New Program Helps Returning Students
Posted at: 02/24/2013 10:00 PM
| Updated at: 02/24/2013 11:37 PM
By: Brittany Falkers
Andrew Chalberg has been a part of our local 148th Fighter Wing since the early 90s. In the last twenty or so years he has traveled much of the country and other parts of the world.
"The guard has taken me a lot of different places," he said, "I got to have a good full-time job to take care of my family for the last 22 years."
Although he looks back fondly on his time in the guard, retirement fast approaching. Which forced him to started thinking about the next chapter in his life.
"Just by motivation, I retire in two and a half years and that's pretty much the norm if you want a decent paying job. You have to have a bachelor's," Chalberg said.
He started taking classes at a community college in 1999, but it wasn't until 2919 that her received his two year degree. A full-time job and very busy family life forced Chalberg to start and stop several times.
"I put it off family always came first, trying to balance that and then start up again," he said.
Now, he's going back to finish what he started and complete his bachelor's degree. He was introduced to CSS Complete by a coworker from the 148th.
CSS Complete is a new way for folks who already have some higher education learning to come back and finish their degree using skills they have learned elsewhere. It's offered by the College of St. Scholastica (CSS).
The program is gaining regional and national attention for the program as an affordable pathway for working adults to complete a degree they may have started years ago.
The CSS Complete approach is flexible, with personalized attention through Completion Coaches, and embraces new ways of learning such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Donald Wortham is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at CSS and he heads up CSS Complete for the school. He says the program is not for recent high school grads looking for their first college experience. It's for a different type of student.
"It's really for the person who is possibly stuck in their career, college stalled out for them the first time, and is really looking to get back into it and complete their degree," he said.
Students work with a Completion Coach, an advisor, to determine a pathway to finish their degree. They can take courses on campus or online, depending on their unique situation.
"It takes up to 96 credits from institutions other than the College of St. Scholastica. Either brining in transfer credits, getting credit for prior learning done on the job or doing test outs," Wortham said.
The goal of the program is to offer returning students and affordable and efficient way to obtain and bachelor degree. Wortham says studies show that will in turn help our local economy and they are doing in on a schedule specific to the individual.
"So that they can achieve their objectives, balance their work life, their family life with school so they can get their degree completed in an appropriate time and really at the best possible price," he said.
Chalberg says he still is not sure just exactly what he wants to do when he grows up, but he's looking forward to this next chapter.
CLICK HERE for more information on CSS Complete.