"I’m just so grateful that I’ll get to finish at the school I love, where I started my college career."
A former Razorback now living 50 miles from the Canadian border found a second chance to earn her degree from the University of Arkansas, thanks to an online program. She’s taking it.
Jessica Archie, now 25, of Minot, North Dakota, left the U of A campus in 2012 for financial and personal reasons. Now, she is back on track. She is studying online to earn her bachelor’s degree in general business from the Sam M. Walton College of Business. That program launched in fall 2014.
“This has been the best decision of my educational career,” Archie said. “If you’re not able to be at the U of A, then this is the next best thing. I’ve had nothing but positive things to say about the program I’m in, the online classes, the advisers that work with the online students and everything about the program.”
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Archie was determined to earn her degree after following her husband, Kenneth, who’s on active duty in the Air Force, to North Dakota. She scrutinized many institutions before applying for admission to Walton College’s program.
“I really thought that I would have to continue school at a different university, which was very upsetting, but now I can be thousands of miles away and still attend the University of Arkansas,” Archie said. “Since my life has changed so drastically, this is the only way I could earn my degree from the University of Arkansas.”
Her future career plans have changed, too. She studied childhood education and social work on the U of A campus. Even though she currently works as a special education paraprofessional at an elementary school, she knows her future lies in business.
“This program was right for me because general business will give me an overview and knowledge about several different aspects within the business world,” Archie said.
She knows exactly how she plans to use her degree.
“I knew that I’d eventually be helping my dad with his startup business,” Archie said. “My dad just started his own air-conditioning business and needs someone that is business savvy to do the ‘paperwork’ side of the company, while he handles installing the actual units.”
Although she lives 1,096 miles from Fayetteville, Archie feels “very connected” to the U of A, its faculty and its learning community.
“My professors are right there when I need them, and I can Skype my adviser when I need it,” Archie said. “I’m just so grateful that I’ll get to finish at the school I love and where I started my college career.”