NACTEL Student Stories

Mike signed up to earn his Associate’s degree through the NACTEL program at Pace University after learning about it from one of his managers and an advertisement on the company bulletin board.

“What really helped make my decision was Verizon offering to pay for my continuing education,” said Mike. “It’s a great program.”

When Mike started his degree, his daughter was 6 months old - she’s now 6 years old. She joined him at his graduation ceremony in May 2011. “I wanted to be able to tell her to go to college,” he said. “I hate to tell a child to do something I wouldn’t do. I wanted to reinforce with her how important education is not only for a child, but also for an adult.”

Mike said he basically spent his first year in the program figuring out how many hours he needed to put aside to do the work, what with juggling work, school, and raising his daughter. “I was in the program for six years, and I probably got used to the regimen around year two.”

He said success in the program is dependent on setting a schedule that works for you. “I was changing diapers and feeding my daughter while studying, but I was able to get it done. Anyone can do this - you just have to be dedicated.”

Mike really enjoyed the bonding aspect of working with other students online. “Unlike at a traditional school where you might have one classmate you bond with, when you’re online you can build a bond with many people through the discussion boards.”

He said what he learned in the NACTEL program will help him explore a management job in the future if that’s where he needs to go. “I have an open mind. We’re in a recession - right now it’s less about what I want to do and more about what I might have to do.”

Mike said he’s considering going on to take the B.S. in Telecommunications through NACTEL in September 2011.

His advice for prospective students is to always try to stay positive. “Try not to get overwhelmed by the work,” said Mike. “Help is always there.”

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