Earned Admission Q&A: Randi Sampleton

ASU Online is dedicated to helping students succeed, no matter where they are in their education journey. Our Earned Admission program was developed to provide students with a clear track into college, regardless of their background or previous academic performance. Whether you have not yet been been admitted to ASU or are unsure college is the right fit for you, Earned Admission gives you an opportunity to test the waters and make progress toward an undergraduate degree without committing financially or risking your GPA.

Recently, we sat down with Earned Admission student Randi Sampleton to discuss her path to enrollment in ASU Online’s Health Innovation degree program, as well as why her Earned Admission and ASU Online experiences have both been so rewarding.

Tell me about the path that led you to ASU Online.

I ended up being a mom early in life, but school has always been something I’ve wanted to go back and complete. When I sent my daughter off to college, I wanted to be a good role model and show that it’s never too late to do what you want and complete your dreams. I work full time and have another daughter in high school, so I knew I wouldn’t follow through if I had to be on campus. My local university didn’t have an online program, so I looked at a lot of other options and nothing caught my eye until ASU Online. It seemed like a perfect fit.

I went through the process of figuring out what I needed to do to become a student, but after applying I realized I didn’t have the qualifications from my high school to be admitted. While I was disappointed at first, I soon realized I could work on it through Earned Admission.. It was a good lead-in for me, since I hadn’t been in school for 20 years.

What was your experience with Earned Admission like?

Going through Earned Admission was nice because I got to look at different classes and choose what I thought I could handle. You can do the work and pay for your course credit after you are happy with your final grade.  It’s a good incentive because financially I wasn’t putting myself out there quite yet. I could really look and see if I could actually do it: Does this fit into my life? Can I make room for studying? Do I know how to prioritize? It was a no-risk opportunity, and they were very helpful. Everything was very clear and straightforward. I decided to put everything into it and just go for it, and before I knew it I’d done several classes and was told I’d done what I needed to apply to an ASU Online degree program.

How does your experience with Earned Admission compare to ASU Online?

I really enjoyed the Earned Admission experience. I’ve found it to be similar to ASU Online courses in most ways, but I enjoy ASU Online even more than Earned Admission because I’m more involved. I can select my classes and have one central area for all of my resources. Everything is set up for success. When I took my daughter to college, we toured a bunch of schools before deciding where to apply, so I got to compare campus to online. I’ve found the online resources are better.

Your major is Health Innovation. Why did you decide on that, and what are you looking to accomplish in the future?

I’ve been in my current industry for about 20 years, and am now CEO of a medical group. So I have this big job and no degree behind it, but all these years of experience. Luckily, I had an employer who believed in me without a degree. While I don’t see myself leaving, I do want to have more opportunities, and the option to move out of state and explore different avenues. I love what I do now, but maybe there’s something else out there, and I think going to school is going to help me find out. I want future employers to know I have the hands-on experience as well as the education

What qualities do you think it takes to be a successful online learner?

I’ve learned a lot about myself in a short period of time, but the number one thing about being online is that you need a plan. For my first few classes, I was extremely overzealous. I signed up for four classes and successfully went through all of them at the same time. I got good grades, but I didn’t anticipate how much it actually was going to take from my life. I spent 80 to 100 hours per week doing homework. With working 40 hours, my kids didn’t see me at all since I was always studying. If I could get through that I knew I could do anything, but I wanted to have a better plan, so I learned to pace myself the second time around. Now I try to pair more difficult classes with ones that aren’t quite as time consuming to balance it out. I make a study plan, stay organized, and follow through. Being online, you are the one person who truly holds yourself accountable. You are also a bit farther removed, so you have to make more of an effort to communicate with others.

What ASU resources have you taken advantage of outside of coursework?

I always get into contact with my professors and stay in communication. The same goes with people in my classes. I’ve also utilized the online library.. I like that you can look at all the classes and read the catalog. If I were younger, I probably would utilize even more. I think because I’m 40 and back in school, I’m in a different place, and I’m highly motivated on my own because I’m choosing this for myself rather than just following the ropes. For me, this is about wanting to absorb any piece of knowledge I can and prove to myself I can complete a degree. I raised two girls as a single parent, and I want to show them you can do these things and be successful at any time.

What have you liked most about ASU and the online program so far?

Even though I’m an online student, I still feel a sense of community through my school. I didn’t anticipate that I would build relationships online, since it’s not like I’m having coffee or talking on the phone with someone. But if you’re willing to put yourself out there and communicate, there’s a real sense of community. I’ve had some classes where 20 students communicate on a daily basis about anything, from the research paper we wrote to talking in general about who we are. I’ve had that same experience with a couple professors. They are really great people, and I would love to come to campus and meet them some day.

Learn more about ASU’s Earned Admission program.

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