland, and I serve Oakland.

Q: Do you have any advice for current students?

A: Most students enrolled in credential programs tend to be working professionals, so time management and prioritizing how you take on assignments is crucial. Reserve the time in your week during which you will complete your assignments. And do something that helps you release the dual stress of teaching and being a student. My version is playing basketball at five o’clock each morning, Monday through Saturday at 24 Hour Fitness.

If you would like to share your reflections in an Alliant alumni spotlight, please click here or email

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