2011 OSU Ecampus graduates

Jessica Lily Smith – Supermom: worker, student, role modeljessica-smith 

B.S. Environmental Sciences
Dayton, Nev.

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
Completing my degree has been a goal for over 16 years. I originally dropped out of college in 1994 when I found out I was pregnant. I told myself then that I would go back and finish before that baby graduated high school. My oldest is currently a sophomore in high school and taking dual-credit classes at the community college to advance himself, so my timing is cutting it close.

I also feel that I have shown my three boys the value of education by having them see me devote so much time to homework. Many nights I can be found in my room reading assignments and typing papers when I might otherwise be in front of the television. They see how much I put into my education, and they know that I expect at least as much out of them. 

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I wanted to go to OSU and hoped to move to the area and be an on-campus student. I was unable to sell my home and decided that I would do it through Ecampus. The variety of programs and courses offered is amazing. I had taken online classes before, but I really like the Blackboard environment and the interaction between students and professors. I also like that there seems to be a more mature student group from a variety of ages, cultures and points of view. Those of us taking the classes are truly sacrificing something to do this and are appreciative of the opportunity. I brag about OSU Ecampus at work all the time.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
Dawn Marie Gaid is my advisor. She has been wonderful. There was some confusion on my major and classes needed previously, but she went to bat for me and helped me to clarify things and get my class requirements back on track. And 99 percent of the professors, teaching assistants and other students have made this a wonderful experience.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My Ecampus degree will allow me to advance in my career goals. I want to be an environmental scientist. The bachelor's degree itself will allow me to be eligible to apply for government positions as they open, and I know that I have a firm foundation of knowledge. I feel that I am well prepared for any future challenges. It will finally allow me to be the college graduate that I promised myself I would become almost 17 years ago. Thank you for the ability to fulfill my dream.

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