Brittany Peters ’21 knows all too well that the path to graduation isn’t always linear. The Indianola native started her journey at Simpson College as a traditional student. Nearly 16 years, three kids and several online classes later, Peters received her marketing communications degree during the May 2021 commencement ceremony.
Drawn by the comfort and familiarity of her hometown college, Peters found the academic environment at Simpson to be rigorous, as well as supportive.
“Simpson was excellent at giving students the opportunity to explore and discover the world around them,” Peters said. “From my perspective, every professor was proactive, accepting and accommodating to each student. I especially saw this while I was pregnant as a traditional student on campus. A few professors even allowed me to bring my daughter into class when I couldn’t find a babysitter.”
Peters took a 10-year break from her studies, but she never lost sight of earning her degree.
“As a mom of three, struggling to create a career rather than a string of odd jobs,” Peters said, “I realized I needed to finish my bachelor’s degree in order to gain the necessary confidence to achieve my career aspirations.”
Unhappy with the online options she found at other schools, Peters connected with Ginger Hermon, admissions counselor for Simpson’s continuing and graduate program, about the College’s online degree programs.
“That email was exactly the catalyst I needed,” Peters said. “Access was critical to my return to Simpson College. Without the online program for continuing students, I would never have been able to finish my degree.”
One trait Peters enhanced during her time in college: confidence.
“With every assignment I completed, every class I passed, and every semester I finished, I felt the personal stigma of not having completed my degree falling away,” Peters said. “A college degree is not just a ‘piece of paper,’ but the proof to myself and others that I am able to tackle difficult tasks and am intellectually capable of higher-skilled jobs and career opportunities.”
Peters offers advice for others considering, yet struggling, to return to school.
“Life moves on without you, and if you aren’t focused and goal-oriented, it will pass you by,” she said. “My college path was incredibly far from traditional, but still brimming with meaning.”