Janis Umberger '13
"I feel like everything I am learning has been applicable [to my field of study]. The field placements really help solidify that—you can apply those skills right away."
As a senior in high school, Janis Umberger of Hamburg, Pa., was considering one of two state universities for education when a few friends from high school--a few years her senior--invited her to look at their college: Elizabethtown College.
"It just clicked. When I got here, I said 'this is the school for me, I just know it,' " she said.
Janis, who is majoring in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education, was impressed that Elizabethtown College's Education Department provides field experience from the very first semester. This was, in fact, one of the deciding factors for Janis—she wanted to start building her resume early.
"I feel as though everything I am learning has been applicable [to my field of study]. The field placements really help solidify that—you can apply those skills right away," she said, adding that so far she has observed a preschool at the Church of the Brethren in Elizabethtown, kindergarten in Harrisburg, first grade in Lancaster and a seventh- and eighth-grade emotional support classroom in Ephrata.
Janis is a Peer Mentor, involved in EdOrg and is a dancer and choreographer with Emotion, a dance club, she's been dancing since she was four years old and knew she wanted to get involved with dance in college.
Janis says her self-confidence and independence has grown since she started college, from the stage to the classroom—and, soon, to the front of the classroom. She feels at home and welcome at Elizabethtown College.
"The smell of chocolate [from the nearby Mars factory] helps," she said, smiling.