This new degree is allowing students like Michael to explore various career fields while earning transferable core credits.

Posted on

Michael’s Story

In the fall of 2015, my life went through a seismic shift as both of my parents passed away, just 67 days apart from one another. I had been the primary caregiver for both my mother and father for almost eleven years. For the very first time in my life, I was all alone. Simply trying to process these life- altering events took everything inside me that I could access.

At this juncture in my life, I decided that I needed a goal to pursue and to focus my energies on, to take my mind off the intense feeling of sadness that I was carrying around inside of me. I had always had this dream of going to school, just to see if I could do it and to see just how far that I could push myself academically. During the eleven years that I was caregiving for my parents, this dream gave me the hope to press on and to know that in my life there would be a brighter and better day. Just six weeks after my father passed away, I enrolled in the free Adult Education program at the Industrial Drive campus of Southern Regional.

I tested for the GED program on February 1, 2016. It was a little intimidating, since I had not been in a classroom in thirty- five years. Thankfully, everyone on campus was very helpful and supportive of my efforts. The encouragement that I received there made all the difference. I was able to pass all four of my GED exams on my first attempt. At the ripe old age of fifty, I had earned my GED.

On May 16, 2016, I started a new job and college on the very same day. This began a four-year process that enriched my life beyond my expectations. Taking my time at Southern Regional, I have literally taken courses across the spectrum. I took various courses that interested me, challenged me, and some that were just fun! Late last year, I learned that SRTC was about to create a new degree program for students like me. Interdisciplinary Studies meant that my assortment of classes were adding up to a meaningful degree, full of transferrable courses.

The discipline that it has taken for me to work full- time and to be a student has taught me the importance of properly prioritizing your time. Time management skills are crucial when one is trying to work and go to school. Time is a most precious commodity. Once it is gone, you can never recover it.

College has taught me many things beyond the courses that I have taken. College has taught me to become a much better critical thinker. There is nothing wrong with questioning anything that you feel needs to be called into question. Only then can one find the truth. College has enabled me to embrace diversity by meeting many wonderful people who do not look or necessarily think like me, and that is a great thing! If we were alike, this world would be a very boring place to live. Finally, college has instilled in me discipline and has given me the confidence to reach my potential in the remaining years of my life.

The last four years have been quite a ride. I began at the GED school and by the end of 2020, I will have earned an Associate of Interdisciplinary Studies degree, exploring two completely different educational tracks. Whatever I decide to do with my future, one thing will never change; I will always be a graduate of Southern Regional Technical College. I will be forever grateful to everyone at SRTC who have helped me along the way. Without their crucial support, I certainly would not be where I am today.

With gratitude and thanks,

-Michael Wishum

About Interdisciplinary Studies

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies is designed based on each student’s academic and professional goals. The program curriculum is strategically selected to build upon the student’s goals and objectives. Learning opportunities develop academic and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition or continued education. SRTC offers 28 General Education (Core) classes that transfer to colleges and universities across the state of Georgia.