In 2000, after the tragic death of her husband, Janice Hagans-Higgins found herself a single mother of four young children. In order to make ends meet, Janice and her children moved in with her parents and survived on the money she received from social security. Janice knew that she needed to do something to provide for her family, so she took on the challenge of furthering her education.
She s thankful for that choice because she is now the new Rape Crisis Center Community Educator in Knott County, a very rewarding job.
In 2011, she graduated from Hazard Community and Technical College with an associate degree. She then utilized the University Center of the Mountains to enroll at Lindsey Wilson College and obtained a bachelor s degree in Human Resources and Counseling in 2012. She is now working towards a master s degree and expects to graduate in December 2014. She has the drive and determination to continue her education she will work toward a doctorate degree offered through a new program at the University of the Cumberlands.
Hagans-Higgins encourages others to obtain an education. She praised HCTC s faculty and staff for helping her achieve her dream. When I started, I did not even know how to turn on a computer. Everyone was very patient with me, noted the 39-year-old. Her appreciation continues to the UCM because she was able to get the degree she wanted without leaving Hazard. We were fortunate to have Janice serve as a student worker in the UCM. She was a cheerful, reliable worker who was also happy to provide informal peer advising to her classmates, and otherwise share her experiences and encourage potential transfer students to look toward their future with a Can Do attitude, commented UCM Director Deronda Mobelini.
My children are an inspiration to me, Hagans-Higgins said. They are very supportive. They love for me to sit and do homework with them, and they actually help me study, she said. Family and friends also have helped her along the way, and she knows that she is blessed to receive that support with her children.
She is thankful for the financial aid she received along the way. She was able to graduate from both HCTC and Lindsey Wilson College debt free because of the financial aid packages. Janice s experience is an example of why the University Center of the Mountains was first developed to provide improved access to higher education so eastern Kentuckians can continue their education without leaving home, stated Dr. Mobelini. Historically, students in our region have had limited access to higher education because of financial and geographical barriers. In addition to bachelors and masters level coursework that is provided by the UCM partners, the UCM also provides assistance to transfer students as they move through the admissions, financial aid application, and general advising processes. The UCM is a phenomenal resource for our students.
In 1994, Janice obtained a Licensed Practical Nursing degree from HCTC and worked for local hospitals and day care centers. Those jobs helped prepare her for her present career choice.
Education is the key, a message she stressed to her kids ages 12 to 17. Her desire is for each of them to enroll in college and work toward a technical program or transfer degree.
Want to be the next success story? Call the UCM at (606) 487-3252 or HCTC at (606)