Student completing dream of two degrees

Student completing dream of two degrees

Friday, June 22, 2012

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Media Relations (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

Chelsea Joy hasn’t used the phrase “free time” much over the past three years while at OTC.

That’s because Joy has had very little time for any else but taking classes, volunteering and working.

Since coming to OTC when she was a junior at Parkview High School through the college’s Career Center, Joy has taken class loads ranging from 12 hours in the summer to 18 hours in the fall.

At the young age of 19, Joy will earn two associate degrees — an Associate of Arts this summer and an Associate of Arts in Science — by the end of next school year.  She carries a 3.30 GPA and will move on to study dentistry.

But academics are only one part of what Joy does on and off campus.

She also is a member of the OTC Honors Program and the OTC Student Government Association, while volunteering at Cornerstone Church developing lesson plans for children there, and working 32 hours a week for a telemarketing company.

In October, Joy and her husband, Nicholas, a member of the U.S. Navy, will be expecting their first son.

Joy can smile with pride when reflecting on her time at OTC.

“I was an average high school student when I came here and the Career Center really helped. I started at OTC with 20 college credits earned in high school through dual enrollment. The center instilled a strong work ethic and lifelong learning skills and gave me confidence to do more,” she said.

Joy hopes to graduate with honors. She is doing well in the summer classes, which exceed the normal number a student can take in the summer. She was given special permission to exceed the maximum of nine hours of classes.

Joy said she has wanted to go into dentistry since she was in the fifth grade and became fascinated with her father’s gold teeth.

“I knew I wanted to be a dentist,” she said, although she thought dental assisting might be as far as she could go.

But with the encouragement she got from health science instructors at OTC, Joy made a career change and decided to become a dentist.

“They were great teachers. No one told me before that I had potential and would go far. They took the time for me. OTC has given me the foundation to be successful wherever I go,” she said.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.