I have simply learned how to be a better person through my experiences at Ashford.
Stephanee Bennett started out at Ashford University’s campus in Clinton, IA, taking classes through the former ASPIRE program, which was geared toward working adults. When Stephanee moved to Madison, WI toward the tail end of her Master’s program, she was able to switch over to Ashford’s online format for her final two classes. “The flexibility of the ASPIRE program was definitely what drew me in, and then the online format was perfect for me in the midst of moving. I worked a full-time and a part-time job and was able to complete my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in an accelerated time frame. It was an amazing accomplishment.”
Working more than seventy hours a week, completing homework assignments, and finding time to study was certainly no easy feat. However, combined with her love of learning and a great support system, Stephanee felt motivated the whole way through. “I simply love to learn. And the instructors I have had throughout my time at Ashford have been amazing and left a lasting impact on my mind and my heart. I felt this was a good time for me to pursue my Master’s degree with Ashford because it’s a great school and I couldn’t imagine investing my future with any other institution.”
In addition, Stephanee believes that “the curriculum and real-life experiences of my instructors and classmates have been the best learning tool ever. I have learned how to manage my time better, have improved my skills of working in a team, and I’ve learned how to be a better overall person through my experiences at Ashford.”
A highlight of Stephanee’s time at Ashford was a complimentary trip to Washington, DC with Ashford Advocates, a group that engages elected federal government leaders on issues impacting higher education. “It was my first time visiting our nation's capital, and I was honored to represent such an extraordinary educational institution. It was amazing to meet our Iowa representatives and to explain to them firsthand the importance of Ashford's accelerated programs.”
The professional benefits of her Ashford experience have also been significant. Armed with her two degrees from Ashford, Stephanee is working as a full-time Residential Supervisor in the human services field, and she also owns her own travel and event planning business called Plans in Paradise!
Stephanee hopes that she has inspired her niece, Morgan, to one day reach her own higher education goals as well. “She always says, ‘I am going to go to Ashford just like you!’ It makes me smile every time she says that, and I am so grateful and honored that she looks up to me so much.”
Looking back, Stephanee is confident that choosing Ashford was the right decision. “If you feel right, go for it! Don’t hesitate or spend months looking. I promise you, this is the best option, especially for working adults. I am grateful for all the opportunities I was given while I was enrolled and will always talk about Ashford with a smile on my face!”