Today@Sam Article

Bearkats Back To The Future - SHSU Student From 1987 Finishes Degree

May 10, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Doolittle CoverTheresa Doolittle first stepped on campus at Sam Houston State University in 1987. The Simpsons debuted on T.V. that year, “Walk Like an Egyptian” was the number one song and The Princess Bride topped the box offices, inconceivable.

In 2019, Doolittle finished what she started more than 30 years ago by earning her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. While The Simpsons is still on the air today, Doolittle says it is safe to say a lot has changed since her journey began towards this great accomplishment.

“Walking into a classroom filled with fellow students half my age was daunting at first,” Doolittle said. “I was behind the technology curve and found all the online learning resources scary at first. But, I adjusted and soon realized my age afforded me better studying and time management skills and made me a more grounded and motivated student.”

For the past two years, Doolittle has been diligently taking night classes, online classes and even summer classes to complete her degree with honor society recognition. She is a full time employee of Conroe Independent School District and the mother of two teenagers. She credits SHSU online for helping her achieve this goal on her own schedule, while explaining that her children were the biggest motivator during the challenging years of returning to school.

“I put pressure on myself to succeed because I did not want to start down this path and then quit. I did not want my children to see failure,” Doolittle said. “I wanted them to see the value of working toward a goal, the importance of a good education and the idea that you’re never too old to reach for your dreams.”

The bachelor of Liberal Studies is a customized degree allowing students to choose from a variety of minors to create a program that complements their experience and career goals. Doolittle’s degree combines minors in General Business, English and History and will enable her to take the next steps in attaining her Alternative Teacher Certification.

“SHSU has helped me become a better asset to Conroe ISD, as well as increase my confidence in my abilities with technology and teaching,” Doolittle said. “Today’s classrooms have laptops and interactive projection screens that provide all sorts of resources for students and teachers. With all these new learning possibilities, I feel that future educators will need to have a firm grasp on technology in order to successfully educate their students.”

Her oldest daughter also provided some extra motivation for Doolittle to finish, as she was racing to complete her degree before her daughter’s high school graduation. She managed to beat that goal by two weeks.

“I did have a mental clock ticking down in my mind,” Doolittle said. “I knew for me to be in a position to help make my daughter’s college aspirations a reality, I would need to take my career to the next level first by finishing my own college degree from Sam Houston State.”

Graduating just a few weeks before your own daughter does come with a few complications according to Doolittle.

“It is very overwhelming doing two of everything, end of year finals and projects, getting caps and gowns, sending graduations announcements and planning banquets,” Doolittle said. “But in the end, we are both super excited about our accomplishments and we are looking forward to starting new chapters in our lives.”

If you or someone in your family has a unique story to tell about their time at Sam Houston State, please submit all feature story submissions to Today@Sam through our submissions page. We are always looking for stories about Bearkats from students, faculty and staff about accomplishments, research and special programs. 

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