Red Bluff Resident and Simpson University Graduate Makes Family History

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif. - Joseph Reynolds has a knack for making family history. Through an educational journey that spanned 20 years, he became the first person in his family to earn a high school diploma, attend college, and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Reynolds, a 53-year-old Red Bluff resident, was one of more than 160 students who graduated during Simpson University’s winter commencement ceremony Jan 21. He received a degree in business management with a concentration in human resources management from Simpson University’s School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, ASPIRE program.

Reynolds first attended Shasta College in 1986 and received vocational training as a heavy-duty mechanic. After suffering a work injury and going on permanent disability in 2002, he returned to Shasta to find a new career path.

“I always knew that continuing my education would be the way to get beyond my disability,” he said. “Once I headed down the path of business management, I knew it was the right fit for me.”

It was while he was attending Shasta that he learned about Simpson’s ASPIRE program.

“I kept hearing people saying they planned on enrolling in the ASPIRE program at Simpson, and I was very curious what the program was and what it had to offer,” he said. “After doing some research, I knew that I also wanted to transfer into the program because it sounded like a perfect fit for me.”

Once he had completed his general education requirements, Reynolds enrolled in the ASPIRE program’s 12-monthlong business management degree program in the fall of 2015. He attended classes on Simpson’s campus one night a week on Tuesdays, with each course lasting five weeks.

“Simpson provided an excellent on-campus experience that I would not have traded for any solely online option,” he said. “There is nothing like being able to interact with your fellow students and your professors, or to sit through an interesting lecture. To miss out on these things would have diminished my college experience.”

Reynolds said one of the best features of the ASPIRE program was the group of students he went through the entire program with, called a cohort. He liked the relationships that he was able to make.

“You really get to know your cohort and feel very comfortable working with them in any situation that may present itself,” he said. “You are able to develop a respect for your cohort’s capabilities and limitations.”

While in the program, Reynolds struggled with health issues, including an undiagnosed heart condition. He was able to overcome this challenge with the help of his cohort, professors and family.

“If it had not been for the support that I received from everyone at Simpson I might not have finished my education at this time,” he said. “Without the help of my family, I would not have been able to complete the program.”

Reynolds also said that he was challenged in his faith journey by attending the ASPIRE program.

“My time at Simpson allowed me to renew and develop my faith to a new level,” he said. “The religious studies courses that I took and the openness of my cohort and professors about their faith helped to open my eyes to the realities of a relationship with God.”

Reynolds’ short-term goal is to find a job where he can apply what he learned in the ASPIRE program in a real-world setting. His long-range goals include finding a job with the potential for advancement, pursing his master’s degree, and opening his own business.

“My business management degree has given me the skills, knowledge, and abilities that I need to succeed in the business world and are applicable to a wide range of businesses,” he said. “I have never had a skill set with so many possibilities.”

-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