Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Education specialization, 2012
"Because I'm not restricted by schedule or campus, I can manage all of my other responsibilities."
For Kathleen Atwell of Cleveland, MO, attending Ashford University has been a source of inspiration and transformation in her life. Throughout her entire journey earning her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management with a specialization in Education, she was still as excited about learning as she was in her first class.
When we last spoke to Kathleen while she was still enrolled, she confessed to having big dreams and honor grades during high school in the '70s. She earned a scholarship and began her freshman year at college. But she also fell in love and made the decision to marry and not return to school.
Kathleen explained, "I spent the next 25 years at home raising our three sons and home educating them. I was richly fulfilled, happy, and very busy. Before I knew it, our nest emptied, and I was left with not only the loss of children at home, but the loss of a full-time job, as well. It was during this time that my husband's job took a tumble due to the housing market crash in our city and a weak economy, so I hunted for a job outside of the home to help make ends meet."
To her dismay, Kathleen found the job hunt extremely difficult and could not find a suitable position. "The only places willing to hire a woman who had been out of the job market for 25 years and who didn't possess a college degree were fast food and retail." Health issues with arthritic feet made these positions impossible for her to take. "With my husband approaching fifty and struggling to bring home the dollars we had grown accustomed to, I began to worry what would happen to me if anything happened to him! I had to get my education."
Kathleen explored her online choices and gave Ashford a call. She credits her Admissions Counselor, Chris Myrben, for helping her make that important decision. "He took time to listen to me, to assess my needs, and pointed out the positives and the negatives. His honesty, guidance, and concern really touched my heart."
Attending Ashford created a significant change in Kathleen's life. She was ecstatic with the classes and the relative ease the online experience allowed. "So far, Ashford has been nothing but the best! The classes are energized, well organized, easy to understand and follow along, and my instructors are superb. I can study anytime of day or night. Help is available and my classmates are friendly and interesting. Debates on the discussion boards intrigue me and enable me to absorb the material in a real-life setting."
While enrolled at Ashford, Kathleen acted as the main caregiver for her parents and grandchildren and also supplemented the household income by working as a part-time freelance writer. Therefore, Kathleen was grateful for the online flexibility. "Ashford is the only way I could get my education at this time. Because I'm not restricted by schedule or campus, I can manage all of my other responsibilities. I highly recommend Ashford University to anyone seeking to improve their life and enrich their mind. It's a wonderful way to obtain higher education."
Kathleen expressed her future hopes to let education inspire and transform other's lives. "My goal is to teach in the public school system making a difference in the lives of children. What a relief to know that in the very near future, I will be capable of earning a living and contributing to society in a specialized way." We look forward to hearing updates about how Kathleen is using her Ashford education to make her dreams a reality.