From Distance Education to Degree: Karen Pate ’19 | Pathway to Graduation

I started this journey a long time ago.
It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I went to
community college. I got my associate’s degree in my late 20s and then got
married, had children and had planned to go back when they were older. They are now one is through college and one is about to go to college. So a couple years ago I stumbled on the LPS program, and it offered the
coursework that I was looking for and allowed me to complete it while working
full time. Being an older student gives you some advantages that the younger
students don’t have because you’ve learned to work and manage different
things in life. I went through a personal tragedy in the midst of deciding to go
back to school. It really pushed me to my core. So that was, you know, taking classes,
taking three and four classes at a time sometimes, financial sacrifices. A lot of
things happened at one time that seemed would probably seem bad to most people.
They were really, they were challenges and the leadership program helped me
navigate through that. I grew a lot as a person. The leadership part of that
really kind of enhanced what I already had, but it was a, it was a personal
decision that I just felt like that I needed to complete that degree and have
that bachelor’s. That was just very important, it was a personal thing to me
that was very important. I grew a lot as a person during my time in the program. I
can still feel like I’m a part of the Wolfpack.
There’s so many opportunities out there for working adults. Don’t let age stop
you, don’t let the fact that you’re an older student stop you. It is, it is just
so vital to get your education and to finish that step. I just felt a
connection being able to come on campus and really realize, ‘Hey, I am a student
here.’ This is not just for the kids that come straight out of high school. I am a
student with the same access, the same everything, that strong connection, and I
just always felt like this was the path.

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