OUL Non-Traditional Student Becomes School District Treasurer
Lancaster – Jill Bradford's path to become the treasurer of the Amanda School District went right through the Ohio University's Lancaster Campus. After being out of school for 15 years, Bradford returned to college in her mid-30's to get the degree she needed to get the job she had always wanted.
"It was very scary to come back to school. I was excited about it, but it was very scary. I was that non-traditional student, working full-time and taking lots of courses," said Bradford. "I went back to school with a full-time job, full-time husband and full-time kids."
Bradford graduated from Berne Union High School in 1991 and then got an associate's degree at Ohio University Lancaster in Office Management. She used that degree to get a job in the Berne Union Treasurer's Office; however, Bradford later learned she was working in the right office, but not in the right position.
"I had been working at Berne Union Schools at the Treasurer's Office as secretary to the treasurer," said Bradford. "I loved so much what I was doing but it just wasn't enough. It just wasn't enough doing what I was doing as a secretary."
So, the mother of three talked with her family about going back to school and getting the bachelor's degree she needed to become a treasurer.
"I would not have been able to do it without my husband's support.He was great with the kids," said Bradford.
Bradford started at the Lancaster Campus in the winter of 2009 by taking one course. Periodically, Ohio University offers non-traditional students incentives to register for classes. In the winter of 2009, O.U. launched the "Free Your Promise Campaign" which allowed non-traditional students to start or return to school by taking one class free of charge. Bradford said the free course allowed her to get her feet wet and gave her the confidence to continue.
"O.U. is well-known and to have this campus here in Lancaster and have it for people like me, non-traditional students, to come in and set a goal and be able to accomplish it is great," said Bradford. "OUL is a blessing to Lancaster, and it always has been."
Bradford said being able to take courses after work and online helped her complete her Bachelor's Degree in Specialized Studies by the Fall of 2011. She was then able to get her dream job as the Amanda School District treasurer.
"It opened that treasurer's door and I had to have that in order to be able to go into that position. I am more confident now. Communication courses I took were phenomenal for me, and it opened the door for me to be more communicative, more organized and just more confident in myself," said Bradford. "We just bought a new house. We were able to do that with my degree and the extra income from my job. We were able to buy a new house with some property."