Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
"Ashford has given me a better outlook on life, and a new confidence."
If you had told Rebecca Falzarano as a child that she would someday grow up to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree, plus a place on the Dean's List, she might not have believed you. "I never did very well in school growing up," Falzarano says, "mostly because I got bored very easily. The last grade I completed was the 8th grade, and then I obtained my GED." But today, Flazarano is an online student with Ashford University, on her way to graduating with a degree.
Now 38 years old and living in North Platte, NE, Falzarano takes online courses with Ashford, while working full-time running her family's home-based business, as well as looking after four children and her elderly mother. "I never thought I would enjoy being a student!" says Falzarano. "I love being able to do my homework and participate in classes whenever I want. I can study around my schedule, and with my busy life, that's extremely helpful."
Starting out, life was not easy for Falzarano. "My first marriage was an abusive one, and I had four children who were all removed by the state because of my ex-husband's abusive nature," she says. "I went into a deep depression. But eventually, after 12 years, I was finally able to get out of that relationship." She found a job on her own and worked hard for several years. At last, things started to turn around. "I met my second husband, John, in 2000, and soon thereafter my kids returned to me.
My husband is my biggest influence and supporter. He inspired me to pursue a degree." When her husband suggested Ashford University's online degree programs, she started looking up information on the internet. She was surprised to find that Ashford offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. "That stuck out to me," she says. "I am hoping to counsel and work with abused women and children, because I have been through it myself, and I know I can help them." It was not long before she was speaking with Brandon Bridgman, her Ashford Enrollment Advisor, and within days she was enrolled. "Ashford has incredible people who are very helpful and understanding. No matter what questions I ask, someone knows the answer." Now Falzarano is in her seventh online course with Ashford, and expects to graduate in the fall of 2012. "I have really surprised myself with the progress I have made, and how well I've been doing in my classes," she says. "Especially with making Dean's List last fall, since I was not such a good student in primary school." In more ways than one, Falzarano feels that being an Ashford student has changed her life. "Ashford has given me a better outlook on life, and a new confidence. It has given me an enormous sense of direction and fulfillment."
Rebecca is in her third year at Ashford and she is set to graduate just a few weeks after her 42nd birthday in November 2012. To no one's surprise, she has continued to excel academically – she's made the Dean's list every semester, and she was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society. She is also pleased to report that her oldest son is attending Ashford, and has recently moved back home, as has her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. Rebecca is also expecting her second grandchild in July 2011. When she graduates, she plans to continue her education and pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology at Ashford's sister school, University of the Rockies. "I want to add a concentration in criminology, so that I can counsel victims of domestic abuse situations, and perhaps help with profiling offenders."
In closing, Rebecca repeats how much she has enjoyed her time at Ashford. "Ashford has helped give me my life back, and has encouraged and strengthened me to become more empowered. My academic advisor, Jessica Luongo, has been a big help and has been there for me every step of the way. It is people like her who help make a difference."