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Persistence pays off for Oregon State Ecampus business ’19 alumna

Christy Wedding sets positive example for her children by earning degree online

Christy Wedding, pictured above with her kids Korbin and Kiernyn, hopes earning her business administration degree online through Oregon State Ecampus will inspire her children to earn a college education.

By Becky Barrett
June 12, 2019

Christy Wedding’s first three attempts at college were not successful. But she’s proof that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That’s what makes earning her degree in business administration from Oregon State University Ecampus so remarkable.

After starting community college straight out of high school, Christy first put her education on pause to start a family. Twice, she tried going back to school while her children were younger – but it never quite worked out as planned.

This time around, Christy is determined to finish with the flexibility and convenience of online classes and support and resources available to students like her who are balancing full-time work and raising a family.

“It’s no easy thing to do work, school and family at the same time,” she says.

But it is worth it.

When Christy participates in commencement in June, she hopes it will have a similar effect on her children as watching her sister graduate from Oregon State had on her.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address in 2012 at her sister’s graduation. Christy left feeling inspired to try again to earn her degree.

Focused on the future

Christy lives with her husband and youngest three children in Gervais, Oregon, and works in the front office for a Kaiser Permanente health clinic in Beaverton.

While she’s been promoted to registration team lead, Christy says she was passed over or didn’t bother applying to better paying positions because she didn’t have a degree. All of the job postings she was interested in mentioned a business administration degree in the qualifications.

“I need to go back to school in order to get there,” she told herself.

In considering her options, Christy learned that Oregon State University Ecampus, one of the nation’s top-ranked providers of online education, offered a business administration bachelor’s degree online.

Dual enroll in Oregon State’s Degree Partnership Program

Oregon State University’s Degree Partnership Program (DPP) is your pathway to completing a university degree more quickly and more affordably. This program allows you to be jointly admitted and enrolled at Oregon State and any of our community college partner schools. There are many advantages to being a DPP student.

Learn more

And through the Degree Partnership Program that Oregon State has with Oregon’s community colleges, she could pick up right where she left off at Chemeketa Community College in Salem and finish at Oregon State after earning an associate of science Oregon transfer degree.

But first, she had to meet with a Chemeketa advisor to talk about her previous attempts at school.

Christy says that in the past, she didn’t always stick to her plans. That was the case with trying to go back to school in 2004 and 2006.

“I would decide to do something, then very quickly change my mind,” she says.

Reckoning with her past forced her to commit to her future.

Christy successfully completed her community college classes and began the next step in her future – Oregon State business classes online.

Oregon State’s business administration program prepares Christy and her classmates for future success. It also helps her to keep pace with technology and information management systems at her current job in health care. That’s made her studies interesting and relevant.

“With how rapidly things are changing, who knows what job options we’ll have in 10 years,” she says. “Getting an education is becoming even more important.”

“With how rapidly things are changing, who knows what job options we’ll have in 10 years. Getting an education is becoming even more important.”

A personalized support strategy

Another difference that’s led to her success this time around has been her Ecampus student success coach Bethany Ulman. They were connected during her first term, like all other new students.

“That’s silly,” Christy thought at first.

But then calculus happened, and it took three attempts for Christy to pass the class.

Christy sets a positive example for her children by not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk when it comes to earning a college education.

“The first time I failed, there were tears,” she says. “I considered changing my major to history.”

But Bethany reached out and helped her to find the right class setting to succeed. Since then, Christy has adopted a weekly check-in with Bethany to strategize. They talk about homework, the kids’ sports schedules and responsibilities at work.

“Each conversation sets my week,” Christy says.

Part of Bethany’s role is reminding students of what’s driving them to earn their degree. For a lot of parents like Christy, that’s setting an example for their children.

She tells them it’s OK if it takes them longer to graduate or if they have to retake a math class. “Those are all acceptable, normal things,” Bethany says.

That why Christy exemplifies persistence. Because earning a degree is about more than getting a raise or promotion. It’s about setting a positive example for her kids, proving to herself that she could achieve her goals and overcoming what was once a roadblock in her path to success. It’s also why the impact of her accomplishment will last far beyond graduation.

“The degree was always more for me than the job,” Christy says.

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