Bay College freshman Spencer Robinson is majoring in social work. They came to the Escanaba area from Ironwood, MI, a city in Gogebic County.
“I live actually three hours northwest of here,” they said.
To start their college education, Spencer was looking for a community college in a slightly larger town that wasn’t too far from Ironwood. They said Bay College fit the bill perfectly.
Before they decided to attend Bay, Spencer spoke with Director of Student Life Dave Laur and Dean of Arts and Sciences Amy Reddinger via email. These conversations boosted their confidence in the idea of taking classes at the college.
“The community here seemed really welcoming,” Spencer said.
Spencer began studying at Bay during the fall 2019 semester. While they failed some classes early on, they received a great deal of support from members of Bay’s staff and faculty.
“(They) were really helpful in helping me figure out my next steps,” Spencer said.
Since then, Spencer has increased their grade point average, passed both of their summer classes, and been on track to pass the classes they are currently enrolled in.
Spencer also got in touch with Bay’s Office of Accessibility early on – they said they have struggled with dyslexia and a fainting disorder. The office was able to make several accommodations to help support Spencer.
“They’ve helped me get slightly longer test times,” Spencer said.
Other accommodations the office has made for Spencer include allowing them to use computers in classes and tests and letting them take “mask breaks” throughout the day.
Bay employees have assisted Spencer with the financial aspects of attending college, as well.
“They’ve helped me figure out how to pay for college,” they said.
While they did not have a career plan set in stone before attending Bay, Spencer said they have always been interested in working with children in some capacity.
“I want to be a youth counselor, and social work is the best path,” they said.
Spencer’s experiences at Bay have helped them prepare for this career path. One example has been a project they did for their Intro to Social Work class.
“We had to go and do volunteer work in social work fields,” Spencer said.
After getting an associate degree at Bay, Spencer plans to transfer to a four-year college in the Upper Midwest. Schools they are considering include University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.