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Debbie Parker: A Degree and A Raise

Date: June 6, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: Profiles Archive

Debbie Parker of Gahanna, Ohio, is graduating from UC's distance learning program as her 18-year-old daughter graduates from high school. Parker enrolled in the distance learning Addictions Studies program and took courses from Columbus State College. However, about a year ago last fall, the 40-year-old training supervisor for the Franklin County Board of MRDD thought her health was going to force her to drop out of school. She says she felt lousy for weeks, got a checkup, and that's when the mother of 18-year-old Sheena and 14-year-old Devin discovered she was expecting again.

Debbie, Kailie Marie and Dan Parker

"It was a shock. I know I had all the classic symptoms, I just didn't put it together."

"I have to give my wife a lot of respect," says Debbie's husband, Dan. "We now have an 11-month-old baby girl, Kailie Marie. My wife went through the whole process of holding down a full-time job, taking classes and being mom to a newborn baby."

Debbie was able to stay in school and will attend Commencement June 8. She says the distance learning program appealed to her because UC accepted the credits of her associate's degree from Columbus State and applied the credit toward her UC bachelor's degree with a focus in Addictions Studies."

Debbie Parker and Kailie Marie

"All the professors she worked with were so helpful," adds husband Dan. "The program was a perfect fit for us. It was an opportunity for continuing education around Debbie's work schedule and around our private life."

Furthermore, Debbie says graduating with her bachelor's degree will make her eligible for more jobs at her agency. "I'll automatically get a raise right off the bat."

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