Georgia State Online students come from all different backgrounds. They all have different dreams and ideas of how higher education can help them achieve them, but their goals of finding stability, supporting their loved ones and advancing their careers are often similar.
And Georgia State Online’s approach offers flexibility that sets all of them up for success.
Stanley Ngadiman joined the B.B.A. online program as a finance major because of the flexibility to work and study on his schedule. He can go back to the lectures, which are all recorded, and learn on his own time.
“I am a full-time employee as well, so this gives me the flexibility to keep working,” he said. “My professors are very responsive when I have questions. Even though it’s online, you learn how to work in a collaborative way.”
Georgia State University offers more than 85 online and hybrid learning programs at all academic levels, from associate to doctoral degrees. The flexibility gives students an opportunity to move their education forward and go further into their careers. The degrees they earn can even position them to teach others in the future.
Semere Araya, the son of immigrants from Eritrea, juggles a demanding nursing job, family responsibilities and the dream of influencing future nursing students.
A 2016 nursing alumnus of Georgia State University Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions’ bachelor of science, Araya is now working towards an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree at Georgia State.
His first degree at Georgia State helped him become a charge nurse in the behavioral health department at one of Atlanta’s largest hospitals. With the next degree he’s earning online, he’ll be able to become a professor of his profession. He chose a D.N.P. degree because it will give him a healthy mix of a master’s program patient care emphasis and the study of policy and systems found in a Ph.D. degree.
“The D.N.P. [degree] will help me influence the next generation of nurses in greater numbers than my work now,” he said.
Suzanne Spalding is a marketing major in the BBA program online. Working full-time as an IT product manager, Spalding knows balancing full-time work and full-time school is no easy task. It’s only accomplishable through time management and organization.
“The B.B.A. online program is a perfect setting for a nontraditional student like myself,” she said. “If I had to drive to campus to go to classes, I could do two classes at most. With this online BBA program I can graduate in two years as if I was a full-time student.”
Spalding likes learning at her own fast pace, and online she’s been able to take four to five classes a semester even while she works full-time. The understanding and capability of the GSU online faculty make a huge difference.
“Being online and working with professors who are used to online students, it’s like I am expecting organization and they are bringing that organization, and that is really important to me,” she said.
Sarah Boswell works full-time as an assistant at a hair salon, interning every week with the City of Tucker. The internship has given Boswell direction on where she wants to go after graduating this December.
She started her college education in 2012. When she had her first child in 2014, she started taking classes strictly online.
Today, her son is eight and her daughter is four. After taking a pair of online classes each semester as she balances being a single parent and full-time worker, Boswell will graduate in December with her bachelor’s in sociology.
Over the last two years, she was also taking care of her ailing grandfather, who is a Georgia State alumnus. She is proud to continue the family legacy, and she’s excited to see the doors her degree opens when she graduates.
“Know that (getting your degree) is worth it, even on your hardest day,” she said. “Just don’t give up.”