2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Ina Castillo – Hard-earned degree fulfills goal, silences naysayers

Ina CastilloB.A. in Liberal Studies
Reedsport, Ore.

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
I have been working on this degree for 30 years. When I was younger I attempted college but never had any support whatsoever since my family was against me attending college. When I married my husband was also against my getting higher education. Finally, after I had divorced and my children were grown I decided it was time to take care of me, so I decided to go for it and enrolled in Ecampus at OSU.

I am the first person in my family to earn a college degree. That includes all my ancestors in my direct line back to at least the 1500s. I have worked hard on this degree. Going back to school as an older adult is not easy. The mind doesn't work like it did when I was a kid. Having that degree in my hand is me showing the world and myself that I can do it. It may have taken me a very long time, but I've done it. Now, I hope that I can use this degree to move forward in life and do more things I was told I couldn't do.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I have a home here and responsibilities here in Reedsport. I would not have been able to attend an on campus program because of both economic, transportation and physical concerns. I love the online experience because I can choose the time I want to attend. I love the interaction through the discussion board and even though I am not meeting other students face to face, I am interacting and getting to know them. I like that we are held to the same high standards as the classroom courses, and the quality of the education is very high. Thanks OSU for offering this opportunity.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
Kelly Kneece was very helpful and patient in helping me figure out which courses I needed to graduate. I had the hardest time understanding how to determine what courses I needed and I really appreciated her patience as she explained it multiple times.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My interests have changed and expanded since first enrolling in OSU, but since my degree is in liberal studies it leaves the door open for many possibilities. I think what I want to do is go back into the social services field. I was unable to return to that field after an absence due to disability because the requirements have changed so that a degree is required. I enjoyed being able to help others and to make a difference very much. I hope to be able to continue that work.

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