When that missing college degree begins to haunt your life.
. I am a former model and singer who decided one day, (not to long ago), that life is way too short and being short on funds means that you always have more time to “sweat the small stuff.: and less time to laze about and enjoy the sweet stuff in life that one feels that one deserves. I have worked online as a website designer and advertising consultant for very small businesses and friends of friends. When I say that I run a small business from my home I am not exaggerating! So when things went from bad to worse with my business I took a job out side my home again and thus for the “um-teenth” time since I quit college in 1993 I saw myself having to scrap my plans of taking a few classes at the local community college. My 17 year old daughter and I have plans to move her from her Grandmother’s home is Las Vegas and into my Home, just 9 miles north of Palm Springs, In a pocket town called Desert Hot Springs, CA. Our intention is to enroll her in the community college out here while she lives with me. Finally after having to take a “good job” for $11.10 an hour, when I have the computer skills to make sooooooooo much more. It’s the difference between having the degree and having some of the skills through learning HTML, Javascrip, and Frontpage from trial and error learning as I used them building professional looking websites. Most of the HTML I actually picked up free on the web from several tutorials and web- books, and doing search engine optimizations programs for clients, and friends, as well as a couple of my own sites. So after I picked up the Microsoft Office 2003 Professional programs I went to the Windows website and learned those programs backward and forward and gained my certificate (free again) so that I could aim my sites at landing a job for better than minimum wage. My fiance completed his Masters Degree program, in ironically “Career and Educational Counseling”, while working as a senior financial aid specialist at the local community college. Though he does make a decent wage he really has to struggle to make our money last so that we don’t end up with “more month than money”, as is often the case, with people these days.
Anyway I had “college principles of academic blah blah blah” All around me, from the fiance, from his classmates, his friends, and former students, or current educators from the High School where he taught locally for 15 years. People who who are now in college or have graduated and are starting their careers. I was getting a whiff of the college, and the educational environs that I longed for. However things twist and turn and just when I am ready to keel over in despair every time I open the classifieds looking for a job. I mean open today’s copy of your newspaper, look at all the high-paying jobs in the technical, administration, and data entry and processing fields, etcetera, etcetera, and .. (ad nauseum). Screaming inside my head, ” I can do that job as well as any other fresh faced kid from college !” However without an education and a degree of my own, that fresh faced kid will beat me out every time with his piece of vellum certifying that he certainly should know’ how to do something!
I gave some thought to the reality that without continuing my education, that I would be taking hourly, wage earning sales jobs, and customer service, or even minimum wage jobs just to keep surviving paycheck to paycheck, barely ahead of my bills (if I am lucky!), while people with degrees are getting, “started or accelerating in their careers, after earning their degree online or at a technical school.”
Well with my daughter coming in a year to live with me and go to college I finally decided to go for it, now, stop waiting and do it! Mind you my nightmare when I was 18 would have been to have my mother going to the same college with me!
Then one day in August I got an email advertisement for a College in my e-mail box. One of those schools that abound all over the internet these days. I was one of the schools that had been affiliated with of the University of Phoenix online under their banner recently. Now I am usually the first person to throw these types of emails out and I have an email filter set to weed these types of things out. I filter them so that they never even make it to my inbox before they are HISTORY!
Something told me to request more information after I read the e-mail. So I submitted my web form, and received a response from my Enrollment Counselor Lesley Stevenson who was in a word, FANTASTIC. She knew her stuff, and she also really knows people. She seemed almost to address most of my issues before I had actually managed to develop the ideas for issues so that I could tactfully decline and go on with my miserable life. I had liked what I had read both in the e-mail and on the website. I also liked what Lesley had to say, and the things that she wanted to show me online even more. Before I knew it we were walking through the enrollment process and getting me registered for student financial aid. University of Phoenix is a completely accredited University in which you can qualify for grants and federal financial aid.
Lesley managed to get me enrolled and “completely up to speed” for my classes in 8 days total before my first class was set to begin. I must admit that I was a little trepidatous about the fact that it had been over 13 years since I had picked up a text-book, or any book other than a good novel to be honest. The graduation team than they have assembled, for help and answers from real people, is impressive. The asynchronous forums, tools, and initial reading and exercises for my classes, to kind of brush up on the skills that you shed when you shed your last school, are simple to understand and informative. The resources and the attention to the details that goes in to every single thing that they do at the University of Phoenix, are likewise impressive, as are the staff, and the instructors. The teachers are professional and their credentials I must say, are likewise impressive, and give you confidence in studying under these people. In addition to my teachers, and Lesley I have been given the name of my academic councelor, financial aid counselor, my other councelors and administrative liesons for the duration of my course of study with the University. Believe me when I say that nothing, and no one that you may find that you need to succeed in a distance learning enviroment has been left out.
The convenience of going to classes when I want to, and the accellerated pace at which I will be able to get my Associates Degree in Information Technology is amazing and I just cannot say enough to enough people about the college and the classes and about all of the new stuff that I am learning so quickly! I have now been enrolled at College for 9 weeks and one day and today is the first day of my second two classes in my course of study. Whether the folks out in Phoenix put me in their commercial or not, I am still a walking advertisement and testimonial to everyone I know, and even some people that I don’t know. The classes are great, interesting, fast paced, and professionally managed by the instructors. Even my fiance, who works at a college and has worked in education for 22 years is supportive and impressed with my College online. I have even heard him referring some people to take a look at their degree programs if their schedules were not going to work a brick and mortar education in.
That sealed the deal for me. Thanks to them I will have my degree in less than 6 months after my daughter moves out here for school. She won’t be going to school with her Mom, and I am on my way to having a good job and an exiting career in the technical field of Information technology. And what better place to get such a degree but online?!