How long is too long to be out of school before you can go back? Five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Twenty-five years? The answer, as Warminster’s Brian Brennan found out in 2016, is that it’s never too late to go back!
Brian graduated from high school in 1989 when Chicago, Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson were topping the charts and Michael Keaton was Batman. Twenty-seven years later, the charts looked a bit different with Justin Bieber and Drake at the top, and Ben Affleck was wearing the Dark Knight’s cape and cowl, but there was Brian back in school again. Going back was a challenge, but it’s one Brian’s risen to thanks to his supportive wife.
"It was the most cost-effective program I found"
“That first class that I worked on, I didn’t know what to expect,” he admits. “My wife had finished college about 10 years earlier, so she kind of gave me some direction on how I should handle it. It worked out [laughs].”
Staying on Track
No one succeeds in the classroom or in life completely on their own. Brian’s wife helped him get reacclimated to school and still make spending time with his kids a priority.
“In my current job I have a lot of responsibilities and I have to balance school work with professional work,” he says. “But I need to make sure I dedicate time for the schoolwork, so I try to spend my daily train ride on schoolwork. I also try to complete my homework during the weekend, but not allow it to take up my whole weekend.”
While other commuters are catching up on sleep, listening to podcasts or playing games on their phones, Brian is writing term papers during his one-hour commute into the city.
“I have a hotspot on my phone, so I’m able to get on the internet, and I just put my laptop on my lap and go to work,” he explains.
Brian’s job as an application director is demanding. He puts in lots of hours at the office during the week and does even more work once he gets home.
Brian says that layering a traditional college experience on top of all that was never an option for him. Even with completing homework on the train, he wouldn’t have time for his kids if he also had on-campus classes every week. Thankfully, he doesn’t have to choose between his family and his education goals. By enrolling in Peirce College’s competency-based education (CBE) program, he found the most direct route to a degree.
CBE doesn’t make Brian attend class meetings, and it doesn’t restrict how many credits he can complete per term. Instead, it lets him study and complete work on his time, maximizing his time and minimizing his cost.
“The CBE program has a pretty reasonable price where I can take more than just three credits a term for one price,” explains Brian. “It was the most cost-effective program I found.”
How can one program be cost and time-effective? Because CBE charges a set fee per term and allows students to complete as many credits as they can within that term. Brian’s taking advantage of it, saving his money and his family time. He loves having “the ability to do more than three credits in a term, but I only pay that one cost. I’ve only done two terms, and I’ve already gotten 22 credits. That works out well.”