“I had a better experience as a non-traditional student,” Shares Nichelle Gladden (Bachelor of Science in General Studies, Communications and Applied Technology ’10), “I absorbed more and it meant more to me than it did when I first started college.” Nichelle is the Assistant Registrar at Thomas Jefferson University, East Falls Campus and is currently enrolled in Jefferson’s MBA program—and though her academic road included a few extra curves along the way, the experience prepared her for success.
After stepping away from traditional undergraduate studies due to personal challenges, Nichelle found her way back to higher education working as an academic administrator at Drexel. Using her tuition benefits, Nichelle returned to the classroom through Goodwin’s Degree Completion Programs. “I chose Drexel as a place of employment and for my education because it is reputable,” she continues, “I loved the practical, applicable approach to learning. In fact, courses felt like therapy because I was bringing in real workplace challenges.”
During her studies, Nichelle also became involved with student life, serving as the events coordinator and president of Goodwin Student Council. “I balanced work with school and home life by bringing them closer together. We had family events for non-traditional students to connect our community,” she remembers. “As a result of my commitment to Goodwin College and Drexel University, I was the Class of 2010 Commencement Speaker when I graduated, which was an incredible honor.”
Nichelle was able to achieve her goals through a lot of determination, hard work and Goodwin’s helping hands. She explains, “I received tremendous support from Goodwin College advisors, and especially from the program director Lamont Wilson. He helped me select courses and craft my academic journey so I could achieve my career goals. He also taught me that ‘many hands make light work,’ and I apply his guidance almost every day in my professional and personal life.”
Reflecting on her time at Drexel, Nichelle adds, “It took me seven years to complete my degree while working and raising my family—and I am very proud of that. My trajectory has been quite vertical since I graduated, and more advancement is definitely in my future thanks to the education I received at Drexel.