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UC Blue Ash Grad Realizes 35 Year Old Dream


When Adrienne Larson earned her associate degree from the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College in 1978 she was proud of the accomplishment, but wasn’t confident enough in her abilities to believe she could continue her education. Thirty-five years later she has finally earned her bachelor’s degree.

“Adrienne is the perfect example of lifelong learning, which is a core component of our mission at UC Blue Ash,” said Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, dean of UC Blue Ash College. “She shows that it’s never too late to go back to school and earn your college degree.”

Before she returned to college, Adrienne enjoyed personal and professional success over the past 30-plus years. She became a social worker, got married, and raised four sons.

As her career evolved and she thrived in the dietary and culinary industries, Adrienne was frustrated by the feeling that she was being held back from advancing into a management position because she didn’t have a bachelor’s degree. “There I was in my early 50’s with a big decision to make,” said Adrienne. “I could settle for being overworked and underpaid, or I could go back to school and get the bachelor’s degree I always wanted.”

With the support of her family, Adrienne made the decision to return to school and immediately focused on UC because of her positive experience the first time around. She was interested in a bachelor’s degree that would build on her leadership experience and add the business management skills she needed for the next step in her career.

That was when she learned about the new Applied Administration bachelor’s program at UC Blue Ash. It allowed her to transfer all of the credits she earned from her associate degree toward a bachelor’s degree. The program prepares students for management opportunities with a focus on communication, collaboration, leadership, and business ethics.

“The fact that this program was offered at UC Blue Ash was a dream,” said Adrienne, who lives nearby in Sharonville. “The classes are perfect for what I needed to build on my experience and enhance my leadership skills, the schedule was flexible so I could continue to work, and earning a bachelor’s degree from UC gives me the added credibility I always wanted.”

Going back to school after such a long time away can cause some anxiety. Adrienne used to hate writing papers when they were done on a typewriter, but she found it wasn’t so bad when using a computer. She has learned how to take tests online, do research on the Internet, and use UC’s Blackboard system to register for classes. These were all new experiences and with each task completed, she felt a sense of achievement.

After overcoming her fears of returning to college and even taking classes on the same campus with her youngest son, Adrienne Larson received her bachelor’s degree. It was 35 years in the making.

Along with advancing her degree, Adrienne also earned something else that she believes is just as valuable, self-confidence. “I am truly excited about my future,” said Adrienne. “My return to the classroom has been the most challenging and empowering activity I have ever undertaken. I have new goals now because I didn’t settle for less than I was capable of achieving.”

About UC Blue Ash College

UC Blue Ash College is a regional college within the University of Cincinnati. It offers one of the best values in higher education with access to a nationally recognized UC education in nearly 50 degrees and certificates, as well as tuition that is about half of most colleges and universities. The college is located on a scenic 135-acre wooded campus in the heart of Blue Ash, Ohio.

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