“I was able to take school with me.”
Having graduated from Ashford University at the age of 27, Brittany Harris is not wasting time getting started with her professional goals.
“I want to reach out in schools and do public speaking and mentoring,” she enthused on her commencement day, “so this Communication Studies degree encompasses all of it: the material that I’ll have to come up with, the memos that I’ll have to write, the public speaking I’ll have to do. I’m already in the works of starting my own business where I’m going into local schools in my area and talking about the next steps, talking about going to college and figuring out what to do.”
Upon hearing this, one might assume this Blacklick, OH must have the luxury of time – but nothing could be further from the truth. “Being a single mom,” she shared, “I’ve had a full-time job and a lot of other extracurricular activities. It was nice to be able to answer the discussion posts from pretty much wherever I was, or to download [interactive learning platform] Constellation and be able to read my textbooks while I’m waiting on my daughter in dance class, or waiting on her swimming lessons. So I was able to take school with me.”
Brittany’s road to earning her degree was not a short one. She went to two other universities prior to Ashford, and was able to transfer in 46 of the 49 credits she submitted from those institutions. “And then that way I didn’t have to go back and start over; I was able to just keep going.”
When she finally pulled up to Ashford’s Clinton, IA campus with her daughter and mother Tanya (who is also an Ashford graduate!), she explained that her surreal feelings transformed into a more tangible experience. “It’s actually tomorrow I’ll be crossing the stage! It’s been a 7-year journey to get my Bachelor’s degree, so now that it's finally at the end, it’s just amazing.”
Tanya, who graduated in 2009 with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Education concentration*, was equally emotional, especially since she didn’t get to attend her own Ashford commencement but was now able to cheer on her daughter. She reflected on her own professional success due in part to earning her Ashford degree, after which she went on to earn a graduate degree and a teaching licensure. “I started as a teacher’s aide and was able to get a full-time teaching position, and I love it. It’s just my passion. It made a big difference having that degree.”
With this family legacy coupled with such enthusiasm and passion, it’s likely that there will be no limit to what Brittany can accomplish.
*This program was replaced with the Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies.