Hamline News

Hamline Online Degree Completion Offers Hands-on, Flexible Learning in Online Format

Image of Paige Pettit

In a world where many are just now transitioning programs online, Hamline’s Online Degree Completion program has already offered many students an alternate pathway to completing their bachelor’s degree.

Students with an associate’s degree or existing credits often face barriers to completing a bachelor’s degree: family obligations, work schedules, or mental health. Through ODC, students can complete their Bachelor of Arts in business or psychology online, at their own pace.

Paige Pettit ’21 is one of these students who has found a place at Hamline despite never attending on-campus classes.

Since earning her associate’s degree in 2015, Pettit has dreamed of going back to school and getting her bachelor’s degree. But between her various responsibilities—being the primary caretaker for her 7-year-old niece and her sick mother, along with working two jobs in retail and for a local school district—Pettit knew on-campus courses just weren’t an option.

Despite the obstacles, Pettit has been able to pursue her dream through Hamline’s online degree completion program, on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“I’ve heard about Hamline ever since I was young, and that’s what I want for myself: to get a degree from somewhere with a name, someplace that means something,” said Pettit.

A Hands-on Program

At first, Pettit said she was a little nervous about going back to school, especially since she had previously had difficult experiences with online classes at other schools. Between her helpful professors holding virtual “office hours” and check-ins from her advisor, Pettit has thrived in the program, achieving a 4.0 grade point average. Though she’s not on campus, Pettit takes part in discussions with classmates—including other students who live thousands of miles away. It’s hard work, she said, but worth it.

“It’s a very hands-on program even though you’re not in class,” she said. “I’m enjoying going online here at Hamline, and I’m actually learning stuff that’s beneficial, and my voice is being heard.”

Pettit plans to put her psychology degree to use in the school where she works, building on her already-established relationships with students to help them manage anxiety, stress, and related challenges. Hamline’s online program has also helped Pettit manage her own mental health.

“For people who struggle with anxiety, it’s a great way to keep you in school and learning without the pressures of social anxiety,” said Pettit. “You have a similar experience of being able to discuss with your classmates, just on a screen instead of in person.”

After graduation, Pettit may apply for graduate schools. Her Hamline education has made her a more well-rounded person, she said, and she encourages students in similar positions to seek paths to higher education, even if they’re nontraditional.

“I wasn’t sure school was the right thing for me. I’m glad I took that jump,” said Pettit. “Online is a great program, and it’s a great option, especially for those who are parents or caretakers, and who are working.”

Written by staff