Terese transferred to St. Kate’s after earning an associate degree from Century College. She is the first in her family to hold a college degree, and, in May, she will add to that achievement with a bachelor’s degree! “When I was earning my associate’s degree, I really wasn’t planning on progressing any further. But then, the more classes I took, the more interested I became in enhancing my career opportunities.”
Over the years, this St. Paul resident had driven past St. Kate’s and knew of its reputation for academic excellence. She finally toured the grounds and learned more about the University during a campus tour — “and I fell in love with its beauty and history and social justice mission,” says Terese, a mother of two who recently quit her fulltime job to focus on finishing her last three classes.
“I’ve also grown to appreciate the fact that it’s women centered. People seem kinder, more open and willing to collaborate at St. Kate’s,” she adds. “I felt the sense of support from this community early on, especially from the financial aid counselors and admission staff I spoke with. Not only did they help me figure out if I could afford to go to St. Kate’s, they made it easy to transfer my credits.”
Three prerequisite courses — “The Reflective Woman” (TRW), theology and “Global Search for Justice” (GSJ) — almost deterred Terese from enrolling at St. Kate’s, she admitted, but she quickly changed her mind when she was finally in them.
“TRW is unique, and I grew so much as a person from the readings and classroom discussions. It also helped me form some lasting friendships in that first semester,” she recalls. “I was really scared to take a theology class, because I had no background in religion courses, but the St. Kate’s professor was outstanding. In fact, it was one of my favorite classes!”
As for the required GSJ, Terese says it’s taught her to speak in public, collaborate with a faculty member and engage with different community organizations. “My professor Pa Der Vang invited me to present with her at the Overcoming Racism Conference at Metropolitan University recently. I learned public speaking skills, and I am more passionate about issues of equity and inclusivity.”
While at St. Kate’s, Terese also had the opportunity to participate in an 18-month program “Cultural Agility Collaboration.” She was one of 60 students, faculty and staff from different Minnesota colleges to discuss creating more inclusive spaces on campuses. She currently serves on St. Kate’s College for Adults Advisory Board.
“I’ve had so many opportunities to grow my professional skills and to gain confidence at St. Kate’s — more than I ever thought possible.”
“Earning an associate’s degree is a real accomplishment, but I think it doesn’t set you up for a professional career the way a bachelor’s degree can. If you’re currently in a community college or recently graduated from one, I would highly recommend transferring to or enrolling at St. Kate’s.”
Learn more about St. Kate’s Complete Program.