UMass Sesquicentennial

USA Today spotlights UWW

Date: 
12/06/2012

A November 5, 2012 article in USA Today entitled Unfinished business: More adults go back to college highlighted the University Without Walls as "one of the leading pioneers in developing higher education support services for adult college students..."

The article focuses on UWW's historic commitment to personal support, and that fact that so many of the faculty and staff understand the challenges faced by adult students because they themselves were non-traditional students. The article cites as an example UWW faculty member Karen Stevens, the first person in her family to graduate from high school. She then went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college, and continued on, juggling work single motherhood to earn her graduate degrees.  

“Many reasons may prevent people from getting their [college] degree in the way they initially planned," Karen told USA Today. "I always say that real life happens — from being called into the military, sickness or even losing one’s home. But if these adult students do come back, we are here for them in terms of information, service delivery and faculty support. We’re with them from the moment they begin work on their degree to graduation.”

The article also highlighted 46 year old UWW student Marina Ortega from California, a career changer who left college to take a sales job in Silicon Valley. She is now completing her bachelor's degree through UWW and has been accepted into a physician's assistant program in Oregon which she will begin after graduation.

"'That work became the catalyst for me to go back and finish my undergraduate degree. I realized that what got me through my 40s would probably not get me to my 60s in terms of education. I knew I needed my BA in order to go to graduate school to become a physician’s assistant and work with underserved communities," said Marina. "I joined the UWW program, and it’s been phenomenal for me, especially the personal connections with my adviser. That’s made all the difference.'” 

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