In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities — no matter the obstacles to be overcome.
Kamogelo Phahladira’s accomplishments are monumental, yet she speaks softly and modestly about them, her pride coming across only occasionally in the form of a self-conscious giggle. Not merely the first in her family to graduate with a college diploma, Kamogelo completed two Ashworth College programs in the space of 12 months. And this young South African woman from an economically disadvantaged family did it by overcoming obstacles others might never dream of.
Kamogelo’s educational odyssey began in September 2017, when she arrived in the U.S. from South Africa as an au pair recruited by a cultural exchange organization that brings international students to the U.S. to provide nanny services to a host family while they study. The company promised Kamogelo “money for college” as part of her compensation package, but when she arrived in the U.S. she quickly discovered the $500 educational stipend offered by the company wouldn’t begin to cover tuition costs at any bricks-and-mortar university.
“I signed up with the cultural exchange program mainly for the potential to earn a college degree while I worked, but I realized there was no way I could afford to attend college on $500,”
Kamogelo explained, “so my father suggested I return home. But meanwhile I decided to look online for a college I might be able to afford, and I discovered Ashworth College.”
Perhaps because of her too-good-to-be-true experience with the cultural exchange organization, Kamogelo at first took a skeptical view of Ashworth College. “I investigated them very thoroughly,” she said. “I read reviews and watched YouTube videos of their graduation ceremony to be sure they were a real college.”
Meanwhile, Kamogelo returned to her hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, and took a job as a nanny there. Convinced Ashworth College was the real deal, Kamogelo enrolled in the paralegal career diploma program. “I really enjoyed that program, especially working at my own pace,” Kamogelo said. “It allowed me to complete the degree very quickly.”
But why not just attend college in South Africa?
“The curriculums for programs like paralegal or forensic science are not very good in my country,” Kamogelo explained, “and education is very expensive here. For me, coming from a poor background, it would be hard to complete a degree in South Africa because it’s too expensive, but Ashworth College was very affordable and has been a stepping stone to greater things for me.”
Indeed, Kamogelo’s success in completing the paralegal diploma so quickly – with honors, no less – led her to consider taking a second program: the forensic science career diploma. And this decision unwittingly launched Kamogelo into her dream career.
“My local newspaper wrote up a small article about my educational accomplishments, which must have been seen by the South African Police Services (SAPS). They contacted me to offer me a position in forensics, sort of like an internship,” she said. “I can’t tell you how exciting that was.”
Asked what motivated her to study hard and graduate with honors from two Ashworth College programs, Kamogelo credits her family and friends. “When my parents and some friends told me they were saving up money to travel to America to watch me walk the stage at graduation, I felt very motivated to do my best with my studies,” Kamogelo said.
Today, the sky’s the limit for this ambitious young woman, whose ultimate goal is to work in crime scene investigation. So what would she say to other prospective students who may face financial barriers or other obstacles to an education? “Don’t limit yourself” is her quick response. And that’s good advice for anyone who has not yet discovered the benefits of the affordable online education offered by Ashworth College.
An online Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for aspiring educators who want to develop a career focused on teaching children age 4 and younger. Though you may have stayed at home with a sitter or guardian, or attended a loosely-programmed preschool or play group at that age, it’s now the 2010s and expectations for life pre-K now include structured education by teachers who have earned degrees specifically for this field.
If you have a heart for little kids and patience to boot, consider earning your online Associate Degree and preparing for a job as a preschool teacher! The main goal of preschool is for toddlers to gain language, motor, and social skills while having lots and lots of fun.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026.* That’s a faster-than-average growth projection for all occupations during the same time period. Since the typical requirement for launching a career as a preschool teacher is the completion of an Associate Degree, that leaves plenty of time to get started, graduate, and secure a position in this growing field.
Positions for preschool teachers are available through Head Start programs, private early childhood education centers, churches and faith-based schools, as well as through tutoring, nannying, and at-home childcare services.
