Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration, 2008
Health Center Outcomes Coordinator and Staff Educator
"Ashford has provided me with the ability to improve my leadership."
Pamela Schoenthaler is an experienced health care professional, a registered nurse who has worked since 2006 as a Nurse Manager for Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care at Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa, Iowa. This is a position of great responsibilities, and one of the prerequisites of her job is to finish a Bachelor's degree within 5 years.
As if her day job didn't keep her busy enough, Schoenthaler is also very active in her community. "I am passionate about providing care to the elderly, in addition to education regarding Alzheimer's disease, and have initiated support groups in the rural areas of Clinton and Jackson County." She is also an avid walker, having completed the Twin Cities Marathon. Add to that her growing family, including two "fantastic grandsons," Hunter and Beau, and her schedule is completely booked.
How could Shoenthaler possibly earn her degree while holding down a full-time job and at the same time balance the needs of her family?
Ashford University's former adult accelerated program offered the perfect solution. "I attended an education meeting at the Maquoketa Library in January," she explains, and there she discovered to her delight that she could, in fact, earn a degree for herself without sacrificing the things she loved the most. "The reason I chose Ashford was the ability to have classroom experience with the accelerated curriculum."
Scheonthaler thanks Jan Jenkins for empowering her to register with Ashford and pursue her Bachelor’s degree. She started her very first night class with Ashford that very same month, and has been engaged since then, learning and applying her new skills to her career.
Maquoketa is a 45-minute drive from Ashford's campus in Clinton, but Shoenthaler only had to make the drive once a week to attend classes. She appreciates the fact that she's been able to maintain her busy lifestyle and still do all the things she loves. Says Schoenthaler: "I know there are 168 hours in a week, and I need to prioritize, starting with my family," followed by taking care of her job, then school, then walking. "My husband and entire family have been patient and supportive," recognizing the time it takes to meet these challenges.
Unlike some Ashford students, Schoenthaler does not anticipate a lot of major transformations in her life. She finds her current career very rewarding, and her new Bachelor's degree will only further enhance that role. "Ashford has provided me with the ability to improve my leadership." At Ashford University, she has found numerous other students just like her. The student body, she says, "are normal, day-to-day people, driven by a purpose, and it is rewarding to see the changes taking place in these individuals." Thanks to Ashford, busy people like Pam Schoenthaler can incorporate a quality university education into their everyday lives.
Pam Schoenthaler, now 47, completed her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management. On December 13, 2008, she participated in the Commencement ceremonies at Ashford's campus in Clinton, Iowa.
Soon after her graduation, Schoenthaler took responsibility for managing the closure of the Skilled Long Term Care Unit at Jackson County Regional. Fortunately, though, she says, "I was able to utilize the knowledge that I obtained from my education to guide the closure of the unit. Soon thereafter, I acquired a new position at Jackson County Regional Health Center, with the official title of Outcomes Coordinator and Staff Educator." Although she does not plan on continuing on to a graduate degree, she is proud to encourage and support others in their pursuit of higher education.