Graduate Profile

Jose Gracia Medrano

Jose Gracia Medrano

When he was only 17, Jose Gracia Medrano had a full-ride scholarship to Northwestern University. He was studying biomedical engineering in Northwestern’s six-year medical program. After his first year of college, Jose’s father suffered a stroke, forcing Jose to quit school to help support his large family. In the nearly 30 years that followed, Jose served in the Navy, worked at a variety of jobs, and was always able to prove his knowledge and know-how to employers, even without a college degree.

A few years ago, Jose started thinking about going back to school to earn his degree. “I was able to hold a number of senior level positions in banking and financial companies without a degree, but there was always a barrier I could never break and now I wanted to. I needed that piece of paper,” he said.

Jose began looking for a school that would allow him to apply the knowledge and experience he’d gained over the years to earn his degree. He found Western Governors University a few years ago, but wasn’t able to enroll then—his two children and his wife were all in college at the time. So, he put his plans on hold.

Earlier this year, Jose was able to start his studies at WGU. In his initial conversation with his mentor, Jose told him that we would complete all of the coursework required for his online accounting degreein one term. His mentor was skeptical at first, but agreed to allow Jose to move through the program at his own pace. Jose was able to complete his B.S. in Accounting in just one term, and he attended WGU’s commencement in July of 2009. Jose has enrolled in WGU’s MBA online degree program and once he’s completed his master’s degree, he plans to take the CPA exam.

“WGU was the answer to all the prayers I have had in the last 33 years. I could finally do something at my own pace that could validate the knowledge that I already had, and I would have an accredited degree to show for it,” he said. “Not to the mention the fantastic price! The whole thing together is the greatest value in education that you could come across.”