Connected Campus helps student fulfill life-long goal
Friday, May 07, 2010
CANTON, Mo. - Six students graduating this May through Culver-Stockton’s Connected Campus program began as traditional residential students and, through life’s twists and turns, left school but returned to complete their degrees through the program. Some students, like Andres Ayala, have already seen benefits from earning their bachelor’s degree; he has been promoted. Others, like Kim Uhlig, have the simple, yet sweet personal satisfaction that being a college graduate brings.
Nearly 30 years ago, Uhlig attended Culver-Stockton for two years before leaving to get married. She’d never stopped thinking about finishing her degree, but life seemed to always get in the way. “Due to my profession, I was unable to commit to a weekly class schedule—even if only one night a week,” Uhlig explains. But she promised herself she would finish her degree. Then, in 2006 while attending Culver-Stockton’s Homecoming, she learned about the Connected Campus program and looked more in depth about it once she returned home.
C-SC’s Connected Campus program is an online program designed for students aged 23 or older who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree. It requires that students have an associate’s degree or 50 hours of college credit completed. The program is designed for working adults, and the flexibility allows the student to schedule study time when it is convenient for them.
Connected Campus offers Uhlig and Ayala, and others like them, the flexibility of online courses combined with the benefit of interaction with classmates and supportive and encouraging instructors. “Connected Campus couldn’t have been more flexible for people like me,” Uhlig, whose work caused her to travel a lot, comments. “All my professors were enthusiastic and encouraging . . . They have a way of making you interact with other classmates, just like you were sitting in a classroom.” Uhlig was unique in the program, because she was pursuing the degree simply to prove to herself that she could. Dr. Jim Cosgrove, who met and worked with Uhlig through the program, felt that she was able to offer a unique perspective to those in class with her. “Kim was a joy to have in class. She was at a place in her working life where she was finishing her degree for the sheer satisfaction of finishing her degree. She had wonderful insight into our chapter questions and cases. She would quite often lead me to websites and additional information,” he notes.
Ayala, who had attended as a residential student more recently, liked that he had a pre-established relationship with faculty. “It was beneficial to me to have professors like Jim Cosgrove instructing the Connected Campus program . . . I was familiar with [him] and fortunate to have a previous academic relationship with him and others.” Dr. Cosgrove remembers working with Ayala both on campus and through the Connected Campus program. “The Connected Campus program offers such a tremendous opportunity to people like Andy who have family responsibilities and are busy professionals. Andy decided it was time to finish the requirements for his degree, and I am proud that Culver-Stockton was able to be a part of that process.”
The Connected Campus program has nine graduates this year, who share the personal and professional growth that Ayala and Uhlig are experiencing. With their degrees completed, both are enjoying their soon-to-be college graduate status. Ayala is hoping to apply one of his class projects to his own career, and Uhlig, who retired on April 22, is celebrating in Florida and is proudly crossing off one more item on what she calls her “bucket list.”
OTHER FEATURED ARTICLES