October 15, 2006
The University of Phoenix (UOP) has helped working adults turn long-term goals into short-term goals by using an accelerated curriculum. The Bachelor of Science in Management program is designed to develop professional knowledge and skills of general managers in their organization or professional industry by improving organizational effectiveness (University of Phoenix, 2006). UOP's mission statement focuses on student learning and takes the team approach to learning, similar to every day real world business. Two years ago, while riding in an elevator a fellow employee told me about the University of Phoenix, and I was drawn to a program that would hasten my long-term goal. Barbara's Past
This student began my studies at the University of Phoenix in August of 2004. In December of that same year, my son graduated from Louisiana State University with his undergraduate degree in Political Science. He has been my constant motivation. Other than childbirth, trying to stay on my educational path has been one of the most difficult journeys, and changes I have tried. At times, my pathway has been congested with the loss of a parent, stretching finances, marriage, children, a legendary hurricane, and just everyday career bumps. This chosen terrain had steep hills, turns, and actually has been so crowded that these pushed me off my original boundaries. Earning my Associates of Arts degree in Management in seventies aided me with wonderful skills, and opened doors for my career successes even today. When I graduated from high school, I received a two-year scholarship for secondary education. This award was a bittersweet one, because that same year my father died in a drowning accident. The choice was mine. Should I continue my education, or help my mother with the financial burden brought on by my father's death? Being the inspiration she still is to me today, my mother encouraged me to continue down my own path. Both my parents taught me to be a livelong learner, and to "go with the flow."
Using that same theme with my son, along with the theory of placing my family and children first, took me away from my educational advancement. Completing a course here and there has been very long and very hard. Totaling my credit hours from the various institutions attended over the last twenty years equal over 80 hours, but the University of New Orleans did not accept most. In 1992, I started my college education all over again. Not being able to take a course has been just as stressful, especially when lay offs occurred during my career, and of course, Hurricane Katrina delayed my cap and gown too. On many occasions, I thought maybe the lay offs would not have happened if I had my degree, or at my age would a degree be useful. Eliminating those feelings from my mind, and becoming more focused has placed me in leadership roles. Throughout my business and personal career, I have maintained either a management or a leadership role. I consider myself a work in progress, because I already have the interpersonal and managerial skills needed for most business professions. What has been lacking is the educational degree needed to advance.
When I enrolled at UOP two years ago, my goal was to advance my career by accepting an upper management position, and the way to do that was to work toward my undergraduate degree. Holding a middle-management role is not new to me, but maintaining that role has been hard. Being a "seasoned" employee, by that, I mean having worked in the business world for more than thirty years; one realizes that your work path will lead you to "jobs" and "careers." In the early years, most of us got jobs. A place we went to everyday for eight or more hours and received compensation for our toil. The job was not necessarily something we enjoyed doing, but the compensation served as a means to make a living. Realizing what you love doing, and then finding...