By: Nick Santangelo

College isn’t just for 18-22-year-olds. Many nontraditional, working adult learners have experienced the benefits of completing a liberal arts education. And one of our programs is designed specifically for adult learners.

Even before COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s lives, CLA’s Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BA in Liberal Studies) was available fully online or as a mix of online and in-person (including evening) courses. The online program also accepts up to 78 transfer credits and up to six additional credits for professional experience.

Thinking about going back to school and completing your bachelor’s degree? Here’s how some recent grads and current students have made the program fit around their work and personal lives and how they’ve used it to advance their careers.

James Kirkland | Class of 2020

I chose Temple University's College of Liberal Arts because: I’ve always been interested in the liberal arts—the humanities and social sciences—so CLA was a natural fit. These disciplines give us the tools to examine and better understand human history and culture, which is crucial for developing insight and empathy. 

My favorite part of the BA in Liberal Studies has been: the ability to complete my degree online. I work a full-time 9-5 job and had a long commute pre-COVID-19. Due to these constraints, other majors were not accessible for me in terms of scheduling. The BA in Liberal Studies gives me the flexibility I need to balance work and education. 

Completing my degree during the pandemic has been: not that big of a shift for me since I was already exclusively taking online classes, so I didn’t need to make the transition away from the classroom and campus life. With so many people putting themselves and their families at risk and/or struggling economically right now, I feel very fortunate to be able to work remotely. 

My career goals/plans for after graduation are: I want to live abroad for a while. I honestly don’t know where I want to go at this moment, but I have lived in the U.S. my whole life and think living among a different culture would be a good experience because I think it’s easy for people to get stuck in seeing only one way of life. 

LaTasha Goodman | Class of 2019

I chose Temple University's College of Liberal Arts because: I wanted to major in English. However, as a non-traditional student who worked full-time during the day, I wasn’t able to find classes to accommodate my schedule. After I took classes sporadically over a few years, my advisor recommended the BA in Liberal Studies. Once I started it, I completed the program in three years.

My favorite part of the BA in Liberal Studies program was: the flexibility and wide range of courses. The availability of online and evening classes allowed me to stay on track and complete my bachelor’s while taking classes that aligned with my career goals. Attending classes with other non-traditional students was encouraging as well.  

My BA in Liberal Studies helped me launch my career because: I was able to choose courses that attributed to my personal and professional goals. Both were very important to me as a working adult. 

My recommendation to new students entering the program is: that you not only rely on your advisor but also keep track of your courses and career plans. I also highly recommend doing an internship. I completed an internship at Temple WELL tutoring adult learners. 

Darryl Williams | Class of 2021

I chose Temple University's College of Liberal Arts because: of its diverse programs and the opportunities they would present me career-wise. I was originally a Mechanical Engineering Technology major when I first enrolled at Temple in September 1993; however, my calling led me to focus on a path where I would work more in a public service role, and CLA was a great vehicle for that.

My favorite part of the BA in Liberal Studies was: the faculty instruction. The professors are outstanding and their willingness to interact with students of all backgrounds was critical to my growth.

My BA in Liberal Studies education helped me in my career: as a training manager because it prepared me to critically think and to work with a diverse group.

My recommendation for new students is: to embrace the journey. Enjoy being challenged and being pushed because you will be fully prepared for the next level.

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