Jasmine Wells, an enrollment advisor for ENC’s Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS), took some time to share a little bit about what it really looks like to go back to school. Having worked in AGS for more than two years, Wells was able to give some shed some light on the logistics of returning to school as well as offer some advice.
What does it really look like to go back to school as an adult? Is it as scary as it seems?
As an adult, going back to school can seem scary at first –particularly for those who have been out of school for a while. However, the cohort model allows students to take classes with similarly situated students and develop a support system to make the transition effortless.
What are some of the biggest reasons people have for putting off their degree, that shouldn’t get in the way?
One of the reasons is money; however, education is an investment that will pay off in the form of increased earning potential. Another reason is that students are working. However, our one night per week format allows students to work and go to school at the same time.
What’s the best advice you could give someone thinking about going back to school?
If you are thinking about it, you should just do it. The time you spend contemplating going, you could have already started classes and in some cases completed them.
What makes AGS special?
The best thing about AGS is that it is student-centered. Students receive the one-on-one attention that they deserve and need to make their educational experience rewarding and fulfilling.
Is there really a community supporting students each step of the way?
Yes, students start and finish their program with the same group of students. The group develops a strong bond and supports one another throughout the entire experience.
Are the classes as intimidating as students imagine?
No, we incorporate time for lecture, class discussion, and group work. The classmates bring real-life work experience into the class setting, and the discussions are interesting. The time goes by quickly.
What are the other students like?
Other students are working, some have families and are focused on trying to advance their careers through education.
Does going back to school mean students don’t have time for family, church, hobbies or fun?
No, given that our classes are only one night per week, students still have time for family, church, hobbies or fun. The homework is challenging but is manageable. I suggest students pace themselves and work on a little bit each day or set aside a night for homework.
What if a student isn’t Nazarene or Christian, does that mean they can’t enroll?
No, that does not mean students cannot enroll. We are a welcoming community and accept students from all backgrounds and faiths.
Why is the Christian aspect of these degrees so important?
The Christian aspect of the degree is important because it allows students to connect their faith with the disciplines that they are studying. For example, in our business courses, we look at business from an ethical and a Christian perspective. Ultimately, students are able to practice business through a lens that serves God.
If someone is working a full-time job, would they have time to earn their degree?
Yes, our classes are only one night per week after working hours
What if someone is a full-time care giver? Is it feasible for them?
Yes, also if someone needs to arrange for babysitting our classes are only one night per week and on the same night each week throughout the program, which makes preparation for childcare arrangements easier.
What if someone says they’re too old? Is anyone really too old to finish their degree or earn their next one?
No, our students are very diverse in age from straight out of college through retirement age.
Going back to school might seem overwhelming, but as Wells pointed out, with AGS it doesn’t have to be. From business to education, you can find the degree you’ve been considering and reach the career you’ve been dreaming of with Eastern Nazarene’s Graduate and Adult Studies programs.