Many students feel nervous at the thought of going to college, but let’s admit Charles Batcher had more reason than most to lose sleep over the idea.
You see, Charles dropped out of high school at age 16. Eventually, he got his GED. Then, at 28, he got an associate degree at ITT Technical Institute. But it wasn’t until he was 45 that he decided to pursue the bachelor’s degree at Sage.
Charles had supported a family, at one point he’d worked 23 years in a factory job, so he’d seen and done a lot in life. But still, the thought of going back to college filled him with doubt.
“I’ve got to admit,” he says, “it was tough. And nerve racking.”
But five years later, Charles got that degree, in Business Administration, with a 3.5 GPA.
“Not bad for a guy who dropped out of high school,” he says. “My kids are really proud of me. I remember them saying, How are you doing this, Dad. The math was really a struggle. But I was motivated. My employer offered an employee educational reimbursement, which requires maintaining at least a C average. And anyway, I didn’t want to be that C student just getting by.”
Charles took some classes online and some on campus. He says the folks at Sage couldn’t have been more helpful. All his professors seemed ready to be there for him in any way they could. “You could approach anyone,” he says. “You could ask all your questions and get answers.”
“I learned more as an adult student than I ever did when I was young,” he says. “Back then, I hated school. But then I had a family. I had a real life. And I realized the only thing that’s going to change things for you is you. And what I know now is that if you put in the effort, you get it back.”
He also knows he didn’t do this alone. “It was thanks to my wife Susan’s support and encouragement that truly got me through it all.”
Charles recently got promoted to traffic team leader at his job at Atlas Copco, where he does planning and scheduling. “I have more confidence in myself than I ever had,” he says. “When I got the new position I knew I could do it. I knew if I got that degree I could do anything.”