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Taking advantage of the best of both campuses
Akuele enrolled at Howard Community College (HCC) in 2015 with a goal to earn an associate degree in nursing so that she can pursue her dream of becoming a certified nurse midwife. Each semester, she enrolls in one or two classes, which offers her the flexibility to work while also completing her education and raising her children. Giving her an even greater level of flexibility is the option to take some of her required courses at Laurel College Center (LCC), a regional higher education center founded by HCC and Prince George’s Community College.
“A few semesters ago, I wanted to enroll for a course at HCC that was full,” recalls Akuele. “Then I found out that I could take that class at LCC. I was a bit anxious about going somewhere new, but decided to give it a try because I was determined to stay on track with my coursework. It ended up being a great experience. I loved it!”
Akuele, who moved to America from West Africa in 2008, now takes classes in both locations. Sometimes the decision is driven by the days and times classes are offered. Other times it’s driven by her personal interest in the course topics.
“I intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing, long-term, so when I saw that a nutrition class was available at LCC, I was immediately interested and registered,” said Akuele. “It exposed me to new things that will be beneficial as I continue working toward my degree and the process of becoming a nurse.”
Akuele says that faculty from both campuses have played a significant role in making her educational experience a good one. She describes her teachers as knowledgeable, helpful, and humble.
“They have a plan for each student,” Akuele says. “I feel at home. I am in a good place and feel fortunate to be learning here.”
UPDATE ON AKUELE’S JOURNEY – January 2020
Akuele remains on track! She graduated with her associate’s degree in December 2019, and is currently focused on job searching, with a goal to land a position as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Working as she continues to further her nursing education will help her financially, while also opening a door for her to get some hands-on experience under her belt.
“I think it’s important to gain practice experience while I am still in school,” said Akuele, who still intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. “It will help me as I continue with my education, and someday become a registered nurse.”
Akuele plans to enroll in one or two classes during the upcoming summer months, and expects that she will spend time on both the HCC and LCC campuses, as she has done in the past.
“Once I have a job, scheduling options and flexibility will be even more important than they were before,” said Akuele. “It’s nice to know that I can go to either campus to take classes and continue moving in the right direction.”