I was 37 years old and a single mother when I first signed up for college. I had no idea at the time how much the decision would change my life.
After exploring other career paths, I decided to change my major to engineering. The staff and faculty in the College of Engineering were all very welcoming and personable, answering all of my questions and helping me wrap my mind around the big picture of getting a degree.
I was impressed with how accommodating the instructors were with students’ schedules and family situations. I am allowed to bring my daughter to school with me if I am unable to find another option. I have been given the opportunity to do independent study in lieu of night classes. Additionally, all students are asked to provide personal schedules to their advisors, which are used to create a class schedule that accommodates students as best as possible.
As a single-mother, logistics are the biggest obstacle in the way of finishing school. I became eligible for the PEARL scholarship and the ASPiRE accelerated math program for my prerequisite classes. Working at my own pace, I finished these classes quickly and truly learned the material thanks to the availability of the instructors.
The faculty and staff at Northern are incredibly devoted and are exceedingly educated, patient, clear, flexible, supportive and accessible. They have shown that, if a student is willing to work hard, they will also work hard to make higher education a possibility against all odds.
I never could have imagined having an experience like this in any college, but to have this opportunity in rural Northern New Mexico is like discovering a gold mine in my back yard. The academics are seriously challenging, and the quality of education offered insures adept engineers upon graduation.
I cannot say enough good things about this program. It has truly changed my life, and will undoubtedly open doors for my daughters as well. With my degree, I will be able to provide a better future for them, as well as set a good example by furthering my education. The positive ripple effect that Northern has on the community is indisputable and indispensible.
Elizabeth C. Browne