A passion for teaching.

For senior Grace Burns, the desire to be a preschool teacher started at home and has carried through to her years at Mitchell College.

“My family has fostered a lot of younger children over the years, which is what gave me the passion for working with young children.”

On campus, she participated in a practicum at the Children’s Learning Center, one of Mitchell’s on-campus career labs. There, her coursework in Early Childhood Studies was brought to life. Although cut short by the pandemic, the time spent in her practicum made an impression.

“At the Children’s Learning Center, I helped with the routine throughout the day and developed lesson plans to implement in the classroom. I enjoyed every second of it until the pandemic hit. It made me sad to leave campus and not see the children anymore.” 

Happily, Grace looks forward to another opportunity to work in the classroom this fall when she completes her senior practicum at the Friendship School in Waterford.

A Dean’s List student who earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education at Mitchell in 2020, Grace credits her time at Thames at Mitchell for her success as a Mitchell College student. Thames at Mitchell is the only college transition program in the nation fully integrated on a college campus.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for my experience at Thames at Mitchell. My challenge was finding the right support to overcome my learning difference and transition to Mitchell College for my freshman year. My advisors Karen Sweeney and Natalie Sabino, tutor Gill Castangna and Bentsen Learning Center specialist Laura Beplat also helped me do that.”

In addition, she counts among her successes her participation on the Women’s Cross Country team, including making second team all-conference, her induction into the Chi Alpha Sigma honor society for student-athletes who maintain a minimum 3.4 GPA during their junior and senior years, and serving as a student ambassador.

Grace has already secured a position at a childcare facility for when she wraps up her requirements for her bachelor’s degree in December.

“Mitchell’s small-knit community, individualized learning and support and unique learning experience are all standouts to me that have helped me be successful in working toward my goals. I am excited for the future!”