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First-Year Greyhound Cam Koch Discovers Calling, Community in Elementary Education Program

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When she pictured her life as a college student at the University of Indianapolis, Cam Koch ‘27 envisioned days filled with studying, scrubs, and very little time for anything outside of class. But six months later, things look a little different – she’s exchanged the idea of blood work for the occasional bloody nose, and traded stethoscopes and sirens for safety scissors and school bells.

After graduating from high school with a class of less than 100 students, Cam knew she would feel most at home at a university with a tight-knit community and small class sizes. Pair that with its nationally-ranked nursing program and the University of Indianapolis was the perfect place for Cam to call home. 

“So I went to a very small school, and there’s just such a good community there,” said Cam. “It feels like home and family, and I get that same feeling here at UIndy. We’re in the city, but it’s still a very small, homey feeling here.”

After a successful semester in the School of Nursing, Cam had the opportunity to work at a local hospital and get a glimpse of her future career. It was then that she realized that nursing was not the right fit for her.

“There was nothing wrong with the hospital,” explained Cam. “The staff were all great. I just realized that nursing wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore.”

This realization was the first step to finding her true calling – one still rooted in serving others.

“I realized that everything I’ve ever thought about doing for a career has involved helping people,” said Cam. “I also love spending time with kids and would love to make a positive impact on kids. That’s when I discovered the elementary education program.”

Two weeks into her journey as an elementary education student, Cam was in a classroom at South Grove Intermediate School, leading a STEM lesson with her group of fifth graders. 

“I was actually really surprised,” said Cam. “In the nursing program, you don’t start doing clinicals or fieldwork until your sophomore or junior year at the earliest. But the first week in elementary education, my professor said, ‘Alright, we’re going to plan on going in next week and teaching our first lesson.’”

Six weeks later, Cam and her fifth grades are exploring all things STEM, including engineering design, problem-solving and teamwork. The real-world experience has assured Cam that she is on the right path.

“My goal after college is to go back and teach at the elementary school that I went to,” said Cam. “And to also coach high school cheer and track for that school district.”

Outside of class, Cam can be found spending time with her friends, studying in an egg chair in Krannert Memorial Library, and practicing her cheerleading skills in the hopes of joining the UIndy squad.

“I just submitted my tryout videos for cheerleading this week,” said Cam. “I did cheer all through high school but when I started out the nursing program, I wanted to focus on school and didn’t think I would have time for sports. Now that I’m in elementary education, I definitely have a lot more free time to pursue cheerleading.”

Over the next three years, Cam is looking forward to growing her friendships and building more connections with her faculty, classmates, and students. She’s also excited to continue developing the skills and confidence to be a successful elementary educator.

“I’m really looking forward to making connections with more students and getting more experience in the field because I’ve only been doing this for a couple of weeks,” said Cam. “I am still very new to this and I’m excited to start getting real-world experience to base my future strategies off of.”

As Cam takes the next step in her journey at UIndy, she reflects back on her transition to college and offers the following advice to future Greyhounds:

“Don’t take things so seriously. Obviously you’re here to get an education and you should take it seriously to the extent that you pass your classes and do well, but if you don’t get the grades you want on one test, or if you miss one assignment, it is not the end of the world – as long as you’re putting in the effort that you know you can put in. That’s all that really can be asked of you.”