Huntington, Ind.— “When you’re too old to learn, you’re too old,” says Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old manufacturing associate with United Technologies. “People should be intentional about adding to their knowledge.”
On May, 2001, Hughes became the first student in Huntington College’s EXCEL Program to earn an associate’s degree in organizational management. “I am very excited about graduating,” he says. “I never thought I would make it to this day.”
Hughes lives in Marion, Indiana and started in the EXCEL Program in September 1999. In addition to his evening courses at HC, Hughes was able to earn credits by passing several CLEP and DANTES placement tests and soon he was on his way to fulfilling a life-long dream—earning a college degree.
Huntington College’s associate’s degree program consists of 64 academic credits: 25 in the core curriculum, 31 in the organizational management major, and eight in electives. “The new programs is intended for adults in the community who have never been to college, or have few college credits, but believe the time is right for them to finish their degree,” said Dr. Ronald J. Webb, vice president and dean of the college “While the Associate’s Degree can be seen as a final educational experience, and is certainly designed that way, we hope that many would decide to continue on to pursue a bachelor’s degree through our EXCEL program.”
Hughes is grateful for the experiences his education has provided. “It has helped me to study with a more critical eye, challenged me to learn about new technology, and has given me a better ability to deal with other people. It has also motivated me get back into the habit of studying the Bible on a deeper level.” He commented, “The one-on-one attention I received during my final project from my advisor and sponsor, Dr. Paul Fetters, was invaluable to my experience at Huntington.”
Hughes encourages anyone thinking about finishing a degree to “Go for it and don’t quit! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.” For many working adults the time to go back to school has never been better. Employers often encourage—and pay for—employees to pursue college degrees.” Hughes’ employer, United Technologies, offers incentives in the form of free tuition and books and an issuing of company stock upon graduation to any employees going back to school.
HC’s EXCEL Program has provided a bachelor’s degree completion program in organizational management since 1993. The new associate’s program was launched in February 2001. For further information on the EXCEL Program, call Kathleen O’Donnell at (260) 359-4162 or visit www.huntington.edu/excel.
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