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Working adult urges others to complete their degrees at PCCUA

Mar 20, 2017


Working adult urges others to complete their degrees at PCCUA

On a whim, Patrick Allen showed up last August for a PCCUA-Helena cookout for adults interested in completing their degrees, and two months from now, he will be graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in business administration.

Allen, who had received an A.A. degree in education several years ago, was in the middle of a transition in life and considering another degree when he was introduced to Linda Killion, PCCUA dean of Business and Information Systems.

“Though his situation was complicated in that he was a single parent, working full-time, raising children, and thinking about returning to college for personal development, it is one that we see quite often,” said Killion, “and we want returning students to know that there are ways we can help, and that we are here to support them.”

In talking briefly with Allen and looking at his transcript, Killion showed him how easy it would be to complete a degree in business by taking just a few classes.

“I stopped by just to see what was being offered,” said Allen. “I had studied nursing and education, but had to stop taking classes because of the demands of the program and working full-time.  And here I was single, working full-time, and raising my kids. I wasn’t exactly looking for anything else to do. But, Mrs. Killion and Shawndus Gregory (Career Pathways) helped me see how easily I could make it happen, and they made it hard for me to say no.”

Killion said there are a number of programs designed to support parents, working adults, veterans, and others who are trying to complete educational goals, and she urges those thinking of returning to college to stop by and see what’s available.

“What we want you to know is that no matter your situation, we are committed to helping you achieve your goals and finding the assistance you need to get you there,” said Killion. “Even if you don’t think there is a way to make it work, there still may be ways in which we can help you keep moving forward and complete your degree.”

In Allen’s case, he was eligible for funding through Career Pathways, an option he never knew he had.

“I never knew single guys could qualify for any type of assistance,” said Allen. “I always thought the assistance was for single mothers. It was comforting to know that I had a contact and a support system at PCCUA. I never knew the number of individuals at Phillips College who were working to get me on the right path.”

Allen not only has a new degree in his near future, but he also has a new employment opportunity in Washington, D.C., where he will be working with the U.S. Department of Regulatory Affairs in its Third Party Management Program. He also wants to continue his education by pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business.

Thankful that he took the time to stop by to see what Phillips College was offering, Allen said, “You don’t know what you don’t know, so take the time to find out. Finishing your degree and reaching your goals might be a lot easier than you think.”