“I didn’t go back because I didn’t think it was the right time.”
Tarishia Martin is a Transportation Engineer for the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation. She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 2015 through FlexPath, Capella University’s self-paced learning format.
Martin earned an associate’s degree in engineering in 2008—at the same time her daughter graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Martin wanted to go back for her bachelor’s, but it never seemed like the right time financially. First her daughter, then her son—when would she have the chance?
“Each year I put it off. When my son went to school, I put it off that year, and then a year again. Then I finally decided I can no longer put it off because there’s never going to be a right time. It’s just going to be opportunity that I have to take.
“Mothers always seem to do that. We put ourselves last and everybody else first. It’s just something that it’s part of our makeup as a mom. I did that for a while and I thought about it. “How can I put myself in the front for a change?” I was grateful that my husband said, ‘You have supported me and you supported the kids. Everything that we wanted to do, you always were there. This is your time.’ That was a door opening.”
She knew from the start that an online program would be her only option.
“Traditional education, though it’s wonderful and has its benefits, didn’t really fit into my work or family schedule. I’m also heavily involved in the ministry at my church. With all of that I could not, absolutely, go into a brick and mortar traditional setting for school. Online was definitely the way to go.”
Martin began her program—in the GuidedPath format—at Capella in 2013. She was glad to be back in school, albeit a bit dismayed about the amount of time it took to do assignments and discussion. So she talked to her advisor about her concerns. That’s when she discovered FlexPath.
“I told my advisor I wanted to complete my degree before 2016. I explained how many courses I had left, and asked if it was possible to complete them if I switched to the FlexPath program. She said, ‘Looking at it, yes, it’s possible.’
“So I spoke with one of the FlexPath coaches. We went over my academic schedule. We went over my study habits. She said, ‘You seem like the best candidate for the program.’”
She made the transition to the FlexPath format, and didn’t look back.
“The only regret I really do have about FlexPath is that I didn’t start it sooner.
“The FlexPath program gave me flexibility. I had a choice. I’d give up a weekend to complete three assignments. Then the following weekend I could spend with my hubby.
“The speed is determined by you. You can complete it in six weeks, or you can complete it within three weeks, depending on the work; you can do it.”
But that doesn’t mean it was easy.
“I was not able to balance work, life, and school that easily. I’m an ordained minister. Work, ministry, family, social life and friends; no, it was not easy to balance. But it was important to me. I wanted it bad because I deserved it. When I looked at it that way it became easier to balance, and the balance is much easier with FlexPath because you have the option to wrap your education around your lifestyle.”
For Martin, earning her bachelor’s degree is great for her career. Perhaps more importantly, however, it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
“The FlexPath program has set me up for success in my career because it’s opened opportunities for more advancement. Whether I choose to stay in my current position or work for private sector, I now have my degree, and it’s needed in the field.
“I think if I was not able to achieve my degree, though, it would have been devastating personally, because I greatly desired it.
“I am very excited that I completed it. That means a great deal. I would always tell the kids hard work pays off. It’s funny, as a mother, you’re telling your children all of these things to get them in school, and then you end up taking that same advice and using it for yourself.”
Interested in accelerated learning? Learn more about FlexPath.