There is no right or wrong way to transition into college. Whether a student graduates from high school and immediately begins their college education or takes a break between programs, the journey to a college degree is not one size fits all. It’s even possible to attend college at the same time as your parent or child. This was the case for Rose State College students Alexis and Tracy Harris.
While Tracy began her college journey at Rose State in 1998, life in a military family pressed pause on her degree path.
“In 1998, although I was out of the military, my husband was still on active duty, and we had a permanent change of station to Northwest Florida,” Tracy says. “Once we were settled there, I began to take one (college course) every now and then.”
After her husband retired from the military, Tracy and her family moved back to Oklahoma City where her daughter Alexis finished high school. From there, they both chose to obtain their associate degrees.
After Alexis graduated from Midwest City High School in 2013, she chose to pursue one of her passions at the Oklahoma Photography School. During that time, Alexis began to take an interest in the opportunities offered by advanced education.
“My time (at Oklahoma Photography School) allowed me to grow and mature,” Alexis says. “Upon graduating from photography school, I discovered that it was not as hard as I thought it would be to get an education. Growing up, I did not really enjoy learning, so I had made up my mind that I did not want to go to school. So, photography helped shape me into the student that I am today.”
Choosing Rose State as the place to continue their education was a simple choice for Tracy and Alexis as Rose State provides many benefits for those looking to return to school as an adult and earn a degree.
“I chose Rose State for its location and class sizes,” Tracy says. “The campus felt welcoming.”
This was a common theme between the mother-daughter duo, as Alexis chose to attend Rose State for similar reasons. “I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of,” she says.
Not only do Alexis and Tracy share the same alma mater, they also had the unique experience of attending Rose State at the same time. Tracy graduated with the Class of 2017, and Alexis is currently preparing to graduate in May 2018.
During their time at Rose State, the mother-daughter duo carpooled to classes and would often have lunch together in the cafeteria.
“A lot of kids my age probably would feel embarrassed about being in the same space as their parent, but I did not mind it at all,” Alexis says. “I preferred to eat lunch with her some days, because it relaxed me from stressing about school.”
Tracy had a similar view about attending school with her daughter. “I loved it, but it did have its challenges,” she says. “I enjoyed getting to watch her flourish, but I didn’t want to block her shine. I’d hoped that she would do and say things the same way, regardless of my presence. I didn’t want her to feel she had to act a certain way around her friends while I was around.”
Both Alexis and Tracy flourished during their time at Rose State. Alexis has been honored as a member of the President’s Leadership Program and recognized as a 2018 Newman Civic Fellow. Following graduation, Tracy will continue her degree through online classes with a goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business. Alexis has been accepted into the professional media program at the University of Central Oklahoma beginning in the fall of 2018.
Both traditional and non-traditional students can obtain the college experience at Rose State. Our programs are tailored to accommodate students from all backgrounds and experiences—from adults and military personnel to parents and teens. If you’re considering continuing your education, contact us today.