Trinity County Residents Laud Flexibility of Simpson University ASPIRE Program
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - Family is important to both Julie Trujillo and Julie Marsh and a key reason why each woman decided to earn bachelor’s degrees through Simpson University’s School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, ASPIRE program.
Trujillo, 28, wanted to set a positive example for her children.
“Showing my children that hard work will provide the best future for themselves will hopefully encourage them to be the best that they can be,” she said.
Marsh, 45, wanted to find a way to help support her family after her husband had major surgery and couldn’t return to his job.
“I knew I needed to create options for our family,” she said. “I had all the skills for senior level jobs, but I just couldn’t check that ‘degree required’ box.”
Trujillo and Marsh were two of more than 160 people who graduated from Simpson University during a winter commencement ceremony on Jan. 21.
Both Trujillo and Marsh attended Shasta College in Redding prior to coming to Simpson. Trujillo, a Weaverville, Calif., resident, attended Shasta in 2007. She decided to earn her bachelor’s degree from the ASPIRE program because it accommodated her lifestyle.
“I feel that is geared toward most people who have a family and work full-time,” she said.
Marsh, from Lewiston, Calif., attended college in 1989 and earned her associate’s degree in 1991.
Trujillo enrolled in the ASPIRE program’s 12-monthlong business management degree program in January 2016. She attended classes on Simpson’s campus one night a week on Tuesdays, with each course lasting five weeks.
“I chose a major in business management because that is the field I have been working in for many years,” she said. “I felt the education I was provided would be more beneficial for my future.”
Marsh had the opportunity to be a part of both the on-campus and online organizational leadership programs. When she enrolled in ASPIRE in January 2016, she started in the on-campus program. She took classes on Simpson’s campus one night a week on Wednesdays, with each class lasting five weeks.
“I loved being in the classroom and interacting with my professors and peers,” she said. “I received strong positive feedback on my work which made me feel great and increased my confidence.”
When Marsh and her family moved to Portland, Ore., in October 2016, she began taking classes online.
“I was a little nervous about switching to the online degree,” she said. “What I discovered was the greater flexibility worked really well for my life. I also learned some new skills related to technology, and that was a benefit to me in other areas of my life.”
Trujillo said one of the features she liked most about the program was relationships she was able to build with her professors.
“They all knew what kind of lifestyle I had, and they worked with me,” she said. “The best part was that I was able to communicate with my professors openly about any issues I was having in regards to life or my education concerns.”
Based on her positive experience, Marsh said she would recommend the ASPIRE program to others.
“It is affordable and fast,” she said. “It is also geared toward adult learners with the understanding that the students are working and have family responsibilities.”
In addition to going to school, Trujillo worked full-time as an accountant for the Trinity County Department of Transportation, juggled family life and work schedules, and planned her wedding. Balancing all these responsibilities proved difficult at times, but the outcome was worth it.
“I found the most rewarding part of this whole program was overcoming all those challenges and completing something I started,” she said.
Since moving to Oregon, Marsh has continued working as a freelance writer, a career she has had for over eight years. She has also started an online magazine called Forty and Flourishing and is looking for a job.
“Having this degree allows me to pursue high-level jobs with confidence,” she said. “It is also a personal passion to bring elements of psychology and personal development into business.”
-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