Monday, April 23, 2018

Graduate Profile: From a College Closing to a Degree in CIT

Jimmy Edge of White House started his college education twenty-five years ago. He went back to school recently to finish. But there was one big catch.
“We heard they were shutting down,” he said. “We weren't able to finish. The next thing we know we can’t get into the building. The doors were locked.”
That was his experience at ITT Technical Institute. “It just hit us like a ton of bricks. The faculty really cared about us.” ITT shut down its operations across the country, and that left thousands of students in a jam. Vol State heard about the situation and touched base with local ITT faculty members, and through them, the students. The Business and Technology Division at Vol State had programs that appealed to many of the ITT students.
“Dean Anderson and her team really worked with us well, getting the ITT students in and navigating the waters here. I chose CIT (computer information technology) in programming. It was similar to what I was doing at ITT. I was in logistics for years. I looked for a program that I could do as I got older. I’m very analytical so programming made sense to me.”
Going to college as an adult often involves family members making sacrifices. Edge has four children, two of them teenagers. He credits his wife Melissa, and the kids, for helping him find the time for his studies.
“Melissa saw the physical pain I was going through in my previous job. The family has been very supportive. I want to show them that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
Edge plans to walk the stage at the Vol State graduation ceremony. He said after all of his trials it’s a moment he wouldn’t miss.
“I’m getting my A.A.S (associate of applied science degree) now and working to get an associate of science degree as well. I’m hoping to do my bachelor’s degree, possibly at WKU (Western Kentucky University). I want something programming specific.”
Completing a goal after nearly three decades may just be a bit sweeter for Edge due to the challenges he has faced.
“It’s a major accomplishment. At forty-six years-old, it’s a tough thing to work and get a college degree. There’s a lot of sacrifice and study you have to do. It will be worth it.”

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