2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Kelly K. Johnson – Graduation marks 180° change from heartbreak

Kelly JohnsonB.S. in Agricultural Sciences
Letcher, S.D.

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
I decided at the age of 15 that I would attend Oregon State University. I was determined to be a dietician. I finished my associate's degree through Portland Community College and transferred to OSU. I commuted from Portland three days a week, and took a full term of classes in Corvallis from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

After doing poorly my first two terms I had lost hope and confidence in my ability to complete my degree. I was heartbroken. There I was, after four years of part-time community college, finally at the entrance to the college I dreamed about as a teenager, and I was failing miserably.

Now, as I approach graduation, I have an incredible mix of emotions. I am proud, confident and astonished. I made the decision 10 years ago that I would graduate from Oregon State University. I finally did it!!

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
Convenience and credibility are the main reasons. After attending five different universities, I needed an option that I could finish no matter where I lived. OSU has a reputable program, and I did not want to attend a school that was not well known. I enjoyed learning how to communicate and express opinions through writing. While the discussion board was very intimidating for me, I quickly learned that communication between classmates and professors was possible. Even from a distance, relationships are possible through on-line learning.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I absolutely enjoyed taking classes from Kimberly Hannaway. She was so willing to let me know when I turned in excellent work, but also offered constructive criticism when necessary. Because of her truthfulness and suggestions, I believe I was a better student.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My husband and I purchased a small farm this past year. I believe my education will help me to get this farm up and running. We live in a world where college education is critical for advancement. Many jobs I have looked into require a degree just to get in the door. As for my own life, this is a huge accomplishment for me. My confidence has grown, and I believe I can contribute more to educating others about their food and sustainability.

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