Scott Storey was 47 when he decided to come back to school and earn his bachelor’s degree. He had his associate degree, but he knew there was something missing. He said he chose MTSU because he was familiar with the university from working athletic events as an EMT.
“I knew MTSU and the ability to finish the degree online solidified it for me,” said Storey, a Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, resident. “I was working two jobs and trying to raise a family and being able to do it all online was the biggest draw for me.”
Storey said that the online experience earning his degree in University College‘s Professional Studies Program far exceeded what he anticipated. He was able to do a lot of his work between calls when he was working on an ambulance.
“Literally the only thing I couldn’t do was the proctored stuff. I couldn’t risk getting a call during a test,” Storey said. “But everything else, all the normal assignments, I was able to accomplish while on duty for the most part.”
Storey also said he was surprised by how much interaction he had with the professors and the other students in the class, despite the fact that they were not face to face.
“The professors were extremely prompt when any of us had questions,” he said. “Even though I was the oldest one in the class a lot of times, I still found it easy to be able to share my experience with the other students in the class. I found it kind of refreshing that I was getting to communicate with people that were a full generation younger than me.”
It took Storey two years to finish his degree, graduating in 2017. It was a lot of work, Storey said, because of everything he was balancing. In addition to the two jobs he was working, Storey and his wife, Sabrina, adopted a baby while he was taking classes.
“Even with all that, this degree was still attainable to me,” said Storey, now 53.
He saw almost immediate gratification after he graduated. Just six weeks later he was getting a promotion with Williamson Health to become their EMT training officer.
“This degree drastically and immediately changed my career and my life,” Storey said. “I no longer had to work strange hours all the time. I was able to work Monday through Friday and be at home every night with my family.”
Now, Storey is making sure his kids know what it means to be True Blue. Soon after he enrolled, he became a Blue Raider season ticket holder for football. He says he got to know some of the players and coaches when he was working as an EMT, and he wanted his kids to have that same opportunity.
“We’ve spent a lot of Saturdays at Floyd Stadium and we’ve come to really love the entire program,” Storey said. “My youngest son, Ben, loves being a part of the Kids Club and feeling like a part of the team.”
Storey said he encourages anyone who has considered going back to school as an adult to do it.
“The way that online courses are set up now, you can find the time to do it. The courses can work with any schedule,” Storey said. “The instructors are accommodating, and they truly understand what your goals are as an adult student.”
Storey certainly realized his goals once he finally finished his degree.
“Having this degree pole-vaulted me into the position I have now, and it completely changed my life. I mean it.”If you are interested in finishing your degree, visit mtsu.edu/finishnow.
— Hunter Patterson (Hunter.Patterson@mtsu.edu)
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