Starting College Early Led to Educational Success

Shannon Yetzer began her college career even before she graduated high school.   As a senior she was able to take College Credit Plus classes at North Central State College.  After graduating high school, she wanted to stay close to home, so she chose to continue her studies at North Central State.

“NC State made it easy for me to schedule classes around my busy schedule.  I was working two jobs, including my internship with ArcelorMittal in Shelby,” Yetzer explains.  “I was able to take advantage of scholarship programs including one that paid for my associate degree.”  She was one of the first students to take advantage of the Tuition Freedom Scholarship program.  Tuition Freedom provides up to 64 total credits tuition free to every qualifying College Credit Plus or Career Tech student, to continue their education after graduating from high school. That’s enough credits to complete an associate degree program.

Yetzer chose business as her major because she knew it would open doors.  “I did not know exactly what field in business I wanted to pursue but knew that a business degree would be a great start.”  She soon fell in love with business classes because it helped her relate to real-life experiences.  “My favorite class was business law because it challenged me to see both sides of an argument.”  In this class, Yetzer and her classmates created a mock trial.  She says it helped her grow and opened her eyes to what goes on within the field of law today.

“My experience at North Central State College was amazing and personal,” Yetzer says. “The advantage of choosing a local, smaller college is that I was able to create a better connection with my professors and work with them closer than I would have at a large college. They took time to invest in me and answer all the questions I had. I believe that with a smaller class size I was able to get a better education.”

After graduating with her business degree from North Central in 2018, Yetzer continued her education with Franklin University. The Franklin transfer program allows students to complete a third years at North Central State and finish their bachelor’s degree with one year of Franklin University classes online.

Yetzer also chose to stay with Franklin University to pursue her master’s degree in business.

She says the NC State College to Franklin University transfer pathway was beneficial to her both personally and professionally.  “The transition from my associate degree to my bachelor’s and master’s degrees was seamless.  All of my credits transferred, and I was able to finish all three of my degrees within four years.  Franklin’s courses are designed for working individuals and they make it easy to follow along through the courses.”

“I also had multiple instructors who helped me schedule my Franklin classes.  I told them I wanted to finish as quickly as possible and they worked with me to make that happen,” Yetzer explains.

Yetzer says she would encourage students to take this pathway because obtaining an associate degree can serve as an introductory degree to determine where the individual wants to go with their career.  “I was able to save a lot of money choosing to go to North Central first then transfer for my bachelor’s degree.”

While continuing her education, her career has blossomed.  She currently works at Gorman-Rupp Pumps as a supplier sourcing engineer.  Yetzer says her education prepared her for her career in many ways.  “It challenged me to think outside of the box, work better in a group, be more accountable, and to think deeper,” she explains.  “A lot of people think a degree is something that people get to make more money, get a better job, etc.  A degree to me is so much more.  Every time I wanted to give up, I had to remind myself to just keep going.  Learning and continuing to develop yourself is endless.  If you believe you can, you can.”