Cap and gown in tow, Renee Simons is looking forward to the 1,300 mile trip to attend commencement ceremonies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay this week. She will receive her diploma with about 700 other graduates of the class of 2011, but unlike the vast majority of her peers, it will be the first time Simons will set foot on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Simons will be receiving her Bachelor of Applied Studies Degree with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and an emphasis in Human Development. Native to the Green Bay area, with long-standing ties to UW-Green Bay Simons now resides just outside of Lampasas, Texas.
“My father worked on the construction of some of the buildings at UW-Green Bay and I always thought it would be neat to go to school where my dad had a part in building it,” said Simons.
Family pride was only part of the reason that Simons chose UW-Green Bay. The other reasons were value and convenience.
“I went to talk to the people at the newly founded (public university) in Killeen, Texas. I was blown away by price and how many credits I needed to complete my bachelor’s. So I looked at some online colleges and again I was really disappointed by the cost. I was beginning to feel it was a lost cause. Then one day I was looking at the Green Bay Press Gazette online and there was an ad for the UW-Green Bay Adult Degree Program, I clicked, got the information, called and the rest is history,” Simons said.
Simons enjoyed the freedom that online courses afforded her as a busy working adult.
“The ease and the ability to work around my job, family and personal life was something I appreciated; there is no time schedule that dictates that you have to be in class now,” said Simons.
With her upcoming graduation, Simons reflects on her journey of completing one of her biggest goals in life.
“It is a little impersonal to do your classes online and never see anyone, but the online degree that UW-Green Bay offers has helped me fulfill a dream,” she said. “It will be a treat to walk across the stage in May and to meet all of the people who have helped me complete this dream. I can’t wait to see the campus that my dad helped build and the campus I am a part of,” Simons said.
Story by Daniele Frechette, intern, Marketing and University Communication