Meet Grace: Early childhood professional education (B.S.'23)


"Whether you're feeling lost or not quite sure how to get around WMU, the TRIO Future Educator Success Program is there to get you on path."

  • What is your name and position?

    My name is Grace. I graduated with a degree in early childhood education in 2023, and I'm the day camp director at Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center.

  • What is the Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center?

    It is a summer camp here in Augusta, Michigan, that has a resident and day camp.

  • What is special about the camp?

    Sherman Lake is special because it not only helps the kids to grow and learn who they are as a person, but it helps the counselors and the staff.

  • What are your responsibilities as day camp director?

    I oversee daily activities for the campers and staff. I monitor and make sure the staff are holding up to the expectations we have here.

  • What is different about being a camp director versus a counselor?

    My role as a day camp director is different than being a camp counselor because I see the behind the scenes now. When I was a counselor, I didn't see much of what happened and how the things that were happening happened. And now I'm in charge of those decisions and what happens next.

  • What are you learning at camp to use in the classroom?

    I'm learning a lot of lessons here that are going to help me in the classroom. The biggest one I think, is flexibility. I'm learning that things don't always go the way you plan. And so you need to have a backup plan to help make sure things can run smoothly.

  • Why did you want to become a educator?

    I chose to be an early childhood student at Western because as a kid I always adored my teachers. I always liked going to school and that sense of stability. So when I got older, I started to realize that I really did love being with kids and teaching others.

  • What mark has WMU left on you?

    Western Michigan has made a positive mark on me. As an educator, I always feel like I have support and I could always ask my professor for a quick email to kind of ask them what to do next because they supported me the whole way through graduation.

  • What is TRIO FESP?

    The TRO Future Educator Success Program (FESP)is a government funded program that helps education students if they are a first generation college student, disabled or low income. They helped me pick my classes and keep track of my assignments. And a couple of years later into the program, I started to become a tutor and mentee. 

  • Why should students join TRIO FESP?

    Students should join because there's a strong mentorship in the program. There's a lot of people in that office that are ready to help you. So whether you're feeling lost or whether you're not quite sure how to get around WMU, they're there to help you and help you get to the path that you want to get to.

Early childhood unified education at WMU

WMU’s nationally accredited Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Unified Education (formerly Early Childhood Professional Education) prepares candidates for teaching and leadership positions in settings that serve children from birth through 3rd grade. Experienced faculty members mentor candidates to develop an effective balance of research, theory and practice in diverse educational settings. WMU offers multiple clinical experiences and a final internship which are spread across infancy through third grade and take place in private and public settings within diverse communities.

TRIO Future Educator Success Program

  • Overview

    The TRIO Future Educator Success Program (FESP) is designed to help eligible students excel at Western Michigan University (WMU) and in their P-12 teaching careers. Through a variety of activities, services, and opportunities on campus and in the community, our staff will provide information and resources to enhance student academic performance and cultivate financial literacy, career development, leadership development, and awareness of campus services and programming.

  • Services
    • Career exploration
    • Financial assistance
    • Graduate school exploration
    • Leadership opportunities
    • Opportunity to attend conferences
    • Speedy access to advisors
    • Tutors and mentors
    • Volunteer opportunities

Want to hear more?