As a college student, did you ever wonder what the “Student Fees” charges meant on your tuition bill?
I always had.
It turns out that at Western Michigan University, the Student Fees are applied by a Board comprised of students, who pitch enrichment ideas for different areas in the college that could use a boost.
The Western Michigan University Student Education Association or WSEA is one of those factions. Its president, Alex Bohr, is an active member of the education scene at WMU and in Kalamazoo. Alex is out to get the most up-to-date workshops for his fellow members who will soon strike out to be teachers.
Fortunately for Alex, he attended a Palanca Leadership workshop sponsored by Delta Kappa Gamma and held at Van Buren Youth Camp in the April of 2017.
It was such a success for him and his fellow WMU students and area early career teachers, that they asked if they could sponsor a Be That Teacher with Palanca Leadership on WMU’s campus. The workshop reached out to many education students in November of 2018 and will provide yet another workshop on March 30 with new speakers, fresh topics, and signature giveaways.
Student fees pay for the workshop. It features free lunch and informative speakers. Relevant break out tables give these early career educators information that may not be covered entirely in their classes. Mentors are available to talk to and provide answers to some of the questions many students have.
Lisa Palanca, President and Founder of Palanca Leadership, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit, is a retired teacher. After mentoring dozens of student interns over the course of her 30+ year teaching career, she saw deficits in the preparation of interns, not by colleges, by societal life skills development. She retired and spent the first 3 years researching and working with young adults in life skills such as integrity, goal setting, constructive handling of disappointments, and service.
These experiences led Lisa right back to the main behavior shapers, after parents, and that is teachers.
With teachers, paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, bus drivers leaving education in record numbers, this organization, Palanca Leadership, wants to “stop the bleeding”. Quality educators are leaving this field because they are intimidated. With support of seasoned and energetic speakers, mentors from all levels of teaching, and free books for building libraries, Palanca Leadership is hitting the wheel with purpose, like all educators do.
Working with grants, donations, and student fees does not make one a millionaire, but the benefits are beyond value, says Palanca. We are building a new generation, and it is so important that they understand not only academics, but a confident attitude to walk out into the world. This organization knows that it will take the “heart of a teacher” to put quality educators back in front of our students.