Student spotlight: Nick Langley
Nick Langley, 35, of Hastings, Minnesota, has no time to go to college, yet he is earning an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Business Management with plans to transfer to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the same field with a focus on human resources. Nick can accomplish his academic goals because he is an ASAP student at Inver Hills Community College. ASAP stands for Adult Success through Accelerated Programs.
“I’m married with four children and I also have a full-time job in retail,” Nick said. “I put in fifty-five hours a week and work a lot of weekends. Retail is tough and definitely not family-friendly. Spending more time with my wife and kids was a big motivator in deciding to attend college and get a degree.”
ASAP at Inver gives you the opportunity to earn a college degree at an accelerated, flexible and independent pace while getting college credit for the knowledge and skills you’ve gained through your work and life experiences. ASAP uses Prior Learning Assessments and other tools to match your know-how with college courses, saving you money as well as time in the classroom.
“I was able to design my own degree in business management,” Nick said. “Thanks to Prior Learning Assessments, I can take the classes I need at my own pace without coming to campus except once at the start and end of a semester. PLA is great because it ties learning theory to my own work experience. The instructors are more than willing to work with your schedule. They are very understanding and reasonable.”
Students with a variety of work and life experiences have the opportunity to receive college credit for knowledge and skills they have gained outside of a formal classroom. A one-credit course (INTS 1011) is required prior to completing prior learning assessment competencies. This course will help students reflect on their knowledge and skills and learn the processes for completing PLA competencies. Prior learning assessments (PLA) can be evaluated in a variety of ways, such as demonstration, written documentation, performance, and/or evaluator/student discussions. (read more…)
Brenda Van Vossen, business faculty and PLA coordinator at the college, understands the concerns and aspirations of working adults. “Students like Nick, who have families and full-time jobs, can greatly benefit from our ASAP program,” Brenda said. “The online, accelerated, hybrid and evening classes give adult students flexibility in scheduling coursework. Credit for Prior Learning provides quicker and cheaper options for gaining college credit. We are very proud of the adult learning environment we have created at Inver Hills.”
Nick added that as an ASAP student you need to be self-motivated and have good time-management skills. When he graduates from Inver and transfers to Saint Mary’s, he will have earned 86 college credits. His goal after earning his bachelor’s is exploring a corporate setting with a work schedule aligned with his family life. He has his sights set on a role in human resources. He likes the coaching, recruiting and training aspects of HR.
“I really enjoy working with people and forming bonds,” Nick said. “HR is about raising morale through an open atmosphere of talking and communicating. If you put in the effort early on, it will pay off down the road.”
Nick has this advice for working adults considering college as a way to advance their professional careers: “Don’t hesitate to learn all about ASAP. Capitalize on the knowledge you’ve accumulated over your lifetime. Schedule a meeting, ask your questions and get enrolled.”
Nick Langely Q&A
Q. What has been your toughest challenge in life?
A. Juggling the responsibilities of husband, father, job and school while never feeling like you’re putting in enough time on any one thing. You need to balance your responsibilities and not be too hard on yourself.
Q. What has been your happiest experience?
A. Getting married and having a family. My wife and kids are my greatest joy.
Q. What is your most significant accomplishment?
A. Finding the inspiration to get more education so I can spend more time with my family. I had to do it now. The kids aren’t going to wait to grow up.
Q. What is your favorite place in the world?
A. Northern Minnesota—I love the Boundary Waters. We have a cabin on Lake Winnibigoshish. We love to explore the natural world.
Nick and his wife, Julie, a hairstylist, have four children, Max, 9, Jude, 6, Micah, 3, and Eden, 2 months. Nick grew up loving nature (his mom taught him about banding birds) and he’s happy to consider himself an amateur naturalist. He enjoys hiking, lifting weights, drawing, playing guitar, reading and has developed a recent interest in mycology, the study of fungi, including mushrooms.
To learn more about ASAP at Inver Hills, contact:
College Center Room 270