Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, 2012
“Ashford University, as a whole, showed me that they were with me 100% of the way.”
Less than eight months after graduating magna cum laude at the age of 36 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, Education concentration* and then completing an alternative certification program and passing a special education content exam, as required by the state of Texas, Ashford alum Marcus Allen signed his first teaching contract at Spring High School (SHS) in Spring, TX. He now instructs special education/structured learning classes for students with autism. His work at SHS was recently recognized when he won a Red Apple Award from Capital One Bank after being nominated by a thankful parent. Watch Marcus getting surprised with the award on the Houston morning news.
Marcus enrolled in the U.S. Army shortly after graduating high school in 1995. He was honorably discharged after eight years of service as an Airborne Infantryman, due to increasing vision loss in his left eye. In search of a new career, he began attending a community college but found it impossible to balance full-time work while also attending classes. He put college on hold and went to work in the construction industry for approximately seven years, which required him to be away from his then-fiancé (now wife), daughter, and stepson on a regular basis. “I got tired of it. I decided I wanted a career that let me spend the maximum amount of time possible with my family,” he says. “I had always been interested in being a teacher, but I knew I’d have to go back to school and earn a degree. Luckily, I found Ashford, where I could work full time and finish school as well.”
Using the Montgomery G.I. bill for financial assistance, Marcus chose Ashford because of its veteran-friendly reputation, saying, “At first the online experience made me nervous. However, once I finished the first few classes I found the experience to be very enriching. The initial process of getting registered was also very smooth and stress-free.”
Marcus says he learned a lot at Ashford that he has been able to apply to his everyday life and work. He credits his professors for much of these lessons. “I learned so much from all of my instructors at Ashford,” he says. “They always answered my questions in a timely manner; in most cases they’d even leave multiple ways to contact them. Ashford University, as a whole, showed me that they were with me 100% of the way. My success was their success.”
Marcus plans on eventually obtaining his Master’s degree in special education. He says, “My experience at Ashford has given me so much confidence, I feel as if I can accomplish anything. The sky is the limit!”
*This program was replaced with the Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies.