There are a growing number of students enrolling in online colleges so that they can earn their degree in way that fits their often busy personal and professional lives. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 20 million students enrolled at degree-granting postsecondary institutions were enrolled exclusively in distance learning courses or in a hybrid of online and on-campus classes citing the need for flexibility, student-centered curriculum and improved online capabilities to name a few.
At Shorter University, the students in our online programs are no different.
Learn how one of Shorter University’s very own students finds balance while pursuing her dreams.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
My name is Kim Patterson, and I am 44 years old. I live in Trion, Georgia. I am married to my husband Chris, and I have 2 children, Mason (20) is in his junior year at Georgia State University where he is pursuing a bachelors in history with a concentration in English. He plans to pursue his master’s degree following graduation and teach abroad at the college level. Emily (18) is a senior at Trion High School. She plans to attend Shorter University (SU) this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian.
Q: Why did you enroll at Shorter and how long have you been a student?
I enrolled at SU two years ago because I was looking for an in-state school that offered online programs close to home.
Q: What is your major and expected graduation date?
I am majoring in Business Administration, and I anticipate graduating this summer.
Q: What are your plans post-graduation?
I hope to begin working on my MBA to continue pursuing my educational goals. Hopefully, after graduation, I will also be able to advance my career with my current employer. A bachelor’s degree is a very good starting point in meeting my professional goals without changing employer.
Q: Were there any particular professors and/or classes that had a significant impact on you?
Gina McDaniel is the first professor who comes to mind. She is the most uplifting and positive professor I have had the privilege of working with.
Q: Why is getting your degree important to you?
When my son left for college, I promised him that I would do whatever necessary to complete my educational goals. How can I be an example to my children if I started something but never finished? Shorter offered the flexibility to meet my goals and the opportunity to make my children proud.
Q: What do you like most about SU’s online degree program?
Nothing beat the flexibility of this program and how it affords me the opportunity to work, take care of my family and attend school all at the same time. It is amazing. In most of my classes, I have been able to work at my own pace. Others have been stricter, but that was not necessarily a bad thing. I have thoroughly enjoyed Shorter’s online program.
Q: Why did you choose this program over others? What was the ultimate deciding factor?
Both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are very respected degrees where I work. My goal is to stay with my current employer, and this program was the most logical choice for advancing my career.
Q: What have you found most rewarding about your program?
Just the general feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence it has given me has been the most rewarding.
Q: How do you explain your educational path to others?
It has been a journey for sure. I never imagined that I would have an interest in business, let alone that interest leading to me getting a degree in Business Administration. It was an interest I developed later in life, but for me, the timing was just right.
Q: Do you have any parting advice to offer students or prospective students?
This probably pertains more to adults who are working students like me, and it is fairly simple advice. If you want to do it, go for it. If you want it bad enough, you will find the time and the resources to make it happen. I believe in the end you gain more than a degree. You learn about yourself, find your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, gain greater self-confidence and build character. It is not always easy, it’s not always hard, but it is always worth it!
Thank you, Shorter University for this amazing journey.