Online classes helped graduate balance family, work, education

Published: May 5, 2023 Author: Staff reports

While some students choose Ohio University Southern because of the atmosphere on campus or affordability, others value its flexibility more than anything.

“I chose OHIO because they offer a great criminal justice program that I could complete entirely online,” said Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduate Ashley Stamper of South Point.

Managing personal and educational responsibilities can be a challenge, and Stamper said one of the biggest hurdles she had to overcome was “learning to juggle school while working full time and raising my kids.”

With the help of loved ones and the flexibility of an online program, she was able to complete her goals.

“My wife is so supportive, and picked up the slack so I could focus on finishing my degree,” Stamper said.

Stamper, who has plans to continue growing in her career at the Necco Center in Pedro after graduation, said advising appointments were also integral to her success.

“Those appointments are so insanely important and helpful. My advisor, Sarah Blazier, was phenomenal and helped decrease so much stress for me,” she said. “Toward the end of my last summer semester when I had an appointment with my advisor and planned out the rest of my hours needed, I realized how close I was to finally being finished and kicked my determination into high gear.”

While all of Stamper’s classes were online, she still was able to interact with her classmates.

“My favorite memories include group projects and discussion boards where I was able to interact with other students from various backgrounds,” she said.

Dr. Jim McKean, located in Athens, was the professor who made the largest impact over the course of Stamper’s education.

“I have gained so much knowledge in the criminal justice field through each of his courses. He relates our studies to real life scenarios and makes it easy to understand how important each concept is,” she said. “He helped my love for the criminal justice program continuously grow.”

Stamper is Ohio University Southern’s 2023 Bachelor of Criminal Justice Outstanding Graduate. Outstanding Graduates are nominated by faculty for their scholarly or professional accomplishments, participation in university activities, community service and more.