Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

December 31, 2013

New Year is the ideal time to "Lose the wait"

Greensburg Daily News

---- — Over the past 10 years, many adults across the nation have accepted the challenge of returning to school after the standard “college age” of 18 to 21.

In fact, nearly four million adults who are 35 and older are enrolled in a degree-granting institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet in Indiana, we have 740,000 residents with some college, but no degree.

Now is a great time for Hoosiers who aspire to earn a degree to stop waiting and make a New Year’s resolution to go back to school. In fact, education ranks high on resolution lists each year. Education or self-improvement accounted for 47 percent of resolutions – ahead of money and fitness-related resolutions according to a 2012 report published by the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

That’s why, at WGU Indiana, our New Year’s resolution is to help Hoosiers “Lose the Wait” and return to school. At WGU Indiana, students don’t have to wait to enroll, because we accept students every month. They don’t wait for classes, because our courses are online. And they don’t wait to take exams, because we’re competency-based and students can accelerate at their own pace.

Plus, as an added incentive this New Year, 20 scholarships will be awarded to WGU Indiana students to defray the cost of tuition and take away one potential barrier to finishing a degree.

A college degree is increasingly important in today’s workforce. It’s critical that those of us in higher education – and all of us across the state – work together to provide the tools needed to succeed.

So as Hoosiers set their New Year’s resolutions and share them with friends in hopes of a fresh start, my hope is that education will make the list. I’m not alone. Indiana Governor Mike Pence agrees, saying, “Indiana is a state of opportunity, particularly when it comes to education. We encourage all Hoosiers to explore their options for furthering their education.”

How else can we help those making this resolution achieve it? Accountability. People are 33 percent more likely to follow through on a resolution when they share it with a friend. Research shows that people who write down their goals and share the information with a friend are more successful in accomplishing the stated goals.

This holiday season, let’s make sure education is at the top of Hoosiers’ resolution lists for 2014. Then, let’s hold our friends and colleagues accountable so they achieve their resolutions and dreams of a college education.

– Daily News