We’ve had an amazing experience here at Ashford.


Donna Barber and her daughter, LaDonna Watts, not only both attended online courses at Ashford University at the same time, but they graduated together and attended the commencement ceremony in Moline, IL, near Ashford’s Clinton campus, Donna at age 44 and LaDonna at age 24. This accomplishment attracted the attention of several news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune.  

“I didn’t see this day coming,” added Donna, who earned her Master of Arts in Organizational Management, Human Resources Management specialization. “I was a teenage mom raised by my grandmother. I’ll always be a mom – I’ll be a mom for life – but I didn’t want that to be the end of my story.” She proudly noted that her older daughter also received her Master’s degree this year. “So the three of us receiving our Master’s degrees is phenomenal.”

Donna, who was the first to enroll at Ashford, was thrilled when her daughter called to let her know she had enrolled as well. The support they were able to provide to one another soon proved to be invaluable. Said Donna, “She would call and say, ‘Mom, you have a paper due? Are you sleeping? Did you post your discussion?’ Or vice versa, I would call her. So we kind of had each other’s back.”

An executive assistant for a marketing firm, Donna would like to use her Master of Arts in Organizational Management, Human Resources Management specialization  degree to make the event planning business she runs on the side her full-time career. “So I just wanted to get some leadership and organizational management skills under my belt so I’ll know exactly what I’m doing, and go forward from there.”

 Link to LaDonna’s story

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