5 Questions for Noreen Shea '14, an Accelerated Graduate

Posted by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz | December 11, 2014

Time for another alumni interview! Last month you met Mike, a former student-athlete who is now in law school. This time, we're introducing you to Noreen, who graduated summa cum laude in May 2014 from Becker College's Center for Accelerated and Professional Studies. Know someone who is considering an accelerated program, but isn't sure about making the leap? Send them this Q&A. Noreen's words of wisdom at the end just may help.

BECKER: Where are you working now? 


NOREEN: I work at Notre Dame Health Care Center in Worcester, where I was the director of rehabilitation for the last five years. I originally graduated from Becker in 1978 with an associate degree in physical therapy, but I returned to Becker in 2012 to earn a bachelor of science in business administration and graduated in May 2014. As a result, I was offered the position of director of memory care and wellness. This is a new position created in line with the new health care regulations for dementia care. My position involves the development, implementation, and management of a memory care unit using the habilitation model. As the position evolves, I will also be developing and implementing wellness programs to be utilized throughout the facility.

BECKER: What made you decide to pursue a degree from the Center for Accelerated & Professional Studies at Becker?

NOREEN: The ability to continue working full-time, complete my degree in a shorter period of time, and that I could get college credit for my life experience.

BECKER: Was the program what you thought it would be? Were you surprised by anything after you officially enrolled?

NOREEN: The program was more than I expected. It is a well-rounded program that has definitely expanded my knowledge and capability in the workforce. I was surprised at how quickly my study habits were developed. I also enjoyed group project work and the cross-generational teamwork.

BECKER: What were your three favorite things about the accelerated program?

NOREEN: Consistency, commitment, and the camaraderie between both the faculty and students.

BECKER: What would your advice be to other adult learners who aren't sure if they have the time to get a degree now, or who are on the fence about whether they want to apply?

NOREEN: I would tell them there is no better time than now. It is an achievable goal. Each course is five weeks versus the traditional 15-week program. The way the program is set up, you are finished with a course before you know it. The sense of accomplishment grows with the completion of each course. The realization that, at age 55, I was still capable of new learning was also exhilarating. It has carried over into my everyday life with a newfound sense of adventure and an "I can" attitude. I am reminded of an old saying by Benjamin Franklin: "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

Congratulations, Noreen! 

For more on the accelerated programs offered at Becker, read here.

Topics: Alumni, Accelerated Studies

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