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Christine Livingston took her education to the next level as an Otterbein adult student

Christine Livingston took her education to the next level as an Otterbein adult student

A new year and new opportunities -- for many adults it’s just a wish. But at Otterbein, adult students find the path and encouragement they need to make those wishes comes true. That’s what Christine Livingston, a married mother of three, is finding as she pursues an education degree with an Adapted Physical Education endorsement in Physical and Health Education. As of fall 2015, she is a full-time student.   

“I was an aide at Mark Twain Elementary in Westerville for four years in the Special Education Department. With my sport and fitness degree, I felt inspired to take my experience to the next level and pursue an education degree with the APE endorsement,” she explained.

Juggling parenting, school and work has been a challenge for her, but she is determined to keep her kids her first priority.

“I was lucky to have a boss who allowed me to work around my school schedule. My husband, who runs his own business and who was also working on his master's degree, was encouraging and very helpful with our three kids. My kids are my cheerleaders and my motivation to finish school,” she said.  

Livingston said she was surprised at the support she receives from the traditional students, as well as the professors.

“Dr. Ann-Catherine Sullivan pushed me and encouraged me since our first meeting. She keeps me going.”

Livingston explains that there have been times when she’s not sure she can continue.

“Dr. Sullivan keeps me going, helps me figure things out. She is a listening ear when life has given me a detour. I have spent days in her office telling her I do not think I can do it any more, but after a little pep talk and reality check, I know I can do it. She has never stopped believing in me.”  

Her persistence is paying off. Livingston says she’s been able to have field experiences in several different school districts, meeting many teachers and principals. She and a fellow classmate, under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan, presented at a conference.

“My personality has not changed, but my eyes have been opened to many new things,” she added.  

Her advice for other adults who want to see their new futures begin: “Find a good support system and take the plunge if you think you are ready. Do not ever hesitate to ask for help. At Otterbein the help is there -- you just have to ask,” she said. “My experience at Otterbein has been amazing.”

Visit the Otterbein adult education page to find more education opportunities.

Find more information on Otterbein's graduate degrees at The Graduate School.