Former Firefighter finds flexibility in new career path with AlamoONLINE

July 14, 2021

How do you know when it’s time to go back to college? We know earning an online degree is a personal choice only you can make, and only you can decide when to make that decision. For Joshua Powell, that decision came at age 45 after taking a 27-year break from education, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Joshua has dedicated 18 years to working for the San Antonio Fire Department and 13 years with helicopter search and rescue. He is also a father of four. When asked why he wanted to enroll at San Antonio College, he shares, “Since I was close to retirement, I wanted to have something else in my toolbox in case I wanted to pursue a different career.” He then discovered he could earn a degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security fully online. To maintain his work and family obligations, Joshua needed an educational path that offered flexibility if he was to return to school. This is precisely what he found with AlamoONLINE.

“Every spare moment I have, I am working online. That allows me a lot of flexibility so I don’t procrastinate and always try to knock it out as quickly as I can. This helps me focus. The quicker I get my assignments done, the more I can focus on studying and preparing for tests and exams.”

Although his initial reason for returning to school involved career aspirations, he also wanted to set a positive example for his children. He shares, “For me, online learning has been fantastic. I am always trying to inspire my children to do something more. That’s always been my mentality and the way I handle things, and this has helped me in my online classes.” Each semester, Joshua takes five classes and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, evidence of his disciplined approach to education and life in general. Most online students at the Alamo Colleges District are part-time students and take only two to three courses per semester.

Additionally, Joshua reminds his children and those who hear his story that education is always an option. Whether 25, 45, or even 65, pursuing a degree fully online is always possible. In fact, there are many benefits to being a student during different life stages.

So, when is your right time to pursue a degree online? Now.

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About AlamoONLINE

AlamoONLINE represents the range of opportunities for students pursuing degrees, certificates, or other offerings delivered 100% online from Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, and St. Philip’s College.

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