A story about lifelong learning ran in the News & Record, featuring Monica Jones ’15 and the welcoming environment Guilford College provides to Monica and other adult students through its Center for Continuing Education.
The article, “Lifelong Learning,” appeared on the front page of the Triad Careers & Triad Marketplace section on July 27.
“People come for a lot of different reasons,” commented Rita Serotkin, dean of the CCE. “They come for better jobs, to get hired for better jobs because they’ve hit a glass ceiling. They come to satisfy a dream, to set a good example for their children.”
Monica, a mother of five, said that a bachelor’s degree was expected in her family, but she left school her freshman year after becoming pregnant with her first child and getting married.
She was encouraged by her children – all of whom have completed or are attending college – to return to school and become a teacher. “They were giving me back what I had been feeding them,” she said.
At first Monica was not sure if Guilford’s writing intensive program would be the right fit for her, but she soon realized that, “they are just very thorough and down to earth,” she explains. “It’s like they really care about you, the student, and you, the individual. I wasn’t just a number. That was what really kept me here and it was just, the more I came, the more I grew.”
“Everybody has a story,” said Assistant Dean of CCE Jackie Smith. “Everybody’s different. It’s like this – the reality is everybody is a lifelong learner, because we learn something every day. I think we have to be mindful of this as just an environment that’s conductive for that learning.”
Monica plans to graduate in May with a dual degree in education and justice & policy studies. She encourages anyone, especially older adults, thinking of coming back to school to take the leap.
“Continual learning boosts creativity, communication and critical thinking skills and invites us to connect with new information about the world and ourselves – so many connections when we take the time to explore and reflect,” Monica said.
“If you don’t try it, you’ll never know what you could have done.”
Story by Rachel Leahy ’14