ECU adult learner Lindsey Richardson breaks down barriers to finish degree

After she returned to ECU to complete her studies after a five-year absence, Lindsey Richardson is set to graduate this summer with a degree in university studies

Lindsey Richardson attended two community colleges as well as ECU early in her academic career.

“Life happens,” Richardson said.

She took time off from her studies to care for her mother and started a family of her own, first a son and then later a daughter, who is now 3 years old. She said the expense of child day care proved a barrier in her efforts to get back to college sooner.

“I don’t have a baby on my hip anymore, so I have time to finish my degree now,” she said. “It’s my time.”

Just 17 credits shy of a degree, Richardson came back to ECU after a five-year absence.

“There are probably a lot of people out there thinking, ‘Should I do this? I can’t do this,’” she said. “Just send an email. Make a phone call. You can finish it. You can finish it.”

She jokes that her younger classmates dress a little more casually than she remembered, but as an older student, she said no one has treated her differently and she’s received plenty of support from her advisors and faculty.

“There hasn’t been a question that I’ve had that I haven’t gotten an answer to by the end of the day,” she said.

Richardson credits Dr. Amy Shannon, director of ECU’s university studies program, for putting her on a path toward a degree.

“I knew that my credits from the community colleges would work here, and the BSUS (Bachelor of Science in University Studies) degree program would fit my prior credits into a degree that works for me,” she said. “… I’m on track to graduate this summer, and I’m really, really happy about that.”