Ohio Community College Grads Find Further Success at WGU

Bethany Holztrager
Graduate, Cuyahoga Community College
WGU student, B.S. Accounting

“Having a bachelor’s degree will enable me to move up in my current role as well as make more money. More importantly, I feel that I am setting a great example for my two kids.”

Bethany Holztrager I am currently a junior accountant for a local manufacturer. I have a boss who sees my potential and challenges me with work that is above my current position. She wants to promote me, but our corporate office requires that you have at minimum a bachelor’s degree for the higher-level position. Even though I do the work now that my bachelor’s degree will qualify me for, I have to do it without the title or raise in pay that would come from having a bachelor’s degree.

I attended Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) part-time for four and a half years to obtain my associate’s degree. While at Tri-C, I attended all my classes online.

Getting my bachelor’s is something I never thought would be possible. I was always a great student with good grades, but the time and money just wasn't there for it to be a reality. Most people that know me have no idea that I actually dropped out of high school, despite being an honor roll student. I had to grow up quickly, as I had my son at 17. I did get my GED right away, but working full-time and being a mommy didn't allow time for school. When my son started kindergarten, it really made me think about the dead-end, low-paying job I was in and about school for myself.

It took a while to get through my associate’s going only part-time, and I started getting very discouraged towards the end. Three years after graduating, I started contemplating getting my bachelor’s. But everywhere I looked just didn't fit with my schedule or budget.

I finally found WGU and took the chance at going back. I jumped right in and in my first semester completed 26 competency units! All thanks to the affordable and flexible structure of WGU.

WGU has been amazing for me. I am able to complete my coursework just about anywhere and anytime, which has helped immensely in getting more accomplished per semester. While I have dreaded a call or two from my student mentor on weeks that I slacked off some, I always got the pep talk I needed to get my motivation back. I was worried that being an online student, I wouldn't easily get the support I needed from the school, but I was very wrong.

Having a bachelor’s degree will enable me to move up in my current role as well as make more money. More importantly, I feel that I am setting a great example for my two kids—that with determination anything can be accomplished no matter how hard or time-consuming it may seem. Sitting down with them and doing my own homework at the same time instills in them that learning is a lifetime journey, and that no matter how much you learn there is always still a world full of knowledge that still awaits you.

The benefits of getting your degree are endless, as well as the doors it opens up professionally. It also gives you a major sense of accomplishment knowing you are achieving your goals! Earning my degree has been a dream of mine for years, and now WGU is making it a reality.

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