29 January 2019
With a perfect rating on ratemyprofessor.com, Dr. Katy Cathcart is rated the number one professor at UCCS by students who use this website. Dr. Cathcart has been teaching at UCCS for over six years in the field of criminal justice and has since acquired a 5 out of 5 overall quality rating and a 100 percent rating for reviewers that would take her class again.
One of the 15 total reviews on Cathcart explained that “Katy is hands down one of my favorite professors. So far I have taken three of her classes and soon to be four. She makes the material fun and easy to understand. She genuinely wants you to succeed.”
Ratemyprofessor.com is a popular website where millions of college students can go not only to rate their past teachers, but to read peer reviews of other professors as well.
Ever since she was a kid, Cathcart has had her mind set on this field, stating, “My mother worked for the Colorado Department of Corrections when I was a kid. She used to tell me the most interesting, exciting stories about her work. I couldn’t wait to start working in the field, and sought out opportunity as soon as I was qualified.”
She started her career at the Colorado Department of Corrections in 1997 and worked there for 15 years before transitioning into teaching criminal justice. When asked why she decided on this transition Cathcart replied, “I know firsthand what it is like to be a criminal justice student working towards a goal of joining the field.”
In further details, she stated that she knows the challenges students will face, what it takes to be successful: “I am here because I am living proof that you can actually do this,” expanding further she shared “I am trying to serve the field that has served me so well.”
While she loves teaching and is happy to come to campus everyday, there are some aspects of directly working in the field she misses, like her colleagues. She now tries to see them through her students, explaining, “My classrooms are full of people that are going to join my old friends in the field. It motivates me to do a great job here.”
Cathcart’s method of teaching is what really inspires students to join this field and be successful at it. She has a strict yet simple teaching philosophy to work as if she is still wearing her badge. “I am here to help a person get prepared for a challenging field. I want them to win, and am focused on giving them the tools to do so.”
Cathcart often gives essay-based exams to challenge students to provide informed, accurate and original answers. She asks her students to come to exams ready to communicate the information they have learned in their own words and according to their individual understanding. “That is what I really want to measure: what they heard, what really sank in.”
As she noted, she intentional incorporates this style of learning to reflect the challenges students will face in the field beyond their studies. “I am not here to just present information and test student memory. Rather, I am here to advance their ability to apply these critical lessons.”
Whether you are in the criminal justice field or are looking to try a class outside of your major, feedback from students show the facts on Dr. Cathcart.
Upon hearing about being rated the top UCCS professor on ratemyprofessor.com, Cathcart was surprised and commented, “to know that I am getting through to students, that they feel good about their learning here, is the best compliment that I could get.”