By Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University
As an educator for a couple of decades now, I have met countless adult learners that have returned to college to earn a degree. I find that the people who are pursuing a passion are the ones that are most likely to make it to graduation.
I often hear from students that they have returned to college to be a better role model for their children. When I hear that, I know that the student is going to graduate. Another common reason for returning to school is to earn a promotion at work. Although this is certainly laudable, I find that it might not be enough motivation.
Here’s the difference: a new job or promotion can help propel a person toward a degree, but the admiration of their child is priceless. For me, my daughter was just one when I decided to return to school to earn my master’s degree. I wanted to complete it while she was still small so that when she was in school she would have a role model; it is hard to tell a child to stay in school and work hard in school if one has not done it themselves.
[Related: It’s Time to Finish Your Degree]
Now when my kids ask me how long they need to stay in school, I advise them that they can stop going to school once they have been in school more years than I have—now running at 28 years. No doubt, my children understand the value of education.
I have found that people (including myself) that are lacking a burning reason to graduate will often find an excuse not to get it done. To anyone considering earning a degree, the best advice I can give is not to start a degree until you can find that compelling passion that leads you to complete the degree.
Once you have that compelling reason, you have a goal and are ready to embark on the journey. Earning a degree is hard work. It is much easier to handle the sacrifices and the challenges with a passion to motivate you.
About the Author: Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is the program director for the Reverse Logistics Management department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has more than 25 years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. Dr. Gordon earned his Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA.