My Journey to the World Campus

You might ask “Why Penn State World Campus?” My answer would be why didn’t I know of it sooner? I would be working on a master’s degree by now!

I was looking for an online college back in 2000, but didn’t trust any of the unknown colleges that came up when I searched (World Campus did not come up in my searches). Some didn’t even have accreditation, which means that I would essentially be wasting my money because the credits would not transfer to another college.

I found a brochure from my local community college that said I could obtain an associate degree in criminal justice completely online.

Well, guess what? After a couple of semesters, I came to realize that there were no more courses that I could take online at that time. Basically, the degree could not be obtained completely online as was stated.

I took a few semesters off and in that time, more criminal justice courses were added at the community college and I took them. As the number of credits required for the degree increased, I knew I would not be able to finish my degree online.

I had to find another way to get the degree that I had wanted for many years, but didn’t know where to start.

It was during this time, that a new police officer was hired at the police department where I worked. He was a very likable young man and we got along very well. One day he asked me about his tuition reimbursement benefits and I told him he needed to talk to the township manager who could guide him through the process.

I asked what college he was going to and that I was going to the local community college and he said “Penn State.” I knew he worked odd hours and questioned him about how he was going to handle classes with his schedule. He then told me about Penn State World Campus and how he was going to get a Law and Society degree online.

I didn’t even know Penn State had online courses!

I went home and did a search and sure enough, I could get a criminal justice degree at the World Campus online, completely online, with all the courses I needed.

I applied to the World Campus and guess what? I didn’t have enough math courses to be admitted. Bummer! I stayed at the community college and took the math classes and a few others. Once I had the math classes, I was accepted to the World Campus and was thrilled. Not only could I get a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice online, but different types of master’s degrees were also offered. Finally, I had what I needed in one place and could continue onward all the way to a master’s degree.

A master’s degree is what I need to accomplish my goal of teaching criminal justice in the future. It is going to take me a few more years, since I am attending part-time, but I have come to look at my time in college as getting ready for my retirement job. I really have enjoyed all the classes I have taken so far and I am looking forward to many more.

On a sad note, the young man who told me about the World Campus was killed in a car accident back in December of 2010, with his death the world lost a truly wonderful person. I think of him often as I am taking courses. Without meeting him, I don’t know if I would have ever found the World Campus and I would be missing a wonderful learning experience.