Recruiting students from all over the U.S., Campus is the new online alternative to community college. This past January, we kicked off the year with our very first cohort of students. This inaugural cohort, also known as the Campus Trailblazers, consists of inspiring students who come from different backgrounds and have faced their own unique challenges, all of whom are aiming to earn their degree and get ahead.
While we’ve seen several additional classes start throughout the year, we thought it was finally time to shine the spotlight on some of the first students in the program and share how they discovered and ultimately committed to the Campus online associate degree in business program.
Introducing the Campus Trailblazers
The Campus Trailblazers began their first term with us on January 10, 2022. Here’s a quick profile of the cohort:
- 68% identify as students of color
- More than half are the first in their family to attend college
- The youngest student was 19 years old at the start of the program, while the oldest was 43
- More than 75% are between the ages of 18 and 24
We interviewed several students to get their take on why they decided Campus was the way to launch (or relaunch!) their academic career.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
What brought you to Campus?
I really didn’t have many opportunities to go to school. I saw Campus advertised on Instagram multiple times, and every time I saw it, I thought it was a program that wasn’t fit for me and the type of student I am. As an immigrant student who typically gets no aid, and as an older student, I didn’t think the program would be a fit for me.
The ad said Campus was completely online – I’d taken online classes before and they were not very user-friendly. Plus, I just didn’t want to pay for school because I never received aid before.
But I kept seeing the ads, and the application deadline was starting to come up. About three days before the deadline, I applied. I spoke to a counselor who answered all of my questions. I felt like business administration was the best umbrella degree because I could take it and apply it to whatever bachelor’s degree I may want to do in the future!
I also learned about the Trailblazer Scholarship and submitted a scholarship essay as well. The whole time, the admissions counselor kept following up with me and I felt like they truly wanted me to go here.
I thought I was just one of five hundred or so other kids applying for college, but they kept individually helping me. They told me about the free laptop – which blew my mind because I was now getting my education paid for thanks to the full-tuition scholarship – and now I was also getting something else free out of this, too?
Then school started and it was all real. I didn’t intend on leaving. It was legit. I started Campus as an almost-happy accident, because at first I really didn’t see myself attending online college at all. It was chance.
I left my old university in 2020 when COVID hit, and I was kind of lost. Last March, I moved from Chicago to Orlando. I didn’t know what I was doing when I got to Orlando – I was working, then I stopped working again, and then I realized I needed to go back to school.
My Afro-Latino parents were very big on me majoring in business when I initially entered college, but I couldn’t do it because I hated math. I thought this was not for me. But as I got older, I realized that all of this was important to know – business knowledge was something I would need. So, I had to figure things out. I saw an ad for Campus and applied. My admissions counselor reached out to me and I was surprised.
I started chatting back and forth with her, and she told me that while a business administration degree isn’t exactly what I’m looking for to finish my higher education with, she said it was something I can use to help me get there. I plan to get my bachelor’s in psychology and then my doctorate. Because I want to open my own practice, I need to know how to run a business, be a manager, and things like that.
This program is it. I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity; I had been waiting for an opportunity like this, so I took it.
One more thing – the program is fully online. What is it about online college that appeals to you?
Ever since I left college the first time, I’ve been working full-time. I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to sacrifice my lifestyle just so I can go to in-person classes.
If I can work from home, why can’t I school from home, too? As a content creator, Campus fits into my lifestyle so well because I can go to school anywhere – I just need WiFi.
Everything I could possibly need for school is on the Campuswire platform so I really don’t need to go far. Plus the classes are live, and I honestly love it because it helps build a sense of community and I’ve been able to make friends.
Because I’ve been able to do my schooling and work from home, I can maximize a lot of different opportunities that are there for me as a content creator and model. I even started getting into tennis again recently!
I have two super small dogs at home and I hate leaving them alone. I work from home now, so I’m able to go from work to school in 20 seconds and save myself some gas money. It’s perfect. Plus, everything is so accessible to me. Lectures, resources, textbooks.
It also gives me time to do certain things I haven’t done that I’ve always wanted to do. For example, I've been procrastinating on streaming the video games I play. This is stuff I want to do and just don’t do, but now I have more opportunities to get them done because of the flexibility of online classes. Another thing is, while I don’t live with my mom anymore, if she needs help I could still find time to help her. Online makes life a lot easier for me.
BONUS QUESTION: Josephine, what was your favorite part of student orientation?
The Campus team brought on some really cool people for the virtual student orientation! They brought on TikTok’s Head of Marketing and an early career program manager from Spotify. I was amazed. I didn’t think we’d be able to meet people like that, especially during an online student orientation.
All I could think about was that if they’re getting these people for orientation, I better stay at Campus, because I know there are great connections to be made here. It was great to have the opportunity to talk to them, add them on LinkedIn, and keep them in my little networking rolodex.
Learn More About the Campus Experience
Each of the Trailblazers have their own goals, whether to start a business or to use their degree as a stepping stone to another one, they chose Campus as their home.
If you want to learn more about the Campus student experience and what makes us different, be sure to check out our Experience page, attend an admissions event, or reach out to an Admissions Counselor.