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12/26/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman mom takes online path to ASU degree
Megan Debaca hits the books on her way to a bachelor of science degree, which she’ll receive through ASU Online.
Megan Debaca hits the books on her way to a bachelor of science degree, which she’ll receive through ASU Online.
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Visit for a list of all available ASU Online programs. To register, head to where you can learn more about the application process, which much be completed to register.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

Megan Debaca always wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and attend Arizona State University. But she's a mother of three and the closest ASU auxiliary campus is in Lake Havasu City.

That didn't stop the Kingman woman.

She was poking around on ASU's website one day and saw an ad for ASU Online. She followed the steps, enrolled and then started attending classes. She only needs 35 credits for a bachelor of science degree.

"It was the perfect fit for me, really," Debaca said.

One would think that Debaca would be missing out on an actual college experience, but she doesn't feel that way at all.

"It feels like a real classroom," she said.

There are discussion forums, teachers communicate via video messages and there are virtual chat hours for students seeking one-on-one help, Debaca said.

She finds time for her schoolwork during her breaks at work, on the weekends and when her children go to bed.

The National Center for Education Statistics expects college enrollment rates for adults 25 and older to jump 20 percent between now and 2020.

Entering student life for the first or second time can be daunting, as many individuals already juggle both work and family, said Allison Francis, a spokesperson for ASU Online.

At no point of the process has she felt left out in the cold to figure out things on her own.

"It was super easy to register," she said.

Stress free

The school's staff keeps her up-to-date on graduation requirements, financial aid guidelines and anything else she needs to know.

"I don't have to stress on the fringe stuff like financial aid," Debaca said. "They're on top of things, and all my concentration goes into my studies."

ASU Online currently offers 60 undergraduate and graduate programs and will be adding more in the coming months, said Francis.

"ASU offers six start dates per year, so interested students can begin taking classes as soon as they're ready," Francis said.

Though Debaca is nearing graduation, her education won't stop there. There could be a masters degree in her future.

"With my Bachelor of Science, I want to get into the mental health field as a behavioral health technician doing case management or a similar occupation in the private or government sector," Debaca said. "I plan to pursue a Masters of Social Work right after graduation so I can eventually be doing therapy in mental health or a field closely related to that."

KRMC (career choice)-46961

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Theresa Jones

Megan I'm so proud of you. You work so hard to at everything you do. I'm proudest of the mother you are to those gorgeous children. I hope your story inspires others to work for their education.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Joe DeBaca

You're a good example that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and will be a good asset to our community as a social worker. Congratulations Megan and thanks Tim for your support. Go Devils and I still think my gpa is better.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: J Rod

I always find it amazing when individuals decide to better themselves. As a student of online courses myself I can attest it is not an easy task whatsoever. Congratulations, and keep up the hard work!

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

Good for this young mom. Everyone needs goals and it appears she has set hers.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Uncle Benny

Way to go Megan, I am very proud of you and all your successes. Go Devils !

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