Student Spotlight: Shana Spencer

Shana Spencer didn't need a college degree to get the job she wanted -- at first.

After graduating from Eaton High School in 2000, she went to work for a community action agency, and later she worked in the juvenile court system.

"I planned on going to college afterwards but I got a good job with insurance," Spencer, now 28, said. "I enjoyed what I did."

But after five years, the itch to go back to school returned.

"I wasn't going to advance at my position," she said.

So Spencer enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College Richmond with the goal of eventually transferring to Indiana University East. The move allowed her to keep working while earning a degree.

"I could take night classes, so I had the availability to work full time," she said of her classes at Ivy Tech. "I was able to take online classes."

The move was also an affordable alternative to attending an expensive four-year institution right out of the gate.

"I never wanted to do the typical college-life thing," she said.

Spencer started out taking classes in medical assisting, but decided to pursue a degree in nursing instead.

When the time came to transfer to IU East, Spencer said staff was helpful outlining which of her classes would transfer toward earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

"Everything was really smooth for me. I took several classes at Ivy Tech and when I was ready to transfer, I came to IU East and talked with the admissions office," Spencer said.

Transitioning to IU East was seamless, Spencer said. Because Ivy Tech shares a campus with IU East, Spencer had already spent time in some of the buildings.

"I had been on campus with Ivy Tech. I had used the library, and my friends and I had come over here and used the campus cafe. So familiarity of the campus was a big thing for me," Spencer said.

Last year, Spencer quit her job to focus on school. She is on track to graduate with the Class of 2011. She is eying a nursing job in Obstetrics.

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