Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration, 2009
Mental Health Manager
Mental Health Manager
"I’m 48 years old and can proudly say I’m glad to be an Ashford University graduate!”
“My advice to people who are looking for a school that will encourage, support, and push them to reach their goals - check out what Ashford University has to offer. No matter if you struggle like I have, it will all be worth it. So take that chance, go back to school. I’m 48 years old and can proudly say I’m glad to be an Ashford University graduate!”
That’s how Rose Reason of Williamston, NC, describes her Ashford University experience.
“I’ve been in the health care field for over 30 years now in multiple capacities,” Reason says. “I have been a respiratory-therapy biller, a business office manager for a nursing home, an administrative assistant for a shelter home, a typist for an environmental health program, and a bereavement coordinator for a hospice, and now I’m a health and mental health manager. I have learned a tremendous amount over the years, and thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing now.
“I first started at the local hospital in the medical records department during my senior year in high school,” says Reason. “They offered me a full-time job, so I chose to forego college and jump right into working. Along this same time, I got married and we immediately started our family the next year.
“I had the opportunity to go to nursing school, but because of circumstances beyond my control, I wasn’t able to finish. I was given another opportunity for nursing school and worked really hard, but somehow, it just wasn’t for me. I just figured my life was headed in another direction.”
All along her lengthy career, Reason accumulated several classes, training sessions, and certificates in the health care field, including General Occupational Technology, Medical Insurance Coding, and Train-the-Trainer courses in Emergency Preparedness. By the time she was a grandmother, she realized that she had collected so much training, she might as well transfer all those credits towards a Bachelor’s degree.
“There was just something about Ashford University that caught my eye. After much research and talking with different Enrollment Advisors, I loved the friendly staff and the ease of the application process. I decided to submit my transcripts just to see how fast I could obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration.”
Within days, Reason took the leap and began her online courses with Ashford University. Everything was going well, until she reached a part of the curriculum for which her experience had not prepared her. “I did not do well in the accounting class. This was the hardest class I had ever taken and, even with help from different individuals, I didn’t pass. You know, I could have given up, and I thought about quitting a couple of times. I did decide however to complete my degree, and to re-take accounting again later. I had a different instructor the second time around, and I passed with a good grade.”
As if that weren’t enough, just before graduation, Reason experienced a serious health scare of her own. “Along with my busy life and family, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I am so thankful and blessed that the doctors found this mass by mistake. They had to operate right away, and they removed my left kidney in February. I am cancer-free now, but have to be monitored closely over the next five years in case cancer decides to come back again. No chemo or radiation was needed, but had I not been checked when I did, things would have been different.
“So no matter what has happened to me over the years, it has given me strength and compassion beyond what I could have ever imagined. I did have many different jobs, but each one taught me something about myself. All I have had to do is embrace what I’ve learned and pass it on to someone else.”
In June of 2009, after a lot of hard work and dedication, Reason completed her Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration. “Throughout my sickness and full-time job, I never missed class and continued to work on assignments. I love my current role as a health/mental health manager for a Head Start program. I am responsible for the health needs of 547 children, ages three to five years, and 125 staff. My Bachelor’s degree from Ashford is just enhancing what I’m already doing. So whatever happens to you in life, don’t give up.”