NACTEL Student Stories

When Kyle returned home during summer break from a technical school in South Dakota, he applied for and got a job at Qwest and never returned to the technical school.

However, Kyle began to have second thoughts about not finishing his Associate’s degree.   “I didn’t want to quit school, but I really wanted that job at Qwest.”  Then Kyle learned that after working at Qwest for six months, he would be eligible to participate in Qwest’s Pathways program, which would provide tuition assistance to allow him to go to college.   “Even after getting my job, I knew that I still wanted to continue with my education and online learning seemed like the way to do it.” 

Kyle began taking classes in the NACTEL program at Pace University and found that taking one class per semester was a good balance for him.  “I would study on weekends and a couple of evenings during the week.  It was great to have my classes online because I could pull up my homework assignments from home, watch the Colorado Rockies baseball game, and do my homework.  Having all of my courses online was awesome!” 

Kyle had a strong support group.  Everyone from his wife to his local union helped him reach his goal of obtaining a degree.  Kyle says that his wife was, “extremely encouraging and supportive,” and his supervisor was helpful as well.  “I would come into work an hour or two early and my supervisor would proctor my exams.”  Kyle states that the CWA was also very supportive.  “Educational opportunities are something that the CWA really believes in.  They work to keep the Pathways program going at Qwest.”

Kyle feels that getting his Associate’s degree will open a lot more doors for him.  “I might want to try a job in management down the road.  Now that I have my degree, I feel that I could really spring towards future opportunities.”

In May, when Kyle and his wife attended his graduation ceremony in New York City, they were also planning for the arrival of their first child in November.  Next, Kyle would like to start working towards a Bachelor’s degree from NACTEL / Pace.

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