When Carmen Ingram began her studies at Otterbein in 2013, she had mixed emotions. “I was happy I decided to continue my education here, not allowing the culture or the classes to intimidate me. By doing so, I overcame my fear of math and I am pushing forward to achieve my goals,” she said. “I am a degreed Preschool Educator (from Columbus State Community College). I believe getting my bachelors degree in Early
Childhood Education will greatly improve my employment situation in the near future.”
As a mother of three young children, she acknowledged that balancing life as a fulltime student and parenting is challenging. She explained how she’s managing that important facet of her life. “Parenting young children as a full-time student means we have lots of family discussions about what I am working to achieve and the positive impact it will have on our lives. I also try to get as much work done during the week so we can spend quality time together on the weekends.”
Paying for college is another challenge all students face, but for adult students with a family, it means not only paying tuition but supporting their family and maintaining a lifestyle. Carmen took advantage of campus resources for help. “ I was able to speak to my transfer advisor and get financial aid worked out. I can say it’s still a challenge; however, I am taking it one day at a time and remaining positive,” she added. The personal attention and assistance she’s received has impressed her. “I didn’t expect to have so many people concerned about my college career and helping me overcome obstacles as they arrived. I also never expected to be on a campus where the staff is so
friendly and always smile or speak as we pass each other,” she added.
Another less daunting challenge she faces is being in class with traditional age students. “Sometimes I feel like the oldest person in the class,” she laughed. “I look at the positive; I can help others around me and learn from them as well.”
While she’s faced challenges, she credits one of her favorite professors, Dr. Norm Shpancer, for inspiring her to look for the good in every situation. “He makes the class, Positive Psychology, interesting with his sense of humor. Overall, the class has helped me improve my mental well being and become more optimistic in my thinking process,” she said.
Carmen has managed to work through the challenges and sums up what many other adult students agree with. “Returning to college reinforces that I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it and that no matter how old I am, learning can always take place,” she said.
Learning will continue to play a big part in Carmen’s future. She wants to relocate to the South and be an elementary school principal.
For more information about education for returning adults
, call Adult and Transfer Admission