Army Veteran Earns Online Degree at Simpson University
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - U.S. Army Specialist Troy Davenport III, honorably discharged in 2005, has a heart for helping other veterans pursue higher education by obtaining their G.I. Bill benefits.
Over the past four years, Davenport used his own education benefits to earn multiple degrees, including a bachelor’s in organizational leadership from Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies, ASPIRE degree-completion program.
Davenport, a 34-year-old Paradise, Calif., resident, was one of more than 230 students who graduated during Simpson’s spring commencement ceremony on April 30. He was also inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students who maintain at least a 3.8 grade-point average.
Davenport first attended Butte College in Oroville, Calif., in 1999 but left school to join the Army. He returned to Butte in the spring of 2012.
“I decided to return to college because I had a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ date on my G.I. Bill benefits,” he said. “I wanted to maximize my benefits and decided to utilize my benefits for a degree.”
After completing associate degrees in social and behavioral sciences, Davenport tried transferring to a local four-year university, but after multiple complications in the intake process, he decided to look into the ASPIRE program.
“I was very pleased with what I researched,” he said. “I asked other ASPIRE graduates about their success, frustrations, and what they liked and disliked. They all had very positive things to say. This made the decision easy. When I enrolled in the ASPIRE program, the process was easy and the transition was smooth. There were multiple people available to answer any questions I had.”
Davenport started taking ASPIRE courses in the spring of 2015. He was a part of a 16-month-long online degree program. He connected with professors and classmates using Skype and Moodle, Simpson’s online learning management system. In addition to organizational leadership, the ASPIRE program offers an online B.A. in psychology.
“The main reason for pursuing the online degree was the geographic location,” he said. “I am almost two hours away from the main campus. If I were to drive there it would easily consume four hours of my day. I found that I could take the online courses while still going to work, maintaining my duties at home, and setting aside a regimented study schedule.”
Davenport said he liked many features of the ASPIRE program, including support from his classmates and the instruction he received from his professors.
Soon after starting his ASPIRE program, Davenport was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the brain. This illness led to multiple stays in the hospital, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and neurological examinations.
“I was about to resign from the ASPIRE program, but I had encouraging words and an amazing hope and faith from the ASPIRE leadership,” he said. “I continued to press on. I remember using the laptop by the bedside, trying to read the assignments. I remember listening to the lectures during the immunotherapy treatments. Through it all I realize God is the ultimate healer, and He will give us strength to accomplish anything.”
Although he just received his degree, Davenport has already incorporated what he has learned into his job working with veterans at Butte College.
“I see differences in my leadership style, including my skills, knowledge, and abilities,” he said. “I am able to apply the things I have learned in a real world environment.”
Davenport plans to keep working at his current job.
“I have a lot of reward invested in this position, being able to see veterans strive for success,” he said. “In addition, there is a personal connection, being a combat veteran myself. But, I have learned that my one calling is to lead and inspire others, whether or not it is solely with veterans.”
Based on his positive experience in the ASPIRE program, Davenport said he would recommend it to others.
“The ASPIRE program is a well-organized program that is designed to encourage a positive learning environment,” he said. “The ASPIRE program enables students to follow a structured program that is designed for success.”
-Written by Elise Wilson
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.
Contact: SU Public Relations