Brian Ralph

WPU’s SPS allows students to courageously achieve educational dreams

Earn your degree — on your terms. 

Work deadlines, social functions, doctor’s visits, and a child’s parent-teacher conference can quickly fill up the schedule of a working adult. There seems to be no time for going to college and earning a degree.

But, with the University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS), working adults can take non-traditional courses that make dreams of a degree possible. 

The SPS offers an accelerated degree program with laser-focused curriculum so that adults coming into school with previous college credits can earn a degree in as fast as a year. With 10 degree programs and six educational licensure programs offered across the fall, spring, and summer terms, students can take seven or 14-week-long courses. 

Through this flexible program, many students have courageously achieved their educational dreams. Here are two stories of SPS students. 

Dillon Floyd ’22

When the pandemic hit, Dillon Floyd ’22 found himself with time to think. 

At that time, he worked as an administrative assistant at a law firm. He had graduated with a degree in criminology in 2018 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

However, as COVID-19 caused shutdowns worldwide, Floyd had the space to reflect on what brought him joy. As he thought about where he found purpose in work, he realized how much he enjoyed it when he was employed at various summer camps. He loved teaching and getting to make an impact on students there. He loved working in an educational environment.

He decided to make the joy he found in educating others a full-time career.

To start this, Floyd began to work as an Instructional Assistant at Spring Valley Elementary School in Durham. However, he needed to receive licensure to grow in his new career. 

A friend recommended WPU’s SPS program to him. 

The SPS offered an accelerated education bachelors and licensure program. Floyd could continue to work at Spring Valley while taking courses in the evening. It was the perfect fit. 

In just two years, Floyd received his license, earning it in December 2022. He’s grateful for the flexibility and professors he found at the SPS. 

“I loved the relationships with the professors at WPU — they deeply care about you,” Floyd said. “They welcomed me and made me feel like I was supposed to be there. My professors taught me that what matters in teaching is building relationships with the students.”

Necole Rasavong ’22

Necole Rasavong ‘22 had been a nurse for 15 years before she found her way to WPU.

Her career as a nurse started when she graduated from Wake Technical Community College with an associate degree in nursing. Initially, she had attended Wake Tech to study math education, but her mind changed when a friend recommended the nursing program. It only took her a few classes for her to realize she loved the field. 

After graduation, she settled into a career as a nurse at North Carolina’s federal prison. However, after a decade and a half, Rasavong wanted to challenge and grow herself professionally. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s in nursing. 

She Googled programs that could enable her to transform her dream into reality. She found the perfect fit with WPU SPS’s Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program. 

The RN to BSN program, established in 2019, was created as a component of WPU’s ongoing efforts to create community partnerships and integrate cross-curriculum immersive learning opportunities. WPU is the only Triangle-area University to offer such vital programming.

Rasavong was drawn to the hybrid coursework at WPU — she wanted to be able to ask her professors and classmates questions in person. The program also enabled her to balance life with her two children and her job at the federal prison.

After five semesters at WPU, she graduated at age 41 in Spring 2022. 

 “Even though it was difficult and a lot of work, the fact that I accomplished this was just wow,” she said. “My kids came to the graduation, and it was incredible to show them what their mommy did. They rooted me on the whole time.”

She feels fortunate to have found WPU. Because of the support of her WPU community, family, friends, and coworkers, Rasavong achieved something she didn’t think was possible. 

To learn more about SPS, please visit peace.edu/sps.

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