Weed Resident Earns Degree through Online Simpson University Program
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - After being out of school for 10 years, Regina Weston challenged herself to pursue her dream of finishing her college degree. Between working full-time, spending time with her family, and being a member of her local roller derby team, Weston needed a degree program that fit her active lifestyle.
"I decided to apply to Simpson because the ASPIRE program was the perfect fit for me,” she said. “I needed something that would allow me the flexibility that the ASPIRE program does.”
Weston, 38, of Weed achieved her dream by receiving her bachelor of arts in organizational leadership at Simpson University’s spring commencement ceremony on April 30. She 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.
Prior to enrolling at Simpson, Weston was working full-time as a resource and referral program specialist at Siskiyou Child Care Council, a non-profit organization that helps families find quality childcare.
Her desire to take on a greater leadership role within a non-profit was another reason she returned to school.
“Working in the non-profit field for the past 10 years, I knew that eventually I would like to become an executive director,” she said. “I knew I would need to have the skills and education to take on such a challenge. After reading more about Simpson’s organizational leadership program, I felt it would give me the tools I would need to become an effective leader.”
While in the ASPIRE program, Weston was part of a 16-month-long online degree program, which she started in January 2015. She stayed 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.
“Living in Weed and having a full-time job and family made it impossible for me to attend traditional on-campus classes,” she said. “Simpson does an amazing job of creating a really immersive online environment; even though you are not in a classroom, you still are able to interact with your professors, as well as classmates, through forums, and group assignments.”
One of the challenges Weston faced in pursing her education was time management.
“The most challenging part was figuring out how to juggle everything and make time for school,” she said. “It was definitely an adjustment for me and my family, especially since ‘school’ took place at home. I learned very early on the importance of planning my weeks so I allowed ample time to study and complete my homework assignments.”
Weston works full-time as a program director at the Family and Community Resource Center of Weed. She said she applied for the job last summer because of the skills she had already gained from classes.
“I can honestly say that I would not have even applied for this job if it had not been for the organizational leadership program and the confidence that I had in myself and my abilities to be a successful leader,” she said.
Weston said she enjoyed all aspects of the ASPIRE program, including being part of the Simpson community and getting to know her academic advisor and professors.
“Everything about the process has been rewarding, from my new-found confidence in my abilities as a leader to the tools that I have gained that will help guide me through my future endeavors,” she said. “Also, being able to show my daughters that even though it took me this long to finish my degree, I never gave up hope or the belief that one day I would.”
Based on her positive experience, Weston said she would recommend the ASPIRE program to others.
“I have recommended the ASPIRE program to anyone who is thinking of returning to school,” she said. “The ASPIRE program works. So, I have and will continue to recommend it to anyone who is considering getting their degree.”
Weston said she was also impacted spiritually while a part of the ASPIRE program.
“As someone who grew up in a very religious home, I rebelled a bit against that after leaving home,” she said. “My time at Simpson has brought me back to my faith, and I appreciate that more than words can express.”
Weston plans to continue her journey of becoming a non-profit executive director by pursuing her master’s in organizational leadership with an emphasis in non-profit management through Simpson’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
-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