NACTEL Student Stories

Chris started working in the telecommunication industry 17 years ago after traveling around the world in the Navy.  In the late 90s, Chris started working for AT&T.  It took a few years after first hearing about NACTEL, and he eventually started the program.  He had always wanted to obtain his degree and saw this as his chance.

This wasn’t Chris’ first experience with online courses, but his first experience wasn’t a good one.  At that time, he thought people chatted too much about personal things and not enough about the course topics. But with the NACTEL/Pace, program things were different.  He was in courses that focused on the technical material with people who work in the same field.

Family is a huge part of Chris’ life, so early on he sat down with his wife and created a plan to balance work, school, and family without depriving any areas. Together, he and his wife created a schedule called Drop Dead Dates.  Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were days when no family events were planned. He had all evening to study, leaving the rest of the week and weekend to spend with his family. “It was a great schedule to keep school from taking away from my family life. It allowed me to still have my weekends.”

During the process, Chris found some of the classes challenging. “Some of the math and electronics courses were hard, and I thought about quitting.” But his desire to obtain the degree prevailed, and he made it through.

As for the future, “I really want to continue my education, continue on to a Bachelor’s degree, and become an expert in my field.”  Next semester, Chris will start his Bachelor’s degree through the NACTEL/Pace program.  Eventually, he would like to earn his Master’s degree.

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