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Retired Veteran’s College Dream Becomes A Reality Online

Keith Simpson began taking college courses 34 years ago, but his life adventures led him on a different path. After his time in the military, he was 100% classified as “VA service-connected disabled” and retired. Currently, as a stay-at-home dad, he decided to request information about NC State Online’s Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS) bachelor’s degree-completion program.

The flexibility in this program is what really appealed to me. Program Advisor LaShica Waters, Ph.D., described how the program worked when I initially inquired about it — and I was sold. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience that allowed for me to have the balance between my personal and scholastic life,” said Simpson.

Simpson was able to maintain an equal balance between his academics and household schedule and was impressed by the flexibility of the program. In addition to flexibility, support was another component of the program he felt he needed in order to successfully complete his degree.

“My favorite LPS personnel are Program Advisor LaShica Waters, Ph.D., Internship Director and Teaching Assistant Professor Tracy Appling, Teaching Assistant Professor Amanda Edwards, Associate Teaching Professor Dmitri Mitin and Assistant Extension Professor Frank Perry. The most impactful professor during my time at NC State was Assistant Teaching Professor (General) Daniel Bolger. I took as many elective classes as I could with him,” explained Simpson. 

He credits the Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran Services’ office with being especially supportive in helping him to understand his military benefits and how he could use them at NC State. Director of Military and Veteran Services Nick Drake and Assistant Registrar Daniel Hackley counseled him even further by explaining how his benefits could be used for his two children as well. They are also currently enrolled as students at NC State.

Benefits of an LPS Degree

Simpson describes this degree as “a must have for continuing to make forward progress in your career” and encourages others to enroll in the program. “I think it’s beneficial to anyone, whether it be in the corporate world or in their personal life. It’s a highly valuable tool in your toolbox,” he added.

While he does not currently plan to use his degree in the corporate world, he believes it will serve as a great foundation for future pursuits in service roles such as a town council position or becoming a part of a homeowners association board. Simpson believes his degree gives him added confidence and the needed platform to apply for these roles. And, how does he feel about NC State in general?

Online LPS graduate Keith Simpson

“Best university hands down! I’ve learned a lot, made some lifetime friends and bettered myself in the process. The support staff and professors are great. They offered consistent personal attention to my needs as a student and were responsive to any question I ever had. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’ll miss taking classes, but I’m so thankful for the experience. Go Pack!”

Simpson will graduate from the program in May of 2022 and plans to attend both of the in-person ceremonies with his wife and children followed by a small celebration that evening.

Are you interested in pursuing an online Leadership in the Public Sector degree? Visit the program page or online.ncsu.edu/programs for a full list of degree and certificate programs.

This post was originally published in DELTA News.

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