Though he has officially been a Bay College student for about two years, Bay sophomore and Psychology major Zechariah LaPalm’s history with the college started well before he graduated from high school.
“I started taking Bay classes in high school at Bark River-Harris,” he said.
At that time, Zechariah was a participant in Bay’s dual enrollment program, which allows students at many high schools in the local area to earn credits at Bay College before they graduate from high school. More than 400 students participate in the dual enrollment program each year.
For Zechariah, the experience of being a dual enrolled student was a positive one. It also taught him a great deal about what to expect in college.
“I enjoyed being able to take college classes while in high school. I was able to keep up with the work really well and also do my high school classes,” he said.
Zechariah graduated from high school in 2019. He started taking classes at Bay as a full college student during the fall 2019 semester.
As of early 2021, Zechariah has continued to appreciate his time at Bay College. He has been working hard in his classes, and his efforts have already paid off.
“I’ve been doing really well – getting all A’s for my classes so far,” he said.
While Zechariah is currently majoring in psychology, this will not be the case for much longer – he plans to switch his major to Biology at the end of the winter 2021 semester. Zechariah decided to focus on both of these fields in order to pursue his goal of becoming a psychiatrist.
According to Zechariah, he has been interested in understanding the human mind for much of his life.
“I like psychology and stuff that has to do with the mind and how people think,” he said.
He was further inspired to choose this career path while taking college classes at Bay College and high school classes at Bark River-Harris Senior High School.
“I ended up taking a psychology class while I was dual enrolled,” Zechariah said.
Currently, Zechariah is aiming to graduate from Bay at the end of the fall 2021 semester.
“I collected enough credits that I should be able to graduate by my next semester,” he said.
When he is ready to graduate, he will be earning an associate degree in biology.
Like other programs at Bay, the college’s psychology and biology programs are meant to allow students to easily transfer to other institutions to continue their education. Zechariah will be taking advantage of this once he has earned his associate degree from Bay.
“I plan on going to Northern Michigan University and enrolling in their medical program,” he said.
After he is done with that program, Zechariah said he will continue to work towards becoming a psychiatrist.
So far, Zechariah has not decided where he would like to work once he has the qualifications he needs. Fortunately, he said he will have no shortage of options.
“I know that psychiatrists are in high demand, and they can really work in a lot of different areas,” he said.