Theresa Doolittle first stepped on campus at Sam Houston State University in 1987. The Simpsons debuted on TV that year, “Walk Like an Egyptian” was the number one song and no one likes to talk about hairstyles from that time.
In May, 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 and hairstyles remain a little out there, Doolittle says it is safe to say a lot has changed since the early days of her academic journey.
“Being in classes 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.”
— Theresa Doolittle
For the past two years, Doolittle diligently took night classes, online classes and even summer classes to complete her degree with honors, while also being a full-time employee of Conroe ISD and the mother of two teenagers. She credits SHSU Online for helping her achieve this goal on her own schedule, and sees her children as the biggest motivators during those challenging years.
“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 to attaining her Alternative Teacher Certification.
“SHSU Online 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.”