Monday, March 4, 2013

80-year-old Naugatuck woman goes back to school to set an example for her sons

TIMELESS: 80-year-old Charlotte Butler shows why learning is lifelong 
Today is the first day of Module ("MOD") 4 at Post University. But it's more than just the start of new classes for our students. It's the beginning of a new journey for 80-year-old Charlotte Butler, who is starting her online Bachelor of Science degree in human services, becoming one of the oldest students ever to enroll at our 123-year-old institution.

For the Naugatuck, Conn., native, today marks the moment when Charlotte sets an example for her 59- and 60-year-old sons and her 19-year-old foster son to go to school and earn their college degrees. Today marks the moment she pursues a higher education to keep her mind sharp in her older years.

Today marks the moment she begins a new way to improve her knowledge and skills, because she believes a smarter America is a stronger America. And today marks the moment she demonstrates that it's never too late to go back to school, and that you're never too old to earn your college degree.

In fact, one of the reasons Charlotte enrolled in our Online Education Institute is because she believes Americans aren't using their brains enough. At one point when talking to us about why she decided to go back to school she said, "What am I going to do? Sit around in a rocking chair eating ice cream?" Not so for Charlotte! She is eager to use her mind and complete her degree.

When Charlotte was younger, she was focused on growing her family after graduating from Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Conn., in 1950. After retirement, she started a foster care business. But her desire to earn her college degree remained strong.

She saw how her two older sons grew up and didn't go to college. She is watching how her 19-year-old son is struggling to understand the importance of a college education. Her solution? Go back to school herself, live what she has been preaching, and motivate her sons to follow in her footsteps.

What's more, Charlotte has decided to earn her degree online because, as she told me, "I love the online courses. I couldn't imagine finishing my program without them, with everything I have going on in my life!" To start off, Charlotte is taking one course in MOD 4, "Learning Across the Lifespan," which is specifically designed to help returning adult students develop the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful lifelong learner.

We welcome Charlotte with a big hug! The photo we included here is from the day she visited Post University and met many members of our team. Her story confirms for us why we do what we do, and shows the importance of lifelong learning. We can offer all the degree programs possible, but it's students like Charlotte who truly take higher education to heart and use it to reach new heights.

We hope to share updates on how Charlotte is doing, so watch our blog. Charlotte, you are an inspiration to us, and we hope you are an inspiration to other adult learners, too!