REDDING, Calif.—In her early 40s, Jessica Evans-Field decided to return to school for two reasons: to qualify for better jobs, and to set a good example to her children.
“I wanted them to be proud of me and work hard to be what they wanted to be,” said the Red Bluff mother of two. “I also wanted to work my way up and have better opportunities.”
Jessica started at Shasta College, taking general education and business administration classes and earning credits that helped her gain admittance into Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program. She continued at both schools through her graduation in April from Simpson with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. She graduated with highest honors, in the top 20 percent of her class.
“This whole program was very rewarding, and I feel like I gained so much in the 16 months I was there,” she said. “I am very proud and honored to be a part of Simpson University.”
Jessica works in the medical records field and learned about the ASPIRE program from a coworker who was in the program.
“She is a full-time mother of two small children, and I figured if she could do it, I could, too,” Jessica said. “I really liked that it offered a fully online option – it gave me a chance to make my own schedule and work around my busy life.”
Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies offers 12- to 16-monthlong degree-completion programs in liberal studies, business management, organizational leadership, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online.
“I had to travel out of state a few times during my studies, to see a grandchild born and to see my son graduate from boot camp,” Jessica said. “The great thing was all I had to do was take a laptop with me and find reliable internet and learn how to pair a laptop to my phone.”
Jessica said the support of family, friends and professors was key to her success. She found her classes immediately relevant and helpful to her job.
“So much of what I learned I could apply to my current work life, and I was able to write about real-life situations for classes,” she said. “I also noticed, along with my colleagues, how much growth I obtained. I had many ‘ah ha’ moments while reading and learning in each course.”
Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.
Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.
Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.