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Why Do People Go Back to School?

I'm just back from a few days of vacation in Florida -- strangely it was cooler and dryer there than in Connecticut.  Having been away for a few days, I was surprised when one of our advisors, Joanne, told me how many people she had seen in the office this past week.  There has been a steady stream of potential students coming in to see our advisors this summer -- it seems much busier than usual. 

I asked Joanne what these students have told her about why they decided to come back to finish their bachelor's degree.  Joanne said that the predominant reason is caDSC_1284.jpgreer related.  Many students can see that their potential career growth is hampered if they don't have a bachelor's degree.  They may even have been hired by someone quite a bit younger than they are.  Other people may want to change careers.  The bachelor's degree is usually required for career advancement, since each new job attracts many applicants and employers can create a smaller pool for interviews by sorting on the basis of who has a bachelor's degree. 

I spoke with Kate, one of our other advisors, this morning.  Kate has an appointment today with someone who was working on his degree at Eastern quite a few years ago but dropped out.  Today he is meeting with Kate to see how quickly he can now finish a Bachelor of General Studies degree.   Kate is excited to reconnect with him and find out why he has now decided to complete his bachelor's degree.  

Each of our students in the School of Continuing Education has a special story and a unique perspective on why it is important for them to finish their degree.  If you'd like to share your story, we would love to hear it, and, you just might inspire someone else to take the plunge and go back to school this fall!!


Carol J. Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Dean

School of Continuing Education

Eastern Connecticut State University


Commencement is Just Around the Corner!



It seems like only yesterday when the semester spring began. The time has flown for me . . . but I am sure that those who are trying to complete their last requirements have not had time to reflect on what their degrees will mean to them. Each day I am reminded of the struggles of our students and ultimately their successes. One of the best parts of my job is to greet graduates as they go through Commencement. I am thrilled when I see the smiles, the joy and the faces of family members. It has not yet been internalized by those who are graduating that they are ending this part of their journey and new beginnings are just around the corner. Uncertainty starts to set in when one thinks "what's next?". What is next is what has been worked for, dreamed about, strived for, and sacrificed for. One may ask "is it worth it?". Graduates, it is totally worth it!!!! You will feel a sense of pride that you will have with you for the rest of your lives. You are empowered with a new sense of purpose. You are prepared. You will know that there is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it. After all... you reached your goal of graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University. Enjoy your wonderful've earned it!

Dr. Shelly Gimenez

Dean of the School of Continuing Education

Eastern Connecticut State University


Adult Students: You Are Not Alone!

You are not alone.  Do you ever feel like you are the only adult student out there juggling job, home, kids and school!  Well, you are not alone.  There are almost 2,000 active part-time students at Eastern.  Each semester about 700-800 of them are registered for classes.  And a large proportion of each graduating class is comprised of part-time students.


Last year approximately 200 of the over 800 graduates completed their degrees by attending part-time.  Over 100 students were awarded the BGS degree, and of that number, 46 managed to earn graduation honors!  We here in the School find that the advent of the off-campus Fast Track degree programs has shortened the amount of time that it takes to complete the BGS degree.  Half of the part-time students completed other degrees such as Business, Psychology, Sociology and so on.  For those of you who are finishing we hope that you will plan to attend the Commencement ceremony that will be held at the Xcel Center on Sunday, May 23.  All of your friends and family are invited to attend.  It sounds like an impersonal place but I assure you that the event has a very warm "Eastern" feeling to it.  Here is the link to the Commencement information 


If you feel it is taking you too long to finish your degree, call one of our advisors to talk about ways that you might be able to speed things up.  You could consider taking CLEP or DSST exams, applying for Credit for Lifelong Learning (CLL) or using your summer vacation to take one or more weeklong intensive summer courses at Eastern.


Carol J. Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Dean

School of Continuing Education


Will You Finish Your Degree This Year?

If you are graduating this year, please consider attending Commencement on Sunday, May 23.

Thumbnail image for DSC_1284.jpgDid you know that every year, 20-25 % of the Eastern graduates completed their requirements as part-time students in the School of Continuing Education!  It's true--so you won't be alone.  And if you have earned a 3.5 grade point average or higher, you will graduate with honors and be given a gold honor cord to wear.


Another thing you might not know, you have to "apply" to graduate.  If you are at the end of your program and have NOT filled out the degree application, contact your advisor immediately so that you can get this done.  The deadline has gone by but they will probably still accept your application.


 Btw, you can participate in Commencement as long as you will be completing your requirements in the following summer term. 


Some adult students feel like it is kind of silly to go to Commencement, but I think you would be glad you did and your family members probably would too.  I have been at Eastern for many years and have attended many wonderful Eastern Commencements so I was a little skeptical when a decision was made to move the Eastern Commencement ceremony to the XL Center in Hartford.  However, having now attended the ceremony there, I can highly recommend it to you.  ALL of your family and loved ones can attend (which was not the case before due to limited seating).  And they have those large screen projectors so you can really be seen by everyone as you cross the stage. 


For more information click on this link:



Carol J. Williams, Associate Dean, School of Continuing Education

March 2014

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