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Sherry Curtright of Gobler, Mo., is a non-traditional student at the Kennett Area Higher Education Center (KAHEC). After waiting 20 years to return to college, Sherry is pursuing an information systems technology degree with a medical option.
“We have excellent instructors here who are very knowledgeable,” she said. “The staff is terrific in helping you get your classes and helping you to decide what to major in and whether or not you want to attend a four-year college eventually. They’re all terrific.”
Sherry also says it’s nice having KAHEC so close to home. She says the Center benefits the entire community.
“I think KAHEC is the best thing that’s happened to Kennett,” she said. “It’s helped high school students really decide if they want to attend college after high school.”
Sherry is a recipient of the Sheryl Crow Scholarship.
“The best thing that’s happened to me here was the fund raiser we had recently when Sheryl Crow was here,” she said. “I personally got to meet her.”
Sherry is involved in the work study program on campus, assisting students in the computer lab.
“I have been taking a lot of computer classes, and they have been very helpful,” she said. “I really enjoy helping other students with basic computer skills.”
At KAHEC, Sherry is taking and proctoring a business communication interactive television (ITV) course, which is actually taught in Sikeston, Mo.
“If we have any problems, I contact our instructor, Ms. Gardner. She makes sure we get our assignments and everything’s understood. She’s also very reachable by phone and e-mail.”
Sherry shares some advice with other non-traditional students considering college.
“I’d like to help encourage non-traditional students to go back to college if they get the chance,” she said. “I waited 20 years to come back again. Take advantage of the time to get an education. I tell my 14-year-old daughter all the time how important it is to get an education. There aren’t many jobs out there anymore for a person with just a high school diploma. You need a two-year or four-year degree. I wish I would have known that earlier.
“If you are interested, come check out the facilities, and talk to Marsha Blanchard, our director, or Karen Tucker, our academic advisor,” she said. “They are excellent at running this facility.”
When she completes her studies, Sherry may return to work in a doctor’s office. She also is considering pursuing a second option – the legal option in information technology. If she goes that route, Sherry says, she may transfer to Southeast Missouri State University and pursue a business management degree.