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WGU Graduate Speaker, Keith Sosebee, Winter 2012

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Keith Sosebee, Winter 2012
Western Governors University
<p>Keith Sosebee of Lafayette, Georgia, earned his bachelor's degree in Information Technology-Networks Design and Management online at Western Governors University. He spoke at the online school's February 2012 commencement in Atlanta.</p> <p>W. Keith Sosebee earned his Bachelor of Science, Information Technology degree. </p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Good morning, everyone. I started my degree program with WGU in July of 2011, but my story with WGU started several months before that, almost by accident. I've been working in the IT field for several years and was going through some of the email newsletters that all IT pros get, whether we want them or not. I happened to see an advertisement for an online college, Western Governors University. I had checked in several of these online colleges before and so I was immediately skeptical. Upon looking at the website, I saw several things I liked. Accelerated, affordable, accredited. I really liked affordable. Accelerated is great, and accredited, well, how can I go wrong? And I began looking at the degree programs that were offered. I was immediately impressed by the fact that while attending WGU I would be able to gain IT certifications.</p> <p>After applying, I was even more impressed with how much transferred from my associates degree and the IT certifications that I'd already acquired. When I first began reading about the competency-based learning approach, I wasn't really sure what all that entailed. The more I read and the more my enrollment counselor explained, I discovered that this was the approach to learning that I had really been looking for all along.</p> <p>The next part about WGU that I really liked, was having a mentor there to help me all the way through. My mentor, Mary Gordon, was great. I'm sure she was always busy doing other things, including working on an advanced degree of her own, but she always took time to talk with me and help me out like I was the only student she was working with.</p> <p>The course mentors were always very willing to help and made sure that I had all the resources that I needed to understand and complete the work required. Even though I was doing my work online and away from a campus, I never felt that I was alone. On a more personal note, I already had a lot going on before I started school. I got married and we found out that we had a baby on the way.</p> <p>I began my studies in July knowing that I had to get as much done as possible before October when our baby was due. My wife and my grandmother wound up in different hospitals on the same week on different sides of town in August. They both were having problems breathing and we were all afraid the baby would try to come too soon. I spent a few nights in the hospital and when things were calming down a little, I was still trying to keep my reading up because I had a test the next week. They all made it out of hospital fine, which was a huge relief and answer to prayer.</p> <p>Everyone said I was crazy and taking too much on, but I knew that if anyone could manage to pull it all together then I could. To show you just how crazy I am, let me tell you about my capstone project. It was around the end of September and I was down to three courses: Technical writing, project management and my capstone project. I was able to get technical writing accomplished and was working on the capstone project when my wife called me from the doctor's office and told me that her doctor had scheduled her to be induced on October 10th.</p> <p>Well, I doubled my efforts and that Monday morning while we were in the hospital waiting for things to happen, I proofread my project and submitted it from the hospital. I'm not sure if I was more worried about my grade on the project, or being a first time dad, but let's just say that was a wild day. Later that night, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl that we named Allie, and a few days later on my birthday I got more good news that I passed my project.</p> <p>I was able to complete my entire program in less than five months. It was a challenge to balance all the personal hurdles; a full-time job, after-hours projects, getting ready for a new baby. taking care of a pregnant wife, and having three family dinners a week, but hey, I feel it was worth every bit of time and effort that I put into it and I proved something my mom and dad told me when I was little, "Son you can accomplish anything you put your mind to." Thanks, guys.</p> <p>I tell you all this, not to say oh, look at me how great I am, but to tell you that if you really put your mind to getting this done, you can do it no matter what. It does take sacrifice and a whole lot of discipline, but you know we didn't come to enjoy it. Anyone I come in contact with now that says something about school taking too long or costing too much, I don't hesitate to tell them about the great experience that I've had with WGU. Just ask my sister who is currently applying to start her master's degree with WGU this May.</p> <p>To the faculty, staff, board members and governors, I say thank you for your efforts to keep this education relevant and affordable. Without you I don't believe I would have ever finished my bachelor's degree. Please keep up the good work for so many others like me that have and will find this school to be the opportunity that they needed to achieve their degree and a brighter future. Thank you.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)