Cathy Arnold

Peirce College

I told myself that when my son was older that I would go to college and get a Bachelors degree. I wanted to attend college when I completed high school, but my mother was a single parent and unfortunately we simply could not afford it. Also, having graduated from high school at the age of 16, I was not focused on fully applying myself in college anyway, but I knew one day that I would be. That day came when my son was a sophomore in college and my pursuit of higher education led me to Graduate! Philadelphia. I’d attempted to go to college when my son was in high school and accomplished completing a math course at Community College of Philadelphia. I registered for two courses that following semester but they both were unexpectedly cancelled. Lack of time and available course selections, I was unable to register in that semester and did not pursue college any further.

In 2008, I began my college education at Peirce College. I thought that going back to school as an adult would be rather difficult. However, I discovered that what I thought would be rather difficult, although at times challenging, was not as hard as I had imagined. I was very concerned about taking accelerated courses having been out of a school environment for twenty-five years, and decided to take one course per session. Therefore, I was able to fulfill the assignments of the courses adequately. I also was concerned about taking courses online. Although I prefer on campus classes, surprisingly I was able to satisfy the online course requirements as well. There were a few sessions when I took two courses which honestly were quite rigorous.

As an adult college student, time management is a key factor to being successful. When my manager retired, I was promoted to her position and for several months I worked alone until hiring a replacement for my previous position. That was a very overwhelming time during which I worked a lot of overtime and still had to maintain my school work. I strongly considered taking a break from school, but I didn’t, primarily because of fear of not coming back to finish. So I stuck it out, and I’m glad that I did. It took me six uninterrupted years to accomplish this milestone attending classes winter, spring, summer, and fall. Past winter seasons and various health issues presented challenges during these years, but I purposed to stay focused to finish what I had started. Prayer and determination to confront and conquer any and all opposition, that is sure to occur, is how I achieved my goal.

The Peirce College environment is one of diversity, inclusion, love, support, and empowerment. I intended to simply go to college to obtain my degree. However, I participated in numerous workshops, leadership retreats, school organizations, and cultural events. Presently, I am the President of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society Kappa Nu Chapter and employed part-time as a Tutor with the Walker Center for Academic Excellence. My college experience as an adult not only afforded me a Bachelors degree in Accounting, but also a collection of memorable people, places, and events that I will treasure for the rest of my life!