Breathitt Countian Chassadi Strong is a strong supporter of the University Center of the Mountains because that s where she obtained her bachelor s degree and she is working on a master s degree.
She graduated from HCTC in 2006 with two degrees - Associate in Arts and Associate of Applied Science in Human Services. Just one year later she earned a bachelor s degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University and she is now enrolled at University of the Cumberlands, another UCM partner, to obtain a master s degree so she can teach elementary students.
She has high praise for her college experience. I thought it was very professional and organized with professors that really knew the content and were able to help students apply the content to real life. Staff and professors were eager to help students in any way they could. The programs and classes helped a lot of people, like me, extend their education and earn their degrees, whereas they may not have if they would have had to transfer and move to another 4 year college. The time and money that I personally saved by getting to stay at home was such a tremendous asset.
Many students speak of the benefit of attending the UCM and juggling other life responsibilities. At the time I attended EKU via UCM, I was pregnant and then had my daughter. The care that an infant requires often hinders students from finishing their educations. With UCM, I was provided the opportunity to remain close to home and earn my bachelor s degree, Strong said. This is our reason for being, commented Deronda Mobelini, Director of the University Center of the Mountains. We provide improved access to four-year and graduate level degree options for our student, often individuals who also carry the additional responsibility of family and/or work while attending college. I love the way Chassadi has made use of the programs offered by the various partners, thus working her way through HCTC to EKU and now on to University of the Cumberlands for her graduate work.
Chassadi also benefited from the interactive television learning classroom style. The ITV classes were so great! It was really amazing to be one of the first students to get to use that type of technology to earn college credits. This was a major positive step towards higher education for our local communities.
Strong said she would recommend the UCM to others wanting to obtain a college degree. I did not have one negative experience with UCM. Only great things can come from students expanding their education. UCM provides working students, students with children, regular students, etc. with the chance to fit college into their lives with online courses, ITV courses, evening and even weekend courses.
This UCM graduate excelled in her classes and earned the EKU President s Award for graduating with a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0.
Her future involves earning a second master s degree and then earning her Rank 1 status for teaching. I hope to be one of those teachers that truly makes a positive impact on my students lives. Possibly, I will one day be head of some type of reading and writing program that will help strengthen our students and diverse learners in basic reading and writing skills.
Chassadi and husband Josh have a six-year-old daughter, Madison. The family lives at Whick.
Want to become the next UCM success story? Call 606-487-3182.