REDDING, Calif.—Anderson resident Shawn Greene, 27, wants to make a difference in people’s lives.
As a step toward that goal, he enrolled in Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program to complete his bachelor’s degree. In April, he was among 130 students who graduated from the university, including 30 from ASPIRE, a degree-completion program that allows busy adults to finish their degree online or during evening classes in 12 to 16 months.
“I would like to go into the field of mental health and substance abuse to make a difference in someone’s life,” Greene said. “I have been around that throughout my life, and a psychology degree offered the classes that could help me gain knowledge in that line of work.”
Greene attended Shasta College for two years after high school and earned an associate’s degree in social sciences while also playing baseball. He was preparing to transfer to Simpson but decided instead to focus on work. He did not give up on the goal of a bachelor’s degree, however, and started in ASPIRE in summer 2018.
“The ASPIRE program is set up so that you can still live your everyday life—working, taking care of kids—and still get your education in a timely manner,” he said. “I have an 18-month-old child that I care for every day. ASPIRE made it possible for me to care for my child and still go to school.”
In addition to psychology, ASPIRE also offers programs in liberal studies, business management, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online.
As part of the ASPIRE coursework, students take two classes that explore the Bible and world religions. “Before coming to Simpson, I wasn’t very familiar with faith,” Greene said, “but the program helped me gain knowledge and guide me into doing the next right thing.”
He said he found the program very rewarding and has already recommended it to others.
“The classes are close-knit, and it was great to get courses finished in a short amount of time,” Greene said. “Getting this degree elsewhere could take multiple years.”
As the next step in his goal to help others, Greene plans to pursue a master’s degree in sports psychology or become a licensed clinical social worker.
Learn more about the ASPIRE degree-completion program 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.