College Graduate becomes Banner Bearer

by ABBY TOMLINSON

December 05, 2008

Her daughter is growing up quickly, and Rebecca Hubbell does not want to miss a moment.

She is already away from her family for the duration of the work day, like most working parents, and the thought of missing even more of her daughter's life kept her from continuing her education. When she heard about distance education through what was then known as Texas Tech University’s Division of Outreach and Distance Education (now the College of Outreach and Distance Education), she was excited to learn about the possibility of obtaining her bachelor's degree without spending more time away from her home and her family. During the next few years' she spent time perusing her degree, looking forward to a very important day - graduation.

For many distance students, including Hubbell, the impending graduation ceremony holds great significance. That day will also hold special significance for the Division that made it all possible. This is the first graduation ceremony in which the College of Outreach and Distance Education will present a banner that symbolizes its designation as the 11th college at Texas Tech University.

Hubbell will be the very first banner bearer and one of the College's first graduates. Presenting the banner at graduation is an exciting responsibility, and although she said that she is not sure how she became the student chosen to carry it, she is excited about the upcoming ceremony. "Carrying the flag at commencement will make the whole experience real to me," Hubbell said.

"I am really graduating and have actually accomplished this goal I've had for decades."

She is really graduating, and so are other students that have completed their degree at a distance through the College. Many, like Hubbell, cite family responsibilities as the reason that they went with a distance education choice rather than face-to-face instruction, even though finding time for school work can be difficult without the structure of a traditional class schedule. Hubbell said that she made her education possible by slipping in study time on her lunch hour and on the commute to and from work.

She said that the ability to do school work around a work schedule makes distance programs perfect for working professionals.

"I would recommend distance education to others in a similar situation, but warn them that it takes more dedication to stick to it," Hubbell said.

Other than the distinction of becoming a college graduate, Hubbell said that the best part of her education will be the knowledge that she has something more to bring to the workplace.

"I feel that obtaining my degree has given me an edge for the future, since new hires to my position are required to have a four-year degree," Hubbell said.

On graduation day, while the College of Outreach and Distance Education’s students are celebrating an important milestone in their lives - Hubbell will be accompanied by her husband and daughter - the College itself will be celebrating a significant day in the University’s history: the graduation of its' first students.

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