Sometimes having the experience in a job is not enough to propel yourself to the next level. Randy Ellis of Dalton City has years of sales and management experience in the building supply field but has decided to return to Millikin to earn a degree he started after high school.
Randy has been taking his university required courses through PACE. This fall, he moved into a cohort to take the major courses required for the Organizational Leadership major.
PACE was a good fit for Randy because it works well with his job and is an accelerated program. He made a promise to his 75-year-old mother that he would earn a degree. With his children grown, he decided this would be the right time to accomplish his goal. Randy says his wife Theresa has been very supportive and has made sacrifices to enable him to work on his degree. Randy likes PACE’s “bricks and mortar” aspect over an online format because, after taking online courses elsewhere, he believes he gets more out of the classroom format, and likes the personal contact between students and instructors.
“I’m here because of a promise to my mother, but also because working on my degree gives me a sense of self-fulfillment and advancement. Having the B.S. in Organizational Leadership will position me to move up to an area manager or similar position within my industry. If you put your mind and effort into something, you can achieve the goal you want,” says Randy.
New students often have challenges as they return to school. For Randy, the writing and research expectations, along with the APA style format, presented some challenges and he says it’s helpful to plan your courses carefully. The PACE program has brought some nice surprises for Randy. He’s been very pleased with his grades, and likes the access his has to his instructors and their prompt response when he asks for help.
Randy also likes the month-long break between semesters and will use his winter break to study for an Illinois High School Association coaching certificate. He hopes to satisfy a lifelong goal of coaching basketball.