Four months ago, my younger sister moved in with me (the details of why I recounted in an earlier post).
Besides giving her a safe haven from well-meaning-but-nosy parents, an ex-boyfriend who just wouldn’t STOP CALLING HER, and financial worries over rent and utils, I also gave her the support that she needed to get that Associate’s degree… finally.
(I also recounted the details in that earlier post, so I won’t rehash them here.)
With her last class finished — an Intro to Public Speaking / Speech Class that she’d been avoiding because of her fear of public speaking that, happily, she passed with a B — my sister’s Associate’s in Science degree program is complete, as of earlier this week.
After nearly 20 years, she’s finally done. She decided not to walk in the spring graduation ceremony, but she’ll get that piece of paper to hang on the wall.
However, she’s not resting on her laurels — even if she wanted to, our father wouldn’t let her. 🙂 Fortunately, Wen WANTS to pursue her Bachelor’s, and so I researched what university would take all of the college-level and transferable courses that a community college student would rack up over a sporadic 20 years: 76 credit hours’ worth.
Since 1) Wen’s debt load is atrocious, 2) her credit rating is similarly trashed, yet 3) ironically she makes as much as I do, she already knew that she’d have to pay her tuition and whatnot out of pocket. So private and for-profit universities were out.
Also, since she’d need to be working full-time, a public institution that was local with distance learning opportunities was also an important criterion.
And this is what I found: the University of Texas at Arlington’s University Studies program.
In other words, Wen’s major is “Being at a University” major — and, once in it, she’d be classified as a second-semester Junior, since she’s only 45 credit hours (that is, 15 three-credit classes) away from graduating with a Bachelor’s in Science in University Studies.
What can a person do with such a major? Well, if that person is like my sister — already working full-time in a well-paid but definitely “glass ceiling-ed” position — that person now has a Bachelor’s and can now apply for positions THAT REQUIRE A BACHELOR’S.
Such a future was literally inconceivable* for my sister four months ago. And now — four months later — her Application for Admission to UTA’s sent, she’s requesting her various transcripts, and she is planning to set aside 1/3 of her paycheck to save for educational expenses that will begin Fall 2011.
It’s amazing the difference only four months can be.
My little sister — I’m so proud of her!
* I can never write the word “inconceivable” without thinking of The Princess Bride.