Andrew DickensBachelor of Arts in Business Information Systems, 2013
“Ashford is facilitating my future.”
Despite serving as a Senior Airman in the Air Force and working as a client systems administrator with a wife and young son, Andrew Dickens has still made it a priority to pursue his higher education. He has taken the first step toward his end goal of eventually becoming a doctor by graduating with highest honors from Ashford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Information Systems.
To celebrate the achievement, he and his family flew from Tacoma, WA to Moline, IL, where Ashford’s spring 2013 commencement ceremony was held. His parents and grandparents also flew in, from Memphis, TN and Kansas City, KS, respectively. He wore several ropes along with his cap and gown, each one signifying something different: his military service, Alpha Sigma Lambda membership, Golden Key International Honour Society membership, and summa cum laude distinction.
So how did he do it? “I’m really a self-motivated individual – I think the military brought that out in me. But when I did need motivation, it was there. Timothy Diffey was my Student Advisor and he was excellent. He was always there for whatever I needed.” He notes that because he is in a very mobile Air Force unit, there were times when he was unable to meet an assignment deadline – but as long as he gave his instructors adequate notice, they were willing to work with him.
"Earning a degree is paramount, really, if you want to progress in the military [or] if you want to progress once you separate from the military. And Ashford does a great job of facilitating studies wherever you’re at, on top of making the education affordable.” He continued, “It’s crucial for our service members to go back to school, and Ashford allows us to do so.”
Andrew had briefly attended several other schools before finishing his degree at Ashford, and he noted, “One of the things that sets Ashford apart is the convenience and the innovation behind the programs. It just makes it so much easier when you have everything you need at your fingertips. I could do my homework in the airport, on the plane, really literally everywhere.”
Now, Andrew is wasting no time pursuing his dream of one day becoming a doctor. He has already enrolled in an MBA program specializing in health care management, and after he separates from the military he plans to enroll in a pre-med program with the end goal of eventually applying to medical school. “It will be a long journey, but that’s what I want to do. The reality is that Ashford is facilitating my future.”