Sheila Allison
Mason City, IA

Working with computers and data collection has always been a goal for Sheila Allison, but she knew she needed additional training and education.  Luck met preparation when the job she had always hoped for was posted on her employer’s job line.  Allison applied and was offered the position of Medical Records System Administrator at Mercy Cancer Center in Mason City, Iowa.  One of the conditions of employment was that she complete her bachelor’s degree within five years of hire.  Condition met: Spring 2014.

Sheila Allison spent a lot of time researching different private and public universities before making the decision to complete her Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) degree at the University of Iowa.  There were many factors that went into her decision, but it came down to flexibility, convenience, reputation, and affordability.

“The BAS program allowed me to choose from several different tracks of study, to tailor my degree to what I need, and to juggle my family life with work.  And in regards to cost, it is much more affordable than others I had looked at,” says Allison.

Being a Hawkeye was always a dream of Allison’s, and virtual classroom technology allowed her dream to become a reality.

Allison says, “The mix between guided independent study, online chats, and online meetings with Adobe Connect worked well for me.  The instructors were very accessible either through e-mail or phone.” 

Completing an online degree worked well for Allison because of the different types of online courses offered.  She especially enjoyed taking guided independent study courses, which allowed her to work on coursework whenever she had time.  “I used my free time to keep current on my work.  I could be found with a textbook in my hand during lunch break, sitting outside at sports practices, and even between games at my kids’ tournaments,” says Allison. 

For those contemplating going back to school, Allison has this to say: “If you want to complete a degree but don’t think you have the time, check out the online degrees at the University of Iowa. You won’t regret it.”