“I always wanted to get my degree, but never had the opportunity.”
Have you ever found yourself uttering these words? Kim West has. Until recently, Kim, a Human Resources Administrator at Kroger, thought her long standing dream to go back to college seemed like a long shot.
Thanks to Chancellor University’s corporate partnership with Kroger, however, she has finally been given a chance to pursue that dream. As part of Kroger’s initiative to provide educational advancement to associates, Kim received a full-ride scholarship to attend Chancellor University and is currently enrolled in the College of Business studying finance.
“Going back to school was something I always wanted to do,” she said. “When this opportunity came along, it was the perfect time to do it and it is great!”
After more than 30 years away from a classroom, however, Kim was a bit concerned her skills would be rusty.
“It’s hard to go back to school when you haven’t had any formal education in 30 years,” she said. “All of the sudden you have to start studying again. It’s a ‘wow’ moment. The brain is challenged!”
Fortunately, Chancellor University’s highly trained staff was able to address Kim’s fears and help her get reacquainted with academic life.
“If I have trouble, need tutoring or just need a little help to understand, I have support everywhere,” said Kim.
Indeed, during two very trying periods of her life, Kim was able to continue on with her schooling while attending to the needs of her family.
“When my husband was in the hospital, the people at Chancellor were so understanding,” she said. “I had to drop back to one class, but the instructors and advisors were so supportive. It made all the difference in the world.”
Being able to take classes online helped, too.
“I spent about 10 days last February doing homework outside the ICU,” said Kim. “I didn’t have to physically go somewhere to do the classwork. The flexibility was priceless.”
In addition to flexibility, being able to utilize discussion boards helped Kim connect to the work when she otherwise might have had a more difficult time.
“I like being able to discuss class topics on the discussion boards. We get some pretty lively chats going on and I do feel really connected.”
That online connection has proven even more helpful than she anticipated. One of her favorite professors, Dr. John Chappo, has gone above and beyond to make himself available to her and fellow students.
“He has an open door policy,” said Kim. “Just because the class is over, doesn’t mean the connection with him is.”
“You’d better have a sharp pencil when you go into one of his classes,” she added. “He is absolutely going to challenge you.”
With each challenge so far, Kim has risen to the occasion – Something she said would not have been possible without her at-home support system.
“My best friend of over 15 years has been my number one cheerleader,” she said. “My husband, who has been so excited for me to do this, my brother and my Vice President at Kroger have all been incredibly supportive as well.”
Kim added, “This is one of the most incredibly fulfilling things I’ve ever done, personally and professionally. It’s going to be such a personal accomplishment to finish this degree and I just want people to know that it’s never too late to start.”
I know exactly how you feel, Kim, as I was in the same position. I am also now attending Chancellor University on scholarship and am thrilled. I feel like I am learning things everyday that will add value to my carreer as well as in my personal life. It has been challengeing but so rewarding! Congratulations on your scholarship and on your college studies!
April 18, 2013 aP 4:54 PM
As the aforementioned best friend and cheerleader, I must say that I am SO proud of Kim! She has had some incredible personal challenges and yet has still continued to make the Dean's List. I'm so happy that she has had the opportunity to prove to herself what everyone else knows: just how very smart and capable she is. She has been an inspiration to me, to her family, and to so many she works with. Chancellor has provided a beautiful and wonderful lady a chance to shine like the star she is. CONGRATULATIONS, KIM!!
April 18, 2013 aP 9:23 PM
In an era where the investment of time in one's personal and professional development is in short supply, Kim epitomizes what it means to be a life-long learner. In addition, she pays it all forward when as she encourages others to do the same. With masterful articulation, she is able to clearly communicate her goals and works to align her daily actions around those goals. The grace in going back to school late in life is one typically knows what they need to take, what they have learned, apply it and share it with all of those who have been fortunate enough to purposefully or unintentionally cross their path to success. One can put the periscope up, look around, and the proportions in life feel much more in alignment. Thanks to Kim for showing us that the combination of both a skill set and a mind set is a great formula for success! Congratulations Kim.
May 10, 2013 aP 3:56 PM