Russel H. Kirkhof Center Terrace
Students enjoy studying and socializing outside on the terrace at Grand Valley's main campus in Allendale.
B.S. in Early Childhood Education
Traverse City, Michigan, United States
Current Position and Employer:
Preschool teacher at Kalkaska Public Schools
Why did you choose to attend Grand Valley?
Looking around, I found that Grand Valley had the best option for early childhood and special education programs, and I like that most of the classes are a combination of being on campus here in Traverse City and being online. I appreciate that the classes, for the most part, are not just all online.
What do you like best about Grand Valley?
First, my advisor; she helped me get my current job and she is always available. Second, my fellow students; everybody is really friendly and always willing to help everybody out. And third, the staff; there are some really amazing and understanding professors here. Also, I really appreciate that I feel very connected to the main campus even though I'm two hours away in Traverse City. I get emails from the president and things like that, so I still feel connected to the Allendale campus.
Have you been able to incorporate your graduate studies into your job? How?
Yes, everyday. What I learn in early childhood is applicable everyday. What I learn in special ed is applicable when I have children with IEPs (individualized education plans) in the classroom.
How will Grand Valley help you meet your future goals?
Not only does this degree make me available within my district to fill any special education needs they may have, but I will also be marketable in early childhood education. I can be a teacher, an early childhood specialist, and a director in the future.
How has Grand Valley's faculty made a difference in your graduate experience?
Victoria Kamps, my advisor, is wonderful. She keeps me on track and helps me the minute I need help. I cannot emphasize this enough. Again, she was the connection that got me my job up north in Kalkaska. She helped me make the connections that I needed in northern Michigan.
What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
Being organized and planning out your program is critical. Plan out your program and stay organized as you take classes and work at the same time. It can be challenging, but staying organized makes it better.
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