Joannie Karon Roberts

The things I have learned at Ashford I will carry with me the rest of my life.

Joannie Karon Roberts


Though Joannie Karon Roberts, who goes by Karon, was raised in a small farming community, she always had big dreams for herself. It was her goal to become a successful writer – but at the age of 23, she became a single parent of three. “My dreams of becoming a published author were all but dead,” Karon lamented. With herself and her children to support, she didn’t have the time or means to pursue her literary goals or finish earning the journalism degree she’d started.

That was in 1975. Today, as a grandmother of 11 and a great-grandmother of two living in Spokane Valley, WA, Karon has finally finished what she started well over three decades earlier, having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication at Ashford University.  

Karon’s second journey toward earning a degree began, ironically, when she injured her back in 2000 and had to stop working. Having always told herself she would return to school and finish her degree if she found the time, she contacted Ashford and requested information. “I have to admit I was scared, because it had been over 25 years since I last attended college. What amazed me is that my Admissions Counselor was right there in the academic trenches with me.”

At Ashford, Karon maintained a high GPA, made the Dean’s List, and was invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. She described her experience with Ashford as an empowering one. “You will not find more dedicated staff members, instructors, or counselors. Each class I completed, I gained more confidence in my own abilities as a writer, a student, and a mother and grandmother. I will carry the things I learned at Ashford with me the rest of my life.” Karon especially appreciated how the classes build upon one another, “guiding the student into a world of self-awareness and self-worth.”

To anyone worrying that it’s too late in life to attend college, Karon had reassuring words. “If anyone thinks they are too old to learn, read this story.Higher education is a life-long quest worthy of taking. It’s a journey into a better life, a better experience, and a better you.”

Armed with the knowledge Karon has gained, her goal is to become a published author. “It is my goal to edit the book I wrote in 1991 and transform it into a trilogy. I now have the proper skills required to submit a polished manuscript, and I thank Ashford University for offering the courses that will help me realize those dreams.” 

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