Mount Union College Adult Studies Graduates Complete Long Journey Toward a Degree

April 15, 2010

When Linda (Lin) Gross and Karen Moseley graduated from Mount Union College on Sunday, May 12 it was the completion of a journey that began in 1996 and 1993, respectively.

As one of six adult studies students graduating this year from Mount Union, Gross's and Moseley's college experiences have been a little different than the traditional student.

It was a job and a supervisor at Key Bank that planted the seeds of interest in continuing her education, according to Moseley. While working at Key Bank, assisting displaced employees with their resumes and cover letters, she began to think about going back to school. Her supervisor, a career consultant, was someone whom Moseley describes as a "advocate of education."

"I assisted her with some of her responsibilities and really enjoyed it," said Moseley. "I felt a sense of worth with that job that I had not felt previously. I had enjoyed my other jobs, but this job sparked my creative side. It really brought out talents and Adult Studies Graduates
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interests I was not using previously. My supervisor encouraged me and pointed out that with a college degree, I could look for jobs in career consultation or related fields. "

Moseley decided to start taking classes at Mount Union. "I live close to the College, so it was very convenient. I did not have to take the time to drive somewhere in addition to taking time for the classes, which was important to me because my son was young when I started."

Lin Gross started taking classes at Mount Union in 1996, after she and her family moved to Alliance from the Youngstown area. "I had taken some classes at Youngstown State, so after we got settled in, I decided to resume my studies at Mount Union," said Gross. After years of working and raising four children, Gross decided that after the last child was off to college, it was her turn.

After being some-twenty years out of school, Moseley found that going back was an adjustment. "The brain just does not work the same as it did when you are younger. Sometimes it went to sleep instead of reading," she said, laughing.

Moseley said that it was "intimidating" at first, to be in classes with the younger, more traditional students, but soon found them to be open and welcoming. She said that one traditional student once jokingly referred to the adult students as "curve busters."

"It is different to be an adult student," admits Moseley. "We are really juggling everything else in our lives to be there, so we are very committed. But the traditional students were very accepting and very open to our opinions. They never said things like, ?you are so old-fashioned' or ?you sound just like my mom!'"

Gross said that she felt comfortable with the traditional students and they seemed comfortable with the adult students. "Really, we are all there for the same purpose," said Gross.

But they both kept "plugging away," as Moseley called it, and both graduated on Sunday with honors. Moseley and Gross were in many classes together throughout their time at Mount Union, and Gross said they felt like doing a "little jig" during the recent College honors convocation.

Both credit the help of Karen Moriarty, director of adult studies, and the professors at the College for the help they gave in helping them attain their goal of a degree.

"Karen is phenomenal," said Moseley. "She really helped keep me on track and was always there to help."

"I wish more people took advantage of the adult studies program at Mount Union," said Gross. "The program is growing, though. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to finish a degree or start one. It is a wonderful opportunity and so easy to take advantage of here in the community."

The professors were equally accommodating of the adult students, according to both Moseley and Gross. "They understood you had a lot of other things in your schedule and were always flexible in meeting with you or understanding if you had to miss class for a child's event," said Moseley. They even made the classroom experience fun. Moseley remembers Dr. Michael Olin-Hitt having class out on the grass in front of Chapman Hall on a beautiful summer day, and Dr. Rebecca Stevens encouraging the students to bring coffee, cookies or whatever else they wanted to class for everyone to enjoy.

Moseley says her husband is very proud of her accomplishment and that even her son, now a freshman at Wright State University, has called to ask her advice regarding classroom issues.

Gross looks forward to joining the rest of her family, as the last to be "pedigreed," as she calls it.

"It has been a long road, and I can see the bridge," said Gross, earlier last week before graduation. "The bridge has always been there, and now all I have to do is cross it!"

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