Red Bluff Residents Earn Degrees in Simpson University Online Program

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - Red Bluff residents Amber Wilson, 33, and Elizabeth Senzell, 38, decided to return to college to earn their bachelor’s degree because they felt a pull to do more with their lives.

Amber Wilson Amber Wilson

“I was working full time at a job that I didn’t love and overall was dissatisfied with my life because I wasn’t following my passion,” Wilson said. “I always knew that I wanted to go to college. I felt that the only way to feel truly fulfilled was to pursue a higher education.”

In addition to pursuing her dreams, Senzell said she also wanted to set a positive example for her four children.

Elizabeth Senzell Elizabeth Senzell

“I now have so much hope for the future; and I know that I will have the life I always wanted,” she said. “I will now be able to pursue a career that is meaningful to me rather than just another customer service or retail position. I know that my children will pursue a higher education, which will allow them to live the life they will enjoy and thrive in.”

On April 30, Wilson and Senzell graduated from Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies (ASPIRE degree-completion program), both with a B.A. in psychology. They also were both inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, a national honor society for continuing education students who maintain at least a 3.8 grade-point average.

While in the ASPIRE program, Wilson and Senzell were part of the same 16-month-long online degree program. They stayed connected with professors and classmates using Skype and Moodle, Simpson’s online learning management system. In addition to psychology, the ASPIRE program offers an online B.A. in organizational leadership.

“I enjoyed every aspect of the ASPIRE program online,” Wilson said. “I liked being able to work at my own pace, and despite being online it never felt like I was disconnected in any way. I could easily email my instructor if I had questions or another classmate with just a click of the mouse.”

Senzell liked the online degree option because of the flexibility the program offers.

“I chose the online method because I have four young children, and it was very convenient for me,” she said. “I really liked being able to set my own schedule.”

Another reason the online program appealed to Wilson was the opportunity for her to spend more time with her son, Logan, 13.

“As a single mother working full time, the program has really allowed me to work at my own pace and schedule while I work and take care of my son,” she said.

In fact, Wilson said her son was one of her biggest supporters during her time in the ASPIRE program.

“He has been very understanding throughout this process and has really allowed me to be as successful in this program as I have been,” she said. “He has maintained a great attitude throughout this journey.”

Senzell’s family has also been supportive while she was working toward her degree, even when balancing home and school responsibilities became difficult.

“I was a full-time student, while working part time and being a mom all of the rest of the time,” she said. “It was definitely challenging to get schoolwork done, but my family was of great support to me and helped to take care of each other when I was busy with school.”

Senzell said the most rewarding parts of the program were the professors and her classmates.

“The professors are knowledgeable, attentive, caring, and supportive, and they really kept me going,” she said. “I liked being in a program with other adults and enjoyed getting to know other people who have experienced life a little and have come back to pursue their degrees.”

Based on their positive experiences, Wilson and Senzell said they would recommend the ASPIRE program to others. Based on her recommendation, Senzell’s husband, Justin, is working toward earning his B.A. in organizational leadership.

“Every teacher and staff member is super friendly, helpful and encouraging every step of the way,” Wilson said. “The online format is so easy to use, and you can do it at your own pace in the comfort of your home. It is flexible, so if you need to go out of town you can and will not have to worry about missing class.”

Although they both earned a psychology degree, Wilson and Senzell are taking different career paths. In August, Wilson plans to earn her master’s in counseling psychology through Simpson’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Senzell will be pursing her master’s in education and teaching credential through Simpson’s School of Education in order to become an elementary school teacher and eventually a school administrator.

-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


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737