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Even though I have kids and I’m working full-time it’s still possible to get a degree.

Tamisha Murphy

Biography

While many of us were sleeping, Tamisha Murphy was earning her college degree. A nursing technician who works the night shift in Baltimore, Maryland, Murphy crammed her homework and research into her break time while she pursued her Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration. Her sleeping schedule didn’t change on her days off, which meant she was up in the middle of the night doing her assignments, no matter how exhausted she was from work.

“I was determined to finish,” Murphy said at Ashford University’s 2016 Spring Commencement ceremony in San Diego, California.

Like many people working non-traditional shifts, she found the online format was the best way to earn her degree. Before coming to Ashford, Murphy had attended two community colleges. But after speaking with an advisor, she saw a path toward her ultimate goal: a Master’s degree that could help her become director of a health care facility.

“At first I thought it was going to be hard because you’ve got to teach yourself,” she said of the online learning format. “After I got an A in the first class I was like, ‘This is pretty good!’

“It’s very hard, but if you are determined, motivated, and pace yourself, it can be done.”

Murphy and Ashford appeared to be the perfect fit. She earned a place on the Dean’s List for six semesters and was also invited to join the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. The privilege is reserved for Bachelor’s students who have completed a minimum of 24 credits (including 12 credits of liberal arts coursework), and who rank in the highest 20 percent of students based on GPA.

College, Murphy said, was not just a means to expand her skills and put her on a better career path. A mother of three children, ages 17, 14, and 11 at the time we spoke, she said her success would also serve as an inspirational lesson.

“Even though I have kids and I’m working full-time it’s still possible to get a degree.”

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