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When Joanna Goslin enrolled at WGU, her enrollment counselor told her no one had ever completed more than 40 units in a term. That’s when Joanna made it a goal to complete her entire degree program in one term.
“You might say I am a little bit competitive, but when I took classes at the local community college without a plan for what I wanted to do, I ended up wasting a lot of time. This time, I knew what it was that I wanted,” said Joanna. “I had developed some competencies at a local community college and felt I could demonstrate those right away. I enrolled in WGU and jumped right in for what was guaranteed to be a wild ride.”
Ever since she was a little girl, Joanna knew that her future was going to be in business. She started her first business when she was four years old—she gathered all of the books in the house and told her family that if they wanted them back, they would have to purchase a library card. Her business focus soon shifted, when she started a café where she tried to convince her mom to purchase food that she had taken from the family’s kitchen.
“As much as I loved business and knew that I needed an education to fulfill my dreams, I also knew that traditional school was not for me,” said Joanna. “My grades were always good enough to get me by, but I never really applied myself and never enjoyed school.”
After taking a few community college classes, she was researching where to transfer when she discovered WGU. She knew right away it was the type of college she was looking for because of the competency-based model and the flexibility it allowed.
“Flexibility was key for me,” said Joanna. “I am married with three children under the age of four, so being able to adjust my school schedule around them was a huge benefit for me. Half way through my studies, I also began working 25 hours a week at a local retail store, so not having to worry about missing class helped me stay on course to complete my degree.”
With three young children, Joanna had to get creative to find time to study. One of her favorite memories was when she was out running errands with the kids and realized all three had fallen asleep in the backseat. Seizing the opportunity, she pulled over on the side of the road and fired up the laptop and got in a half hour of studying before the first one woke up.
Devoting 25-30 hours a week to her studies, Joanna met her goal. She completed all her required units in one term and finished her online business degree program. Joanna’s determination and accomplishment so impressed her mentor that she was nominated to speak at WGU’s 2009 Winter Commencement.
“Earning my degree has had trials, challenges, and setbacks, but I never gave up, and I focused on earning that degree. I have learned so much from WGU that will help me on whatever lies on the road ahead.”
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