Word of mouth from co-workers drew Dyersville resident Barb Heitzman to the new Degree After Five program at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), and now the busy professional is working to complete an Associate of Arts-Business Administration degree at the Peosta campus and online.
The new program teaches students in five-week hybrid class sessions, which contain both face-to-face classroom experiences and online learning components.
“I’ve always been in the business world and worked in retail or accounting. I never went to college, and I was married two years after I graduated high school,” Heitzman recalled. “After working for many years, the goal to earn a college degree went away.”
When NICC introduced the Degree After Five this year, the flexibility the program offered presented itself as the perfect opportunity to return to college.
“The best thing about the program is that we take one class at a time for just five weeks. All you’re concentrating on is one subject; I think it’s a better way to learn,” she said. “I also like the one-on-one classes in the evening, in addition to the online learning. Having a teacher accessible in each course really makes a huge difference
Heitzman completed Composition I and Business Ethics in February and is currently taking a Public Speaking course. She estimates that she will earn her degree in a little over two years because of her work schedule and family commitments.
Heitzman and her husband, Bill, have two children, Ryan and Emerald.