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My life has changed a lot since I was plucked (ouch! I hate that word) from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight—an uncomfortably bright position for a nocturnal creature to adjust to, let me tell you!
For one thing, my sense of purpose and pride have ballooned as I’ve played my part in seeing more than 65,000 graduates earn their degrees since I took my perch in 2011—as of October 2016, we’re now up to 71,000 total alumni in WGU’s history—and counting! And it’s been a hoot watching the number of currently enrolled students grow, from less than 30,000 back in 2011 to more than 75,000 students now on their way to completing their degrees!
But in all the most important ways, I’m the same feathered fella I’ve always been. Let me tell you a little about what makes me me—and why WGU chose me to represent their illustrious student body and alumni community.
If owls could blush, I’d be bright red right now, so let’s get this one out of the way quick. There’s no question: Wisdom is something we owls have always been known for. Not just smarts, but sagacity—“acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment.” In a vote on social media, WGU Night Owls gave me the name Sage back in 2011 for that very reason. I pride myself on being of sound judgment. Careful. Deliberate. Wise.
WGU Night Owls are no different. You don’t rush into important decisions—especially when it comes to continuing your education with a degree that has the potential to change your life. And when you really do your homework to explore university options, you wisely come to one conclusion: WGU is different, really different, in all the ways that are crucial for a busy working adult student in the 21st century.
My brood is my life. Everything I do, I do to build a better life for my crew. Fun fact: Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?
Many WGU Night Owls can relate. Sure, earning your bachelor’s or master’s degree is a huge personal achievement, but the repercussions ripple outward really fast. When your degree opens new job opportunities for you, it’s helping to build a better life for you and your owlets. And the example of a parent who values education is the #1 predictor of a young person’s propensity to go to college one day. Talk about building more than just a nest egg!
Being fettered by class schedules, semesters, syllabi, and prescribed study time is for the birds! No, I can’t log in to your online lecture at 2 p.m. on Tuesday: I’m nocturnal!
For you, your prime study time may be the wee morning hours, before the kids need breakfast and the work day begins. Maybe you work the swing shift, so evening classes targeting adult students don’t solve anything for you. Maybe you do day shifts some days, night shifts other days, so any recurring scheduling requirement just doesn’t fit your life. Maybe your kids’ soccer season keeps you so busy you don’t have time for much else, but work and personal life taper off enough in the fall and winter that you can be extra-productive in your academic pursuits.
Or maybe, like me, you just do your best work at night.
Every adult student’s story is different, but there is one common thread: You need school to fit your life, because you simply can’t rearrange your life to fit school. I get it! That’s why I love WGU’s personalized pacing, which allows you to plow through schoolwork when you have the time and slow down a little when life gets in the way. I love competency-based education and its emphasis on measuring learning, not seat time. I love having 24/7 access to online learning resources that allow me to study, work on papers and projects, and pass tests any time of the day, any day of the week.
Not all Night Owls are night owls, but we’re all committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed in our academic and professional goals. WGU is designed to ensure that we actually can succeed—day, night, or anywhere in between.
Independent doesn’t have to mean alone. At WGU, you are in the driver’s seat—but you always have handy navigators eager to keep you soaring in the right direction. Your personally assigned faculty mentor’s job description is ensuring you succeed. In fact, all of WGU’s faculty and staff share one common goal: helping students graduate.
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