BA Psychology Grad Melanie Keiser shares her Story

Online bachelors degree Psychology

Melanie Keiser
BA Psychology 2015 Graduate

I finally conjured up the courage to enroll in the psychology program at Union Institute & University after many years of thinking about it. I thought it would be too much of a commitment because I work full time, sometimes two jobs. In addition to work, I was coordinating a household made up of two teenagers, my partner, three dogs, and a cat.

I had 60 credits under my belt and needed 60 more to acquire a bachelor’s degree, but it seemed like that was insurmountable. I had looked at other colleges, but some required me to quit my job, which was not an option. Another required me to travel every day. I kept coming back to what Union had to offer, a local option with headquarters in Brattleboro, Vermont — so there was an actual person that I could talk to and meet with to take care of registering and answer the questions that I had. My advisor, Sharon Sprague was available by email and face-to-face at my convenience. This made entering the world of online classes less scary.

I was not sure that the online classes would work for me. I thought they would lack the human energy that inspires me and makes me think. I was wrong. My professors and classmates were a close knit group and we worked as a team to navigate new knowledge and the infinite online communities of learning. I found it to be very inspiring, and my relationship with classmates was as close as one would be in a classroom. I found all of my professors to be extremely supportive. There is an understanding that everyone is working extremely hard and on different schedules. It is amazing how the professors know how to help you make it all come together.

Finishing my degree was hard work, but with adversity comes strength. I feel much more confident as a person who persevered and accomplished, finally, what I started 26 years ago. I have my undergraduate degree in psychology and because of that degree, I found a new job three months before I received my diploma! My earning ceiling has been lifted. I can contribute in so many more ways, in regards to my job and my personal life because I was exposed to a well-rounded education through various mediums, methods, and technologies.

I began my adventure at Union with a certain occupation in mind, but after exposure to diverse ways of thinking and ideas, I decided to pursue a different track in psychology. My mind has been opened! I am excited about the endless possibilities that have opened up for me!

Education is never wasted, my quality of life have been enhanced by it. It forms the foundation of confidence and knowledge, and serves as a springboard for the infinite possibilities in life.