Milligan College, TN (Dec. 31, 2010) — When Dale Blevins learned the Carter County Emergency 911 Communications District was hiring a new director earlier this year, he knew he had the work experience the position required.
But there was one more qualification Blevins needed in order to secure himself as the front-runner for the job.
“I needed to finish my college degree,” said Blevins, who worked as a paramedic and later as a full-time dispatcher at Carter County 911. “I had gone as high as I could go without completing my education.”
Blevins reached that milestone when he completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration through Milligan College’s adult degree completion (ADCP) program. The 38-year-old proudly received his diploma in front of family and friends on Dec. 10, at Milligan’s commencement ceremony.
The day was also a realization of another important goal Blevins set for himself — in May he was hired as director of Carter County 911.
“I would not have the job without my degree from Milligan,” Blevins said. “My new position is the equivalent to running a business. We are providing 911 service, and there are budgeting and other day-to-day business decisions that I make. Not a day goes by that I don’t use something I learned in my classes at Milligan.”
Like many working adults, Blevins’ busy family and job responsibilities were important factors in his decision to go back to school.
“I am married and have two boys, ages 8 and 12, so my schedule is very busy,” Blevins said. “But I also knew I needed to do something to earn more money for my family. A friend encouraged me to check into the ADCP business program at Milligan. I liked it because it accommodated my schedule and it was a good timeframe to finish my degree.”
Milligan’s degree completion program in business administration allows adults to conveniently earn their degree while working full time. The program is only 16 months of class time, and students take just one course at a time for five weeks. The classes meet one evening per week.
“It was perfect for me because I didn’t have to sacrifice as much to earn my degree,” Blevins said. “The professors were excellent and helped in any way they could, and the topics are topics you use every day in business.”
Milligan also offers a support team in its Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, which works with ADCP students to develop a degree plan to make the most of their time and money.
“Our ADCP students have similar priorities — family, jobs, civic responsibilities and of course, that goal to complete their degree,” said Milton Carter, director of adult degree completion programs at Milligan. “We have many students like Dale, who not only earn a degree here, but are also able to achieve an important career goal because of their Milligan education.”
At a time of year when people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions and possible changes in their careers for 2011, Blevins is thankful for the direction his life has taken in 2010.
“I would encourage other working adults who are even thinking about going back to school to take that step,” Blevins said. “I am so glad I did.”
Milligan is currently accepting applications for its February 2011 ADCP business administration cohort. For more information, visit www.milligan.edu or call 423.461.8782.