Posted 12 months ago
By Scott Carlson
In 2007, Audri Pelton of North Platte was well on her way to attaining her educational goals when life’s events set her on another path. Six years later, Pelton found herself back on the higher education track, thanks to the Reverse Transfer Program now offered at Mid-Plains Community College.
Like many before her, Pelton began taking classes at MPCC following high school. She later moved to Omaha with plans to complete her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska and ultimately fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher and dance coach.
And then, as it so often does, life happened.
After getting married and having a child, the need for a steady income forced Pelton to put her college career on hold and reevaluate her plans for the future.
“As life went on and continued to happen around me, I ended up climbing the corporate ladder. I was in a very well-paying job where I was comfortable and, for the most part, very happy,” she said.
Although she loved her job and appreciated the opportunity to teach young women confidence and other valuable life skills, Pelton always felt there was something missing.
“Ever since I was a little girl the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher. So, in the summer of 2012 I took a leap of faith and restarted my journey towards fulfilling my career desire,” she said. “I knew this would take some strategic planning as I am a single mother and was making a lot of money at the time. Bettering our future is what brought me back to North Platte from Omaha where I had been living for the better part of the last 10 years.”
When her daughter, Alexandra, began kindergarten last fall, Pelton felt she was finally at a place where she could resume her college career and still be the mother she wished to be, however she still had to figure out a way to pay for her continuing education.
“When my aunt, Teresa Piccolo (MPCC Bridge Grant Coordinator), and my mother told me about the new Reverse Transfer Program at the college it sounded like the perfect solution,” she said. “When I checked into it I found out I already had 81 credit hours under my belt. I only needed to take two classes at MPCC to earn my Associate of Arts degree. And the best part was that the Reverse Transfer Program paid for everything but my lab fees.”
“MPCC’s Reverse Transfer Program allows students to transfer credits accumulated at a four-year university or other community college back to MPCC, where they will count towards the two-year degree program requirements,” explained Karla Coellner, Reverse Transfer Advisor. “As an added incentive, a scholarship fund is available to encourage students to return to MPCC to complete their associate degree. Students must meet a set of criteria to be eligible, but if eligible, the scholarship may fund tuition up to 15-credit hours.”
“Even though it is a very strange feeling to be going back to school after six years, I am more ready than ever to not only complete my Associate of Arts, but also my bachelor’s degree and show my young daughter the value of education,” Pelton said, adding, “Having my associate’s degree will also help aid in the job hunt while I finish a bachelor’s degree and will make me more marketable in the future.”
MPCC’s Reverse Transfer Program is grant funded and may only be available at the college for the 2014 Spring and Summer terms. For more information, contact Coellner at (308) 535-3649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.