For Janelle and Holly Krueger, and Anneliese and Leslie Bailey, life at Jamestown Business College has truly become a family affair. Both mother/daughter pairs have been attending classes simultaneously and will graduate together. Anneliese and Leslie graduated Saturday. Holly is also receiving her associate degree at this year's ceremony and will complete her bachelor's degree, with Janelle, at the 2014 ceremony of the college.
For Anneliese, the decision to go back to school was seen as an opportunity. After a long career, she experienced a layoff and had the chance, as a result, to earn her degree. She said she had heard positive things about the college and needed a steady routine to accomplish her goal. "JBC has an excellent reputation and I liked that I knew my schedule would basically be 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday throughout my entire educational experience."
While Leslie came to JBC under different circumstances than Anneliese (she came shortly after completing high school), she most appreciated the short distance between JBC and her home. "While I liked the small class sizes, schedule and attention from instructors, being able to easily commute to college was very important to me," she said. "It really allowed me to find a balance."
Pictured are Leslie and Anneliese Bailey.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
On attending classes together, Leslie said that she never had any issues and was actually grateful to have her mother's guidance and support.
"While she was a student, she was also still my mom," she said. "Her support really helped me get through my tougher classes." Anneliese added, "Leslie was very accepting of the fact that we were in class together and not at all "embarrassed." I was afforded the unique opportunity to see things from different perspectives - mother/daughter, traditional/non-traditional student ... it was a great experience."
Anneliese and Leslie are both receiving their diplomas at this year's graduation ceremony and will work toward advancing their professional careers.
While Janelle and Holly Krueger are both currently attending classes in the evening/weekend schedule, the reasons that they were attracted to JBC are a bit different.
Janelle, 45, who initially attended JBC in the 1980s, decided to return to the college to help her succeed in her current career. "I had a great experience at JBC when I earned my first associate degree, and had always wanted to further my education and go for that bachelor's degree," she said. "I knew that an advanced degree would help me move ahead in my career. When I learned that JBC was offering a bachelor's degree, it clicked that it was the perfect time for me."
Janelle is an independent sign language interpreter and a video relay interpreter for a professional agency. "In my current career, I know that this advanced degree will help me in the management of my own business, but also in my interactions with my clients through the agency I work for."
Holly, 22, had a slightly different experience. Immediately after high school, Holly attended another college and felt a bit lost. "Something just didn't 'click,'" she said. "My mom had a great experience at JBC and I had always had an interest in business, so I decided to check it out. During my career planning session, admissions really helped me narrow down my options and choose a path that was right for me ... I was very grateful for that."
Holly completed her associate degree in business administration and is currently in the bachelor's degree program.
While the path to JBC was a bit different for the two, both ladies seem to agree on the reasons that being a JBC student works for them now. Janelle said, "I love that there is no guessing as to whether I'm taking the right classes ... your schedule is created for you, and that really helps keep me on track."
Holly added that, for her, an advanced degree might not be possible without JBC's schedule. "I work full-time and with the set class times at JBC, I know that I can keep my professional and personal commitments without any problems."
Along with enjoying the schedule, and the possibilities for their futures, the mother/daughter pair have also discovered a new facet of their relationship in being students at the same time. "We have actually had a couple of classes together," Janelle said. "I was a bit nervous about that, but it turned out that we served as motivation to each other and we even teamed up on a project ... and did quite well!"
Holly added with a laugh: "On a typical night, we pass each other here and there, but I think Mom tries to stay out of my way."
Janelle responded that she has actually learned a lot about their relationship while studying at JBC. "Being here has taught me that I need to let her be herself. When I'm here, I drop my 'mom' title and we are both just here as students ... and that's pretty neat that we are able to do that."