Thursday, November 15, 2012

Advice from one working adult to another on earning a college degree: 'Just do it, don’t be afraid.'

If you’re working a full-time job, raising a family, or both, you might think earning a degree at the same time is out of reach. But if you saw a friend or family member balance full-time employment, family obligations, and earning a degree, would that change your mind? It has for many. In fact, quite a few of our working adult students refer their family and friends to Peirce after seeing firsthand that it can be done!

We like to share these stories to show that you can fit earning a degree into a busy life. Today, we’re highlighting Shamar and Barbara Durham, a mother and daughter who are both attending Peirce, completely online.

Shamar Durham is a single mother who works a full-time job in the healthcare field. She attended community college for a short time, but left when she wasn’t able to balance her course load and the full-time job she needed to support her family. But her goal of earning a college degree was always in the back of her mind.

When her daughter entered grade school, Shamar began researching her options to earn her bachelor’s degree online. Shamar recently sent us this note detailing her personal experience:
"Attending college has always been a must for me, but being a single parent, I ran across many obstacles. I enrolled at Peirce for several reasons. I conducted a search for my degree, Healthcare Administration, in my area and found many different universities offering what I was looking for, but only one—Peirce—allowed me to start directly into a bachelor’s degree program. 
My enrollment process was completely easy and I raved about it to many. My mother was interested in what I was raving about, and decided to look into applying herself. We both worked with Sonia Lewis [one of Peirce’s enrollment representatives], who guided us step-by-step in the enrollment process. Now, my mother and I not only work for the same company, we are both students at Peirce College. 
My mother Barbara is studying for her associate degree in Business Administration-Management. Although we are not studying for the same degree, we have several of the same classes. This makes it easy for us to find a study partner, considering that we are both online students as well.
The online process is new to us both and very flexible with our work schedules and home life. We try to meet once a week and go over what we have learned, what we have coming up, and things that we might not understand. There are also those occasional random phone calls where we say, “Hey! I need your help!” 
But overall, our goal for one another is to stay focused, dedicated, and to continue to motivate each other until completion. We both believe that Peirce College is the perfect place for family and friends to continue their education together. It brings a sense of family unity and support.”
Now Shamar and her mother, Barbara, are working to earn their degrees so they can move up in the healthcare organization where they currently work. For each, earning a college degree will help them obtain senior management positions that they couldn’t apply for otherwise.

Shamar and Barbara told us they feel the support system Peirce offers has been an asset to their learning experience, and their online professors have given them individual attention and made sure they stayed on track with their studies. In fact, Shamar has been so pleased with her Peirce experience that she referred three more friends, who started their classes this past session!

When asked how they feel, both mother and daughter said they’re more excited and outgoing since enrolling at Peirce and are proud to be achieving their educational goals.

So what’s their advice to other working adults who are considering going back to school? Shamar says, “Just do it. Don’t be afraid. You’re never too old to learn. I know a lot of people say that they’re too old to pick up a book, but no—you’re never too old. It’s been the best experience ever.”

A big thank you to Shamar and Barbara for sharing their experience and advice here on our blog! And students, did you know that if you refer a new student through our Referral Program, you will receive a $25 gift card, be publicly thanked in our Referral Honor Roll, and receive a new, special edition Peirce College T-shirt?

If you have any questions about the Referral Program, or would like more information about becoming a Peirce student, just give us a call at 888.467.3472, ext. 9000, or email us at