Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2009
Master of Arts in Education, 2011
Mentor for Special Needs College Students
“I am just like everyone else, despite my disability. I’m not handicapped. I’m handi-capable.”
Candyce Scatchell, 57, lives in Melrose Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. For the last thirty-two years, Candyce has worked in various capacities for Morton College. “I worked 18 years as a police dispatcher, was the switchboard operator for six years, and am currently working in the Individual Learning Center.” At the center, which provides tutoring and make-up testing, Candyce serves as a mentor for special needs students. “I really enjoy that part of my job because I also have a disability. I was born with cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair as needed. The students feel comfortable around me, and I love them, so it’s a great mix.”
A few years ago, Candyce decided it was time to earn a college education, and she attended community college to earn her Associate’s degree. She then turned her attention to online education opportunities, and found Ashford University. In May 2009, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and immediately enrolled in Ashford’s Master of Arts in Education online program, which she completed in August 2011. “The main reason I decided to obtain both my undergraduate and Master’s degrees,” says Candyce, “was to prove to myself that I could do it. I am just like everyone else, despite my disability. I’m not handicapped. I’m handi-capable.”
Reflecting on her experience with Ashford, Candyce says the greatest challenge with online education is staying focused. “It is easy to become distracted or to slack off because the entire program is online. The trick is to keep motivated and to not give up.” Candyce says her determination was met with support on all sides. “Ashford University cares about student success. In addition to academics, they encouraged me with faith, compassion, and love. It was an honor to don the cap and gown.”
Candyce plans to continue working with the special needs population at her job, and she hopes to teach online in the future.