They have demanding careers, busy personal lives, and they each run a YouTube channel focused on their work.

Yet they each felt that returning to school for advanced education was important. Ashley Adkins*, Nacole Riccaboni*, and Michelle Ferre* each had different reasons for going back to school, but they all found the online FlexPath learning format at Capella University to be the perfect vehicle for their education.

Ashley Adkins : Degree Flexibility

All working adults qualify as “busy,” but Adkins (YouTube channel Ashley Adkins, RN) really pushed the boundaries by beginning her MSN while pregnant and delivering her first child while working on the third class of her degree.

“I was able to finish my third class without any stress, because I could push out my due dates a little further, knowing my daughter was going to be born at any time,” she says. “And once she was born, within a week I was starting back to work on my classes.”

Having the ability to work around a newborn means that Adkins sometimes studies at 11 p.m. or 7 a.m., whenever the baby is sleeping. “It’s much easier to have both hands free when I work on my assignments,” she says, and the online FlexPath option gives her that flexibility.

“It’s nice that I don’t have to sit down and cram in a whole assignment in one sitting; I can work on it as I go and as time allows.” The flexibility of the format is an enormous relief to Adkins, who says, “The top benefit of FlexPath is that it removes the pressure of being on a set schedule.”

Nacole Riccaboni : Career Diversification

Like Adkins, Riccaboni (YouTube channel Nurse Nacole) started her career in nursing and works full-time in that field. But while working as a nurse, she realized she had a somewhat different long-term goal. “I want to open my own clinic and take care of people in my community,” she says. “That’s going to require business and managerial skills that my nurse practitioner program hasn’t provided me.”

Riccaboni decided to enroll in an MBA program. But along with her full-time nursing career, she juggles family life, including a child with autism who requires a special amount of care. “When I looked up FlexPath, it was the only program that could work for me and my family,” she says. “I didn’t have to sacrifice my career, being a mother or being a wife. I know it’s in everyone to be successful, you just have to find what works for you.”

Michelle Ferre : Personal Improvement

Ferre (YouTube channel Pocketful of Primary) is a fourth-grade teacher who understands the value of keeping up with her field. “The field of education is constantly changing, and I need to continue to learn as much as I can to stay on the top of my game and give my students the best education that I can,” she says.

Maryland, where she teaches, requires teachers to complete a master’s degree within the first 10 years of teaching in order to maintain their teaching certificate, but she didn’t want to wait that long. “Personally, I want to be an example to my students of a lifelong learner. I want to show them what it’s like to continually better yourself through education.”

Teaching math and science to fourth-graders is already demanding, so a flexible degree program was a must. “I previously tried a very standard master’s program where I signed up for a certain number of credit hours per semester, and as soon as I got into the class, having strict deadlines just did not work.

The FlexPath format allows me to shift those deadlines if something comes up. Moving my deadlines works perfectly with my life as a teacher. I can spend more time working on the things I don’t know as well, but I can move through the things that I already know at a faster rate. I can really learn new content that I can take to my classroom and apply.”

Whether you’re needing a flexible schedule, wanting to shift a career path, or striving to be a lifelong learner, online learning—especially through FlexPath—can be the key to moving forward, as Adkins, Riccaboni, and Ferre have discovered.

Learn more about Capella’s FlexPath learning format.

Actual FlexPath students who are compensated for appearing in Capella promotional materials.

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