Student Profile: Family of Students

Charice Black

Charice Black not only had the support of her WGU mentor, but also of her family—and it's become a family affair. Charice's father, sister and brother-in-law are all students at WGU

"It is nice to be able to talk to them, celebrate, complain, and get encouragement as we all share the WGU experience," Charice said. Shortly after her divorce, Charice needed to find a challenge. She was inspired to go back to school when her father, Dale Nelson, at age 60, decided to pursue his teaching degree at WGU.

After checking into the programs offered, Charice found the Master of Education in Learning and Technology fit with her current occupation. She is the distance education specialist for Utah Education Network, primarily supporting the statewide videoconferencing system.

Her father, Dale Nelson, formerly a dairy farmer, quality assurance manager, and grocery store owner, made a career change into teaching. He's currently teaching science at Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Utah. Dale earned his initial licensure through WGU, and he returned to work on his master's degree. "Returning to school after 35 years has been challenging but rewarding," Dale said. "One of the best parts is the support received during phone conversations with my daughters as we discuss our progress at WGU."

Charice's sister, Dottie Brereton, is attending WGU to pursue her elementary education degree. She and her husband, Dean, live in a rural area of Utah. "Had I been attending another school, my education would most likely have been put on hold," Dottie said. "But because of the flexibility and mobility of WGU, I have been able to continue working toward graduation." Dottie's husband, Dean, is working on his Master's of Nursing with an emphasis in education at WGU. He is currently a full-time instructor at Snow College, teaching first-year nursing students. In addition, he is a R.N. with the Army Reserve and serves as the officer in charge of the EMT-Triage section of the Combat Support Hospital.

"I was looking for an online program that would fit my schedule and I needed something flexible so I could stay on track when deployed with the Army," said Dean. "My wife and I motivate each other to keep on track with our studies. It will be a great reward to graduate with my wife, best supporter, and favorite study buddy."