Legitimate excuses are in abundant supply for Stephanie Hoover, but one would be hard-pressed to get her to use one.
Hoover has three daughters, Albi, 3 months; Hailey, 4 and Marley, 5. In addition to parental duties, she has taken on the huge responsibility of providing their educations by home schooling them.
This endeavor is the motivation fueling her pursuit of an online associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Barton Community College’s online learning platform, BARTonline.org.
“It shows my kids that no matter what, you can accomplish things,” she said. “The education will help me feel more confident homeschooling my kids. I know they can excel with one-on-one interaction, as opposed to a classroom with 30 other kids.”
The high standards she set for her children’s learning experience means she has high standards for her own education. Hoover said BARTonline.org met and exceeded her expectations.
“There were some challenging courses,” she said. “I chose Barton because it was one of the most talked-about colleges on Fort Riley. Everybody seemed to like it.”
Raising and educating three children are not the only challenges Hoover faces. dealing with multiple disabilities, including genetic neuropathy and muscle atrophy disease and orthopedic issues. This means constant pain, a plethora of medication to keep track of, surgeries and frequent doctor’s office visits.
Adding to her complex situation, her husband was deployed for 10 months from May 2012 until February 2013.
“My instructors were so understanding,” she said. “I would email them to give them a heads up about what was going on, and they were always wonderful about it. I think only one or two assignments were ever late. I don’t think I would be able to maintain my GPA (3.4) or would even be graduating if it wasn’t for the opportunities and accommodations provided by BARTonline.”
Hoover will receive her degree in May.
“I did it,” she said with a proud, relieved sigh. “It’s possible if you just work hard.”