BRIDGEPORT, Conn -- This fall, Housatonic Community College professor John Sopchak is heading back to school -- high school that is. A former police officer, turned-college-professor, the psychology teacher will be retuning to the halls he once called home.
A member of Jonathan Law High School's Class of 1969, Sopchak will teach general psychology on Monday evenings at the college's new satellite campus located at his alma mater. “I’m returning to the place that launched my educational quest, though I didn’t know it then,” said Sopchak.
Based on his own educational journey, Sopchak knows some students need a little extra encouragement. As a student at Jonathan Law, Sopchak often missed school to play as a drummer in local night clubs. Moving from job to job, he eventually found his way and earned an associate’s degree in 1989. He then continued on to work as a nursing assistant, graduated in the first Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class at Yale and served as a Milford police officer for 10 years.
However, a job-related accident forced Sopchak to opt for a career change, ultimately trading in his badge for a textbook. After earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, Sopchak began teaching as a psychology professor at Housatonic’s Bridgeport campus in 2004
Today, Sopchak has become one of HCC's most popular instructors, known for bringing his life experiences and animated delivery style to classroom discussions.
As he returns to the place where his education began, Sopchak looks to share the lessons he learned both in and outside of the classroom. “I’ve always been part of the Milford community, so returning to Jonathan Law to help educate students allows me to come and give back,” he said. “Making a positive impact on others is what floats my boat.”
Course offerings at the Jonathan Law satellite campus range from introductory courses in business and U.S. history, to developmental classes in college writing and mathematics.
All classes at Jonathan Law will begin on Aug. 30 and will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. For additional information and to register, visit Housatonic Community College’s website.