Monday, December 12, 2011

How an adult learner went from community college to earning his doctoral degree

Bryan Lewis isn't stopping his academic journey anytime soon. As an adult learner, he started taking classes at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Conn., in 1998. Today he is a third-year doctoral student at Northeastern University.

How Bryan got here, he says, has a lot to do with what came in between these two points. Bryan told us his story in an email, and we wanted to share it with you as an example of the many higher education paths people take in pursuit of their career dreams. Here's what he wrote, verbatim.



As a two time alumnus and former staff member, I have a unique story of how the education I received at Post University has helped to shape my future. Upon the completion of my associate's degree at Naugatuck Valley Community College, I was extremely fortunate to have been presented with the opportunity to become a financial aid counselor at Post University. As a full-time employee, I had the benefit of working during the day while attending evening courses as a part of the university's Accelerated Degree Program.

As an adult learner, the Accelerated Degree Program at Post University proved to be an ideal program in which I could further pursue my educational goals while balancing the demands of both family and career. With the transfer credits that I had earned from Naugatuck Valley, the Accelerated Degree Program at Post University provided me with the opportunity to complete my B.S. degree in integrated business within a mere 13 months.

The academic preparation that I received at Post University allowed me to develop the skills and earn the credentials necessary to advance my career and obtain my dream job. Within a year of completing my bachelor's degree at Post University, I became Associate Director of Financial Aid at Capital Community College.

Each day I take great joy in having the opportunity to return to the same community college system which had served as a launching pad for my post-secondary education. Having been in their shoes, my hope is that each day I will be able to continue to assist students in fulfilling their academic objectives.

Years later, having remained in contact with many friends and former colleagues at Post University, I became aware of the university's new graduate program in human services. I was so impressed with the quality of instruction that I experienced as an undergraduate student, that I made the decision to return to Post University to pursue my master's degree in human services.

With its emphasis on applied learning, the M.S. Human Services program allowed me to examine the complexity and interconnectedness of the social, cultural, and economic forces that impact underrepresented students within the field of higher education.

The program also provided me with the chance to critically examine how my role as a financial aid professional can positively effect change within my current student population. Two years after I began my graduate studies at Post University, I was honored to have been a member of the inaugural Master's in Human Services graduating class.

Post University has enabled me to continue to fulfill a lifelong commitment to learning. Today, I continue my academic journey as a third-year doctoral student at Northeastern University.

While the demands of my current program have been great, my experiences at Post University have allowed me to approach new challenges with an air of confidence. Whether it's completing a rigorous academic program, juggling the demands of work and family, or taking classes in innovative formats such as online, I know that I will find continued success due in large part to the preparation that I have received at Post University.

Bryan Lewis
Alumnus
M.S. Class of 2008
B.S. Class of 2002



Congrats, Bryan! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

For other adult learners out there, let us know what you think of Bryan's story, and tell us yours in the comments section.

If you'd like to read more about Post University's Accelerated Degree Program and Online Masters of Science in Human Services Program that Bryan mentions, flip over to our website.