Five-year Army wife Mildred Poser really wanted to go back to school, but it looked like the cards were stacked against her. Her husband was deployed, she needed financial assistance and she knew the Army could move her family from Fort Campbell, Ky., at any time. “At first, I was going to pursue being a certified nursing assistant, but since I would have to sit in a classroom and couldn’t afford day care, I researched other options online,” Poser said. “My plan to use the MyCAA financial assistance for military spouses had gone down the tubes when they shut down the program without warning.” Poser hit the jackpot when she came across an ad in a local newspaper. Bryant & Stratton College Online was granting military spouses the $6,000 they would have received through the MyCAA program. That was a deal Poser couldn’t pass. So, as most military spouses are accustomed to doing, she shifted right into plan B and decided to pursue an associate’s degree in accounting. “I’d always liked numbers, and I hoped to work for the Defense and Accounting Service someday since they almost always have civilian jobs on military installations,” she said.
Although Poser and Bryant & Stratton College were a perfect fit, it wasn’t an easy adjustment at first. “I was overwhelmed with having to read, write and study after being out of school for six years,” she said. “But I decided to dedicate two to three hours of uninterrupted time on schoolwork every day when the kids were sleeping.” The new schedule was tough, but Poser made it work. “Six days a week, I turn off all electronic distractions to focus on my work,” she said. “I still have to find extra time for research and projects, but I always manage to get it done.” Poser credits the staff at Bryant & Stratton College with making it easy to take the plunge. “The admissions rep walked me through the whole process,” she said. “There’s 24/7 tech support online, and the professors always respond to questions within 24 hours.”
Poser can also look forward to receiving job search help from the school’s career services staff. “In every class, there is a project designed to build your career portfolio,” said Ed Dennis, military and corporate relations manager for Bryant & Stratton College Online. “And for six months after you complete your degree, we will help you develop a resume, apply for jobs and practice interviews.” Poser advises other military spouses to stop waiting for a reason to commit to going back to school. “Just do it,” she said. “No matter how hard it gets to stay on top of my work sometimes, it’s still very rewarding to be working toward my accounting degree.”