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Joan majors is a current student, enrolled in the business management program at the Delaware County Partnership Site. Like many students, Ms. Majors had a unique pathway into the program. She wasn’t looking for another career or an associate degree after retiring from her 26 year tenure at Temple University. She was caring for her mother and grateful for the additional time to devote to that relationship. And while providing this care, Joan developed a new hobby to help her focus and relieve stress – the therapeutic art of jewelry making. Initiated as a personal wellness practice, friends began asking if any of the pieces were for sale, and the idea of a home-based business sparked in her mind. 

About the same time, Joan made a presentation about a ministry she began to a local community group. The group’s organizer, Ms. Veronica Norris, earned a degree through the ACE Partnership Site program, and thought the program would be of benefit to Joan as she builds both her ministry and new jewelry making business. “The program sounded doable – a two year commitment, two evenings per week. Ms. V encouraged me to give it a try. What did I have to lose!” 

Now beginning her second semester, Ms. Majors is thoroughly enjoying the experience. She appreciates that the structure of the program is geared toward working adults with only two evenings per week of class time. She’s been impressed by instructors who facilitate class members getting to know one another, even in a virtual zoom-based environment. She notes that instructors also recognize that adult learners may have been out of the classroom for (some time) and skillfully incorporate instruction in writing and grammar into class content. She learned, for example, that the language one uses when writing for a professional audience is not the same as everyday speech. Joan speaks particularly highly of a professor who uses a very interactive teaching style that involves students in instruction while affirming the value of their personal and professional experiences as adult learners. He inspired discussion by presenting scenarios related to the course subject and asking students, “what would you do? How would you handle this?” Overall, Ms. Majors appreciates the person-centered and supportive atmosphere of the program. “Professors are available before class. When I call the school, someone picks up the phone. Partnership Site staff communicate that they’re here to help. I like having my hand held!” 

Perhaps most importantly, Joan is experiencing the program as a safe place to learn and grow. While revealing what one doesn’t know to class members and instructors has not been comfortable in the moment, it has resulted in openness of mind to new information, perspectives, and possibilities. It has also promoted Joan’s curiosity and courage as future questions arise. 

Ms. Majors looks forward to continuing her educational journey and earning an associate Degree in business management, acquiring skills to grow not only her home-based business but her self as well.

For more information about Ms. Majors jewelry creations, click here.