|Hometown: Gladstone, MI|
According to Erin Stevenson, she has been interested in becoming a teacher for quite some time. With some help from the resources and programs available to Bay students, she is working hard to turn her dream into a reality.
Erin graduated from Gladstone Area High School in 2018 and started taking classes as a Bay College student that fall. She decided to enroll at Bay because it was close to home and offered substantial scholarship opportunities.
“I would really encourage anyone who comes here to apply for scholarships,” she said.
As a Bay College student, Erin has focused on becoming an elementary educator. She chose this major due to a lifelong interest in education.
“I always loved being in school and working with kids, so I combined the two together and decided I wanted to teach. So far, it’s worked out,” she said.
During her time at Bay, Erin said she has been very pleased with her instructors.
“It’s easy to talk to the professors – they’re always there to help,” she said.
In addition to her studies, Erin said she “fell in love” with the TRIO Student Support Services Program shortly after she began studying at Bay. This program provides academic and career development resources to first-generation college students, low-income college students, and college students with disabilities.
“They were at one of the orientation events I attended, and the then-current head of TRIO asked if I wanted to work in their food pantry. I became a peer mentor after that,” Erin said.
Along with giving her a chance to support her fellow students, Erin said her involvement with TRIO allowed her to benefit from the resources included in the program.
“It’s a big reason I got through my first few years – the staff is awesome,” she said.
Between preparing for her classes and working with TRIO, Erin said she spends a good deal of time on Bay’s campus in the Hub.
“The Hub is a great area to work on homework, study, and get tutoring. It has a very ‘homey’ vibe to it,” she said.
According to Erin, she received an associate degree from Bay College in 2020. Thanks to a partnership between Bay and Lake Superior State University, she did not have to leave the college’s Escanaba campus to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
“That summer was the summer they opened the program – it gave me an opportunity to stay at home and continue with TRIO. I gave it a shot, and I’ve been here ever since,” she said.
Currently, she is working towards a four-year elementary education degree from LSSU.
“I’m supposed to student-teach in 2023, and I’ll be done right after that,” Erin said.
From there, Erin hopes to stay in the area and begin her career in education as a first-grade teacher.
“They’re learning about reading and math, but it’s all brand-new to them. To see them grow is really cool,” she said of students in this age group.As she looked toward her future in education, Erin expressed her appreciation to Bay for helping her prepare for whatever might come next.
“I definitely recommend Bay to anyone starting out. It feels like a home, and they have great programs, resources, and staff,” she said.