This week we posted short videos about three adult students who are pursuing education at community colleges to secure a good job and a good life:
Claudia Rodriguez, a veteran of the war in Iraq, attends Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. Balancing her responsibilities on the job with the National Guard and at home with her husband and two children, Claudia is completing an associate’s degree. She plans on a career in counseling.
Tia Marie Gwynn is a single mother of two who overcame a number of obstacles on her way to becoming a student at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Currently enrolled in a certificate program in business office management, Tia says that she plans stay in school to complete her associate’s degree, or perhaps a bachelor’s or master’s.
Eric Patrick is a 40-year-old career changer who is finishing an associate’s degree at Michigan’s Macomb Community College. He left a job in the aerospace industry to study engineering as a full-time student. Eric will finish his associate’s degree soon, and he has already earned a scholarship to a four-year institution where he will continue his studies.
Their stories reveal the different challenges that adult students face, including the need to balance work schedules and family responsibilities. The videos also tell about the kinds of support – financial and otherwise – that are available to help adult students to succeed.
The experiences of Claudia, Tia, and Eric show that a community college education is about more than getting a better job and a better salary. It’s about acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to get along better in the world, to do more for one’s family, and to be a better citizen. It’s about hope.
John McGrath Office of Communications and Outreach