When I figured out that an online university was going to be the best way for me to complete a bachelor's degree, I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect school. The factors I considered were reputation, connection to a ground campus, years of existence, accreditation, progression to master's, and cost.
I looked at Penn Foster College because I remembered their advertisement in the local newspapers. Blue and yellow pieces of paper advertising their short courses and trade education. However, after a quick look, I struck them off the list because they didn't have the degree I was interested in.
I then looked at University of Phoenix (UOP). I saw their advertisement all over the internet and they are well known in Jamaica. They have regional accreditation and name recognition. As I read further there seemed to be some concerns with UOP and their degrees seemed to have the possibility of being regarded with skepticism. I still went ahead and submitted a request for information and it took UOP FOREVER to get back to me. Additionally, I didn't like the attitude of the representative who handled my query, I felt like I was a person from a third world country begging UOP for their degree. When I considered the cost of UOPs degree, I decided that it wasn't worth it.
I considered Walden University as it seems that they were pretty good at targeting Jamaican students, like UOP they have name recognition. Unfortunately, Walden didn't strike me as professional and again I took them off my list.
I always thought that I had to choose only one field. I did and I didn't. I remember once completing a quiz that asked the reader to select certain characteristics, etc. The end result of that quiz was that I could be a lawyer, a teacher, an archeologist, a business person, an accountant, and a few other areas I can't recall. Frankly, the only fields I didn't really fit were the ones heavy with science, such as medicine - dentistry, surgery, pharmacology, general practice-, scientific research, or anything to do with science. I think it was my own phobia of science than my inability to learn and grasp the concepts in the field.
This wide range of options, with the partial belief that I could choose only one field, led me to selecting and sitting a wide range of subjects for my CSEC exams in high school in addition to the mandatory four for a total of nine subjects (English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Principles of Accounts, Information Technology, Social Studies, History, and Spanish).
My high school subjects did not help to narrow my career focus because they all provided me with the option to choose from a range of university degrees. So I did CAPE at my parent's encouragement, selecting,
Sociology, History, …
By the time I'd gotten to university I know my parents had hoped I would be settled in an area and initially I was. I started in information technology (IT) because I was really pulled to that field. However, after my first year, we realized that the program was not accredited which led to my stint at NCU. I was then pulled to law because of a traumatic experience. Personal challenges in my second year led me back to IT but then the activism I had begun to pursue made campus study very difficult.
In an attempt to complete a degree and find a flexible not too expensive option I was drawn to Antioch University Online (read more about Antioch here) were I finally completed a bachelor's in Management. I sometimes look back at how long I took to finish a degree, I started in 2007 and only finished in 2016. And while I want to be hard on myself, I chose instead to celebrate the fact that I've actually finally finished a bachelor's degree.
Life happening during CAPE
I started my CAPE subjects the September after graduating from high school. My parents had encouraged me to do sixth form (lower sixth) so that I would have been more prepared for University. This route also allowed me to skip community college, well not so much skip, as to do an alternative.
During my CAPE journey, I had developed an intimate relationship with a female educator. In the small town I resided, the salacious news always spread like wildfire. I knew it did, but I don't think I cared. I had done what made my parents happy, including going to ex-gay therapy (which didn't work), breaking up with my high school sweetheart, and beginning the sixth form.
My relationship with this educator, was as much a relationship as it was rebellion. I knew they wouldn't like it. She was significantly older than I and she was…. Well 'she’. And of course, my parents always told my siblings and I that we were not at the age to be having relationships.
Towards the end of my sixth form year, my lover the educator decided she was going to take the opportunity to work in the USA. I understood that to mean that we both would have been leaving Jamaica, we were in a relationship after all. However, that all changed. After she left Jamaica, she called to break up with me. Suffice it to say that I didn't take it very well. But, that is a story for a different time.
Heartbroken, embarrassed, feeling like a fool, and believing that the whole town knew about our relationship, but no longer having her there as protection. I decided to not return for my second year of sixth form (upper sixth). My educational journey was changed, and while initially, it seemed it was all a terrible mess, I was able to turn it into my next best (see that post here).
Hi I'm Ang the Generalist! I'm a nearly 30 yr old Jamaican woman.
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