|Major: Elementary Education|
|Hometown: Escanaba, MI|
Thanks to a partnership between Bay College and Lake Superior State University, Bay freshman Erika Silverstone has been able to pursue a four-year elementary education degree while staying on the college’s Escanaba campus. During this process, she has received a great deal of support from Bay’s faculty and staff.
Erika graduated from Escanaba Senior High School in 2022 and started at Bay College early in the fall 2022 semester. She said she was interested in the college due to its location and affordability, as well as the elementary education program it offers through a partnership with LSSU.
“I’ve always worked with kids — I worked as a gymnastics coach and babysat when I was young. Everyone’s always told me I was good with kids, so when I found out Bay had a program through LSSU where I could stay here all four years, I knew that was the best option for me,” Erika said.
So far, Erika said she has had positive experiences as a Bay College student.
“There’s been lots of help when I needed it – staff members respond to emails very fast, and they have very flexible hours,” she said.
Along with this support, Erika has recently started taking advantage of Bay’s TRIO Student Support Services Program for math tutoring. While she is comfortable with this subject, she decided to seek tutoring to ensure she has a good grasp on the material presented in her classes.
“I just started last week — I knew that even if I understood the topic, working with someone else would be more beneficial than struggling alone,” she said.
TRIO offers tutoring and other services related to career development and academics to first-generation and low-income college students, as well as college students with disabilities.
In the future, Erika plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Bay. The program is part of LSSU’s regional center on Bay’s Escanaba campus, allowing students to earn four-year degrees without having to leave the Upper Peninsula.
“I’ve been working with the LSSU coordinator here, and she’s been super helpful. She set me up with a four-year plan with all the classes I’ll need, which was really nice,” she said.
Once she completes her studies, Erika hopes to find a job in her field locally.
“I would like to work in the area. I’ve always lived here – I like exploring other areas, but only temporarily,” she said.