An Introduction by Andrea Biklen

by Andrea Biklen, Campus Director, West Des Moines


John, an adult student, sits in my office with the schedule of spring classes between us. We squint at the list of courses; he leans forward and pulls his cell phone out of his back pocket. “Hold on. Let me check with my wife.”

Adult students live in a world that involves so many others: a spouse, a son and step-daughter, co-workers, friends at church, teammates on a volleyball team . . . The decision to return to school defines the time you spend with your inner circle of family and friends.

There are so many factors that can delay an adult student’s degree completion.  The length of time that it takes to complete a degree should not be the primary issue, but rather finding a balance between work and family and school.

However, the single most contributing factor to success as an adult student is the support you receive from those around you. While we work hard as advisors to address your questions and concerns, it is often those nearest us who are the real helpers and stress reducers.

Who is that for you? Is it your husband, who takes the kids to the movie the night before your business law exam? Your teenager whose algebra homework gets mixed up on the table with your statistics assignment? The co-worker who recommended that you call Simpson when she found out that you wanted to complete your degree in marketing? The employer who values your work and is helping to pay for you to be a licensed CPA?

During the holiday season, give thanks for those who are helping to pave the road of your education. We at Simpson are grateful for them as well.

John smiles and puts down his phone. “She said we can adjust some things at home to make my class schedule work. Do you think I could take two classes and get done a bit sooner?”

I nod and point to a Saturday class. “This would be a good compliment to your weeknight class.”

Taking more classes might get you done sooner, but remember to make your family a priority as well. They are a part of your success!