As a mother, Kelle Hostetter '13 of Pittsfield, Mass., frequently took part in her children's elementary school activities. Now a grandmother, she's pursuing a degree at MCLA so she might make a difference in other children's lives.
Children, she said, need a great education to succeed.
"They are our future," she said. "I believe all children have the potential to be whatever they want to be. They deserve the best education possible to make that happen."
Before enrolling at MCLA, Hostetter worked at KB Toy Works for more than 15 years. But when the company closed its doors, she found herself without a job and wondering what she should do next.
"I really didn't want to stay in the retail business, and I decided that since my children were grown and out of the house, it was finally time to do something for myself."
After earning an associate's degree from Berkshire Community College, Hostetter headed to MCLA for her bachelor's degree.
"The Berkshire Compact made it easy for my credits to transfer. I also own my own home and only work part-time, so the funds were not there to commute too far, or to even live on campus. I also heard that MCLA was a reputable "Teachers College," and I figured, 'Why travel far when I have what I need closer?'"
As a student, Hostetter strives for perfection.
"I am a very good student. ...I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I am able to finish my work or get a good grade," she said. "I also feel that my grades show how dedicated I am. I work very hard at my classes in order to achieve the highest grade possible. It takes motivation, organization and dedication to succeed at MCLA."
As a "non-traditional" student who commutes to campus, Hostetter finds it easy to make friends and get along with fellow classmates. "The best part of being an MCLA student is that I am learning, forming new friendships, and moving closer to my goal of being a teacher each semester I am here."
In-between classes, she spends a good deal of time at Bowman Hall, in a "Commuter's Lounge" created for those who do not live on campus.
"It's a nice, cozy place with couches, study tables, a TV, mini refrigerator, two computers and a printer," Hostetter explained. "It is also nice to have the café downstairs in Bowman, because I normally don't have enough time - or the funds -to go to the cafeteria. It's a nice, quick stop for a cup of coffee or a bagel!"
Hostetter finds her education class discussions "very interesting" because of how they apply to each lesson. They also allow her to hear from other students as they share their ideas and experiences.
"I enjoy all of the professors," she continued. "They all know the material and have been teaching it for quite some time. I believe all of them have been teachers at one time or another, which makes it nice because they also know the system and are able to give me insight on what to expect in the teaching world."
Outside of the classroom, her favorite activities are the teaching practicums because of the hands-on learning they provide as she sees firsthand how different classrooms work.
"I also volunteer in a Kindergarten classroom in a Pittsfield school, which I absolutely love. Both of these remind me and only confirm that I am heading in the right direction with my life and career choice."