Shaina Lynnes recently earned a bachelor's degree in University Studies in the NDSU Degree Completion program.
Shaina Lynnes returned to NDSU this spring after starting her pursuit of higher education in 2006. She was excited to enroll again after learning she was just one course shy of earning a bachelor’s degree.
“I had a video call with my advisor so I would know what to expect. I had to learn how to use Blackboard and set up a new email account again, but there was online training and tech support available. It was very easy,” said Lynnes, from Minot, North Dakota.
Lynnes years ago made the difficult decision to leave her remaining credits incomplete and secure full-time employment. The major she originally pursued was no longer available when at NDSU, but she easily changed to University Studies. She took an online class which helped her balance schoolwork, a job as a legal operations manager and responsibilities as a parent.
“I am a single mom and work full-time. Flexibility was a requirement for me. I was happy to see online options in the course catalog,” Lynnes said.
Lynnes said it was a smooth transition back to college. She gained experience during her time away that made her eager to return to NDSU to learn and grow even more. Receiving her diploma gave her a feeling of relief.
“I finally was able to accomplish a goal I had held onto for years. My advisor helped me secure a scholarship, which was a huge help,” she said. “I felt proud to tell my son I graduated college.”
Lynnes hopes to pursue a master’s degree in the future.
NDSU staff provide specialized support to meet the needs of students returning to finish their degree through the NDSU Degree Completion Program. Jessie Bauer, assistant director of student success initiatives at the NDSU Career and Advising Center, supports students in the program as they work towards their goals at NDSU.
“Many students who look into returning don’t realize how little they have left to finish their degree. It is so fulfilling to work with students and help them realize that this is absolutely possible,” Bauer said. “Many students can finish in one semester, and we can find online opportunities to provide the flexibility they need.”