Juggling multiple commitments as a student is not easy. But adding a disability into the mix is even more difficult. However, for some, having inspiration and motivation is enough to power through the challenging times. We had a chance to hear about Vikki Hall’s positive experience as a disabled student at Grantham University.
Grantham University: Why did you decide to pursue an online degree? What made you pick Grantham?
Vikki Hall: I tried to enroll at traditional colleges, but was not successful because of financial difficulties and other commitments. Believe it or not, I feel that the Lord directed my path to Grantham University.
I was a 58-year-old, legally-blind, black female and it was the first time in my life I was not raising children or grandchildren on a full-time basis. I was knocked down by every door that I had believed was open for me to continue my education. One morning, when I got up to do my morning bible studies, I had decided to give up the idea of college. After studies, I checked my emails and there it was: an advertisement that said “Try Grantham University Online Classes.” I took it as a sign from the Lord and called the university to discuss my past issues that hindered me from returning to school, and I was accommodated by Grantham. So, here I am.
GU: What were you feeling prior to starting the program and why?
VH: I was totally overwhelmed, unsure and scared that I couldn’t “cut the mustard,” considering my age and vision disability.
GU: Once you started the program, how did you feel and what made you feel that way?
VH: Once I started the program, I was still very much overwhelmed. I had no idea of how the program was orchestrated or how to use the resources that were available to me.
GU: What do you like best about Grantham University and about your particular degree program?
VH: I have always had a desire to have a degree in Medical Coding and Billing. What I liked best about Grantham University was the assistance that was readily available to me. My student advisor was a godsend. The way she set up my classes taught me step-by-step how to make it through the program. The professors were extremely helpful with guidance and encouragement. I started gaining confidence right away. I believe that the degree program is set up perfectly for a student to gain the knowledge that is needed to succeed.
GU: Describe the support you have received from the faculty and staff at Grantham. Is there anyone specific who has been a particular help to you?
VH: The support from the staff and faculty, starting with administration, is phenomenal. I know I really worked on my student advisor’s nerves with all of my confusion and questions. But she never, ever let me know it. Her patience was outstanding. She took my hand the whole way. I am sure my new advisor Eric Schroer will be equally helpful.
GU: How do you stay motivated?
VH: My motivation comes from the Lord; I truly give Him all of the credit to any success I accomplish. Sometimes motivation is difficult dealing with age and a disability, but the Accommodation Department of Grantham University has helped me along my way, assisting me with adaptive equipment.
GU: Describe your life and schedule outside of your schoolwork.
VH: Being disabled, I worked part time to supplement my social security disability payments, but I had to make a decision to give up that part time job to concentrate on having a good understanding of my classes and maintain good grades. So outside of school, I serve as much as I can at Olathe Bible Church. I am also studying how to follow Jesus.
GU: What is your proudest accomplishment?
VH: I would say that my proudest accomplishment was getting through my first year with a 4.0 GPA. I didn’t know I had it in me.
GU: What are your goals after you complete your degree?
VH: I would love to apply my medical coding and billing degree in a hospital-based facility. I have seen and heard that there are many opportunities in home-based jobs for this degree program.
GU: Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about going back to school?
VH: I would say-follow your dreams. It’s not too late and if I could do it, absolutely anyone could do it.
GU: What are you most passionate about? What drives you in life?
VH: I would have to say at this point in my life I am passionate about following Jesus, knowing and understanding His word and purpose for me in this life. This drives me in life: the desire to serve others and to lead them to Him so that they will know His goodness and greatness.
GU: What do you think is the most interesting thing about you?
VH: I never really thought of myself as being interesting, but I love the feeling I get from helping others. I also welcome challenges in life.
GU: If someone were to tell your story, what is the number one thing you would want the listener to know about you?
VH: It is important to me that others see God in me. I would like listeners to understand that even though we have challenges and disabilities in our lives, we can become conquerors and successful in life.
GU: Do you have a tip that could help other students like you?
VH: The tip I would give to disabled students is to take the classes one week at a time, just like the curriculum is set up, and to do the reading and lectures. Last but not least, use the many, many resources that are readily available to us here at Grantham University.
If you are interested in what Grantham can do to help you achieve your academic goals, get in touch with us today!
For more information about the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit http://www.grantham.edu/disclosures/AAS-MCB