Red Bluff Man Returns to College After 20 Years, Graduates with Honors
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - Twenty years ago, Jason Beeman had five classes left to graduate from Sacramento State University. Then the opportunity of a lifetime crossed his path – the chance to play pro baseball in Canada.
“It was always my dream,” the 40-year-old Red Bluff resident said.
He dropped out of college and moved north. Two years later his baseball career ended, and instead of returning to college, he started working.
“That’s been one of my biggest regrets,” he said. “A college degree was always in the back of my mind.”
Sixteen months ago he returned to college, enrolling in Simpson University’s ASPIRE degree-completion program. On April 28, he was one of more than 250 graduates (including 76 ASPIRE students) honored during Simpson’s spring commencement.
When Jason started with the ASPIRE program, he was working for the Red Bluff Police Department and knew he wanted to make a career change. He got a sales job with Lithia Toyota.
“I had a desire to progress through their corporate structure,” he said. “I wanted to get a degree in a field where I could apply my learning.”
Jason knew it would be a challenge to jump back into studies. ASPIRE classes meet one night a week, or on weekends, for 16 months.
“Before enrolling I went back and forth on whether I should do an online course or ASPIRE,” he said. “The instruction with professors was so excellent that I know I made the right choice.”
His wife and teenage daughter and stepdaughter were supportive as he tried to balance work and homework.
“It was helpful for (the girls) to see me practice what I preach about the importance of a college education,” he said.
Jason graduated with honors, qualifying him for membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students.
“I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment,” he said. “The key is knowing that it’s never too late. The fact is, you can do it.”
Simpson University is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate and teaching credential programs. Simpson's academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults in the north state. Simpson's recent curriculum expansion includes degrees in biology, nursing, outdoor leadership, and a master's degree in counseling psychology. For more information about the university, or to arrange a personalized visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.
Contact: SU Public Relations