Featured Learner - Gwendolyn McNuckles
Focusing on Success
In 2009, Gwendolyn McNuckles will realize a lifelong goal. "My dream, since I was young, was to obtain my degree," she says. "I was a first-year student for 35 years and had given up that I would ever achieve my degree."
For Gwendolyn, it wasn't a question of not being smart enough to complete the course work. "I fought lack of money, lack of support from the institutions I attended, as well as some extreme personal challenges," she explains. Then she was introduced to Peirce by her daughter, who is attending the College. That changed everything for Gwendolyn.
"I learned that no one is an island," she says. "Although we come to Peirce with varied skills and experiences, school seems to level the playing field for us. We are all students."
Gwendolyn is studying for her bachelor's in Business Management on campus and online, a good fit her with her personal and career demands. "Peirce gives me the opportunity to give my all to my education and to see positive results quickly," she points out. "I use my studies in my service coordinator's role at an early intervention center. Each class equips me to see that the challenges in my job are opportunities and not obstacles. Plus, my studies enable me to understand that I can be part of the solution by helping to resolve problems."
The seven-week accelerated courses, comradeship with the other students and support from her instructors rank high on Gwendolyn's list of why Peirce means so much to her. "Peirce's financial aid and scholarship programs have been very important," she adds, "and the library and librarians have been so helpful to me when I need to do research."
"The balance of personal yet professional attention to my needs at Peirce have made all the difference to my grades. And the Walker Center offers the chance of the full college experience. With support from everyone at Peirce, as well as my family, I am well on my way to completing my degree."
However, next year, with a bachelor's in Business Management in her hands, Gwendolyn isn't ready to end her studies. "My next goal is to get a master's in Sociology," she says. Meanwhile, the bachelor's degree will enable her to write grants for programs at the intervention center.
What advice does she have for other students? "Take full advantage of the opportunities and the help that Peirce offers. It will last a lifetime."