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General Studies online graduate ready to build on new foundations

UL Online -- Wed, 08/04/2021 - 11:14am

Hannah Brasseaux, 30, started her undergraduate education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2009. Two majors and four years later, she needed to take a break. 

She was two classes from graduating with a degree she wasn’t certain she wanted to use but she felt too far into the process to change majors again.Graduate Hannah Brasseaux, right, with her son Jett and her husband Tylere.

She made the decision to step away from school. She started her family and became a stay-at-home mom, but the need to go back and finish her degree stuck with her.

“I let it linger for so long, it felt like a weight that was just over my head,” she says.

It might have lingered a bit longer had Brasseaux not learned of UL Lafayette’s online degree programs. 

In Spring 2021, Brasseaux's husband, Tylere Stratton, enrolled in the University’s on-campus General Studies program to complete his degree. COVID-19 precautions meant Stratton’s coursework was all online. 

Seeing her husband’s experience with online classes, Brasseaux knew she could finally have the peace of mind and the sense of accomplishment of completing her bachelor’s.

“Whenever I saw that UL Lafayette introduced an online program, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s perfect!’” says Brasseaux.

“You know, it’s something that I could do in my own time. I thought ‘I could just schedule these classes, and do it whenever I want.’ That really appealed to me, to stay with UL Lafayette, to get it done, and finally achieve it.”

Brasseaux told herself, “I have the time; I have the abilities.”

Once she was accepted for General Studies with a concentration in Behavioral Science, Brasseaux set her sights on the Fall 2021 semester, but her advisor had other ideas. 

“I applied back in May to take classes in the Fall, but my advisor pulled up my transcripts and said, ‘Oh no, you’re too close. You’re going for Summer,’” she says. “So we crammed everything that needed to get done into maybe two weeks before I started my summer classes.”

Brasseaux was overjoyed to be returning to college as an online student. 

“I love online classes!” she says. “[When previously enrolled at UL Lafayette] I would take every online class I could get my hands on. But back then there wasn’t enough being offered. So, the General Studies program being online now is awesome.”

In addition to the flexibility of making her own schedule for classwork, Brasseaux thrives with independent studying.

“I’m good at motivating myself to learn,” she says. “I do better when I’m presented the material and told ‘You learn it.’” 

While this last stretch of undergraduate life was a very quick process — she completed one 4-week class and one 8-week class — Brasseaux said she felt more connected to and supported by her instructors than ever before. 

“I’ve had so many teachers and my advisor take a genuine interest in my success,” she says. “They positively motivated me to keep going forward.”

Now that college is wrapping up for real, Brasseaux is excited to earn her degree and explore all her options. 

“There’s so many interests that I currently have. I think the degree is going to help give me that solid ground that I’ve been looking for,” she says. “I think I can figure out where to go from here.”

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