Monday, December 9, 2019

Graduate Profile: Rachel Burke

Homeschooled students may have different challenges during their college journey because of their different learning environment.  This is true for graduate Rachel Burke, with this being her first and last semester at Vol State. 

She started this semester as an English Education major after transferring from Jefferson State Community College in Alabama. 

“When I got into college and started taking classes, I got into writing.  I like taking apart works of literature,” said Burke, “I want to teach because I want to help someone like how my mom helped me.”

Burke was homeschooled before coming to college, and said her mom was her teacher and role model.  When her mother taught her, she prepared them for the workload of college with difficult classes to teach them how to stay responsible and accountable during school. 

Throughout her academic journey, Burke said she has moved a couple times and has attended different schools, but her Vol State experience sticks out from the rest. 

“I was pleased….  People did their jobs more [at Vol State], and they found the Pell Grant for me, even when I didn’t know I was eligible for it.  Realizing I had this option was probably one of my most memorable moments here,” said Burke, “I was also surprised by how many events Vol State has.  The other community college I went to did one or two things a year, but this has a ton.” 

On the path to graduation, Burke’s biggest struggle has been getting through her art class

“I was told I was ok going into it, but I would not have said I was ok.  I thought I was very bad, but it’s honestly just a lot of work,” said Burke, “I’ve put in a lot of time on it, and I’m pleased with where I stand now.”

After graduation, Burke said she plans on continuing her education at Belmont University in the spring semester. 

For students who have some time to go before graduation, Burke said, “Work with your teachers.  If you’re willing to work, they’re willing to work with you.  If you put in the effort, they’ll meet you.  You may even get more than you expected if you try it.”

-Gloria Cortes

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