Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Studies, 2011
Air Force Survival Equipment Specialist and Aspiring Physician
“I hope to inspire people to find their passion in life and to pursue that passion with a hard-charging mentality.”
Ashford’s degree programs are already accelerated, but aspiring physician Joel Church, 29, of Spokane, WA decided to expedite his progress even further by taking two classes at a time throughout the entire course of his studies. This accelerated pace meant that he sometimes found himself writing three papers in one weekend when a third class overlapped, in addition to taking multiple quizzes and participating in discussions during the week.
It’s especially extraordinary that Joel did all this while working full time in his current job as a Survival Equipment Specialist in the Air Force, where he deals with Air Force aircrew members’ flight equipment, gravity suits, and parachute rigging anywhere from 45-50 hours per week.
Despite the hectic schedule, Joel was able to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Studies degree in September 2011 – a little over a year from the time he enrolled in the program – with a 4.0 GPA and as a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.
While still a student, he admitted, “It is rough and takes a toll, but the degree will be well worth the hard work and efforts. A BA in Health Care Studies provides me with information I can really use as a physician; information that most pre-medical school students do not get exposed to. It will only improve my medical school application.”
Joel said his plans after the Air Force included completing the medical school science prerequisite courses at Washington State University, taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), and then applying for the University of Washington School of Medicine. If Joel’s success at Ashford serves as any example, we anticipate he will stick to his rigorous self-imposed plan and meet his goals.
It’s clear that Joel’s experience as a student at Ashford has been gratifying. “I feel my life has changed for the better. I have learned a lot about my academic potential and about the field of study I have pursued. I plan to mentor others in finding what they want to do and to pursue it. I hope to inspire people to find their passion in life and to pursue that passion with a hard-charging mentality.”
To prospective Ashford students considering the idea of adding school to an already full plate, Joel says, “Ashford is really flexible in scheduling classes, so take advantage of it!” Joel certainly did, and we’re looking forward to following his progress as he continues to work toward achieving his dreams.