Erica Dupree is a CALL student at Northwestern State University who has achieved the goal that she set for herself: she is graduating with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in May after working and raising a family for the last 20 years. She always “meant to start back to school,” but there was always a reason that she needed to put it in the background while she dealt with everything else. However, her daughter is now a teenager, and Erica realized the fact that she never completed her degree was sending a message to her daughter; and, in her eyes, it was the wrong message.
As is the case with most adult learners, apprehension about the unknown was the biggest stumbling block. It was tough to take that first step because college had changed a lot since she was last enrolled. The internet was the major fear that she faced knowing that she didn’t have time to attend all classes on campus and would need the online courses. Her first semester, she took face-to-face classes and internet classes and rapidly found out that “online” was the way for her. She never looked back. That was in fall 2007. She earned her AGS in fall 2008, and, on May 8th, she’ll be at commencement with her family and friends cheering. She is proud of her accomplishment, and she has a lot to be proud of.
“The CALL program made this achievement possible for me,” Erica said. Her advisors helped her get started and kept her going when times got rough. Using the internet exclusively was a big learning curve because “you have to feed that computer to make it produce what you need.” Learning how and what to “feed” it was not easy. When we talked to Erica, our final question was, “What was the best and most important thing that the CALL program did for you?” Her immediate response was, “Having people to call when I doubted myself, who kept reminding me that I could do this. The caring and concern are what made the real difference.” That means that Northwestern is helping people, and that is what the CALL program is all about.
- NSU Staff