A mother who lost her full-time job nearly two years ago pursued a college degree to get back into her work field.
The College of Mount Saint Vincent’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies Program gives adult and non-traditional students the opportunity to receive their bachelor’s degree.
Most of the students enrolled in the program are those who had lost their jobs during this tough economic time do to not having their college degrees.
The program assists the students in obtaining financial aid if needed and guides them in completing required courses.
Kingsbridge resident Joella Glaude-Sawyer, a married mother of three children, had lost her job as a philanthropic and marketing assistant at a Riverdale assisted living facility almost two years ago for not having a degree.
Since losing her job, Glaude-Sawyer has been working with CMSV to get her degree.
This May, she will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Media.
Before she entered CMSV, Joella had already obtained 42 college credits when she was younger, but was forced to withdraw from college due to financial reasons.
Dr. Ed Meyer, director of CMSV’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies Program, had a large role in creating the program five years ago and has helped Joella as well.
“We aim this program towards proper opportunities that adults would need in the work field,” Meyer said. “Most of our students in the program had wonderful jobs, but due to not having their bachelor’s degrees, they could not maintain them. Joella was been wonderful in her time here and she really has taken the most out of it.”
Glaude-Sawyer had been in the work field for many years and was able to develop credentials on her resume based on success and experience.
When interviewing for a position that fit her credentials almost three years ago, Joella was turned down because she had not obtained a degree. After not being able to get the position, she immediately looked into the program at CMSV and enrolled.
Although she was weary at first, it has become her most proud life-experience.
“When I first started, I was very nervous because it had been 15 years since I was last in a classroom,” Glaude-Sawyer said. “It didn’t take me long to get back into the routine though. I loved my time here over the last two years. I was able to love school again and the staff here was absolutely wonderful.”
When Glaude-Sawyer had first started the program, it was still very small and developing. Now it is one of the largest at CMSV and is open to help any adult students who were not able to complete their college degrees in the past.
Joella said that she has attended college graduation ceremonies for family members in the past and always felt that there was something missing for herself.
She believes a college degree will be the final step in getting back into her work field and cannot wait until she is able to hear her name announced as part of the CMSV class of 2011.
“I was always proud of my family members graduating,” Glaude-Sawyer said. “But it always bothered me that I didn’t have a degree myself. After certain unfortunate experiences led me back to school, I am very excited to finally get my degree in May. It will be an incredibly proud moment for my family and I.”