As more school systems throughout the U.S. enroll first-generation citizens from non-English-speaking homes, there’s a growing need for trained teachers who can help the youngest of students learn English. Becoming a preschool teacher who works with English Language Learners (ELLs) is a unique way to apply your passion for ECE to a demographic of children who can greatly benefit from your language skills.
If private childcare and teaching is more your style—and you have a sense of adventure—use your ECE degree to become an au pair for a family outside the U.S., or nanny for a foreign family that’s recently moved to the U.S. In both situations, your training will bolster the children’s English-speaking skills and you’ll gain a world of knowledge about another culture.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm (visited October 31, 2018).
Look at you! You got swole and you loved it so much you’ve decided to help others get swole. What’s your next step? Professional certification! You already look the part of a legit personal trainer and that’s excellent for marketing your skills. But it’s a professional certification that really shows your potential clients that you’re qualified to train them. In other words, it gives them permission to trust you right from the start.
Don’t worry, training your brain for certification won’t take as long as training your body into the best physical shape of your life. You also don’t have to go anywhere to get it done; you can learn everything you need to know with online personal training courses at Ashworth College. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma program can be completed in as few as four months and you can study at your own pace.
The program curriculum aligns with the standards set by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and helps prep you specifically for their Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification exam. Because of the NCSF mission to promote high levels of professional competency, ethics, and safety, their CPTs are considered highly-reputable industry wide.
There are nearly a dozen well-known certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers. They feature a range of costs, time commitments, and reputation levels. Here are some reasons why Ashworth College chose to base our program on the NCSF-CPT exam:
By the way, when you enroll in the Personal Trainer Career Diploma program at Ashworth College, you’ll also have the cost of the NCSF-CPT exam, practice test, study guides, and a 1-year membership covered by tuition! Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for your exam without jumping through hoops. We’ll help you get prepped and get done so you can start pursuing your passion for personal training with confidence.
If your job no longer excites you as much as it once did, you may need to consider changing careers. It seems like an intimidating idea at first, but no matter where you are in your work life, making a career change could be the solution that leads to a happier, more successful you.
Before you can find success tackling something new, you have to understand what you’re leaving behind. Acknowledging that you are not happy with your current job–and figuring out why–is the first step to making a career change. Many people who are unhappy at work fall into one of these categories:
Feelings of discontent are extremely common when it comes to the working life and nearly everyone feels them to some degree at one time or another. But if you’re feeling unhappy at work more often than not, for your own health and well-being, you need to be proactive about making a change on your own terms.
Step one of finding a new path is homing in on what exactly you want to change and why. Write down your "wants" and your "don’t wants” about work. You’re not signing any dotted lines here, you’re just making notes for your own personal reference. Put everything on the table no matter how selfish or outrageous it seems because drawing hard lines between what you want and don’t want makes every step towards a new career much more likely to result in success.
If you need some guidance thinking through your feelings about your work, take this quick quiz to find out what kind of a career change might best suit your needs. You may benefit from a little tweak or you may be inspired to tackle something totally new.
One you figure out what kind of career change will inspire you, you can start taking steps toward it. In some cases, you may just need to ask the boss for a new opportunity or project that will challenge you without taking you too far from your current role. That could require a refresh of your skills, or a few steps into a new subject area. Earning a career-specific certification can be a smart investment here. You can expand your opportunities at work by digging deeper into a creative skill, business skill, trade, or something totally new.
If you’ve determined you need to make a drastic career change, you may need to start a new degree, or finish one you didn’t complete. Don’t worry! Returning to college is not as scary as it seems. The right school can be affordable and flexible to fit into your already busy schedule.
Check out the opportunities here at Ashworth College. We provide online diploma, degree, certificate and career training programs that give you freedom and flexibility to pursue additional education on your time, from your own home, and without the need for Federal student loans. You may find yourself in that dream career a lot faster than you thought possible.