Emily Thibault


Emily Thibault smiling while wearing a personal protection equipment mask

Majoring in secondary education with a focus on mathematics, Bay College sophomore Emily Thibault said her experiences as a Bay student have helped her build a plan for her future.

When she was still a student at Rapid River Schools, Emily became dual enrolled at Bay in the fall of 2017. Bay’s dual enrollment program allows area students to take college classes while they are still in high school, which can help them save money and get a jump-start on their college education.

After graduating from high school, Emily decided to continue studying locally because she hadn’t decided what she wanted to major in yet. She started taking classes at Bay as a college student in the fall 2019 semester.

“I was like ‘there’s no way I could go to a big university and spend a bunch of money when I don’t know what I want to do,’” she said.

Her father, who started his college education at a university, also encouraged her to stay at Bay for a while.

“He said that Bay is a way better place to start, especially for math classes,” Emily said.

While she had been considering going into education since her senior year of high school, Emily said she had “waffled” between focusing on that and construction management, which her father is involved in. Her time at Bay – and, specifically, her involvement with the TRIO Student Support Services Program – helped her choose a career path to focus on.

“After working with students through tutoring, I discovered that I really like to teach people different ways to solve problems,” she said.

She began tutoring math and geography students through TRIO last winter.

Emily said she has also enjoyed the fact that studying at Bay has allowed her to see people she already knew from high school while taking higher-level classes than she could as a high school student.

“It’s like a pre-college, post-high school experience,” she said.

She has appreciated the ease of working with instructors at Bay compared to larger schools, as well.

Emily is planning to continue her education at Bay in the winter 2021 semester. Beyond that point, she has two other Upper Peninsula-based colleges in mind.

“I want to transfer either to Northern Michigan University or Lake Superior State University next fall,” she said, noting she is still looking into price differences between these schools and a variety of other factors.