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Distance learning student fulfills dream of earning degree

linda kingsbury

Linda Kingsbury

By Julia Duvall

Looking through the U.S. News and World report to find a university to earn her bachelor’s degree, Linda Kingsbury narrowed down her choices by major, online learning options and price.

Kingsbury, who serves as a staff services manager for the State of California Department of Justice, wanted a school that could meet her needs as an adult learner.

She found a few schools that checked those boxes. One of those was WCU.

“I sent emails to those schools on my list and within an hour of sending an email inquiring about WCU, Tony Miller, the associate director of distance learning, called me back and answered every single question I had and then some,” said Kingsbury, a senior in WCU’s criminal justice program. “He advised me to finish my general education courses at a community college, which I did, and then apply to WCU. Tony was instrumental in my decision of choosing this university.”

Kingsbury was able to finish up her general education courses and save money all while getting one step closer to a goal she had set for herself year ago.

“I have always wanted to get a bachelor’s degree,” Kingsbury said. “I started right out of high school, then life got in the way. This time, it was solely for me. I had the time and financial ability to finally fulfill this dream.”

When asked what her advice to adult learners considering going back to school would be, Kingsbury said, “just do it; you will be amazed at how different your college experience is the second time around. I was much more motivated this time and understood the sacrifices it would take to make my dream a reality.”

Kingsbury praised Miller and Lee Roddick-Brown, student services specialist for distance learning, for all the help they gave her along the way, from the quick responses to working with her three-hour time difference in California.

“I cannot say enough good things about WCU, every step of the way my advisors and professors have been so helpful. They really want you to succeed,” Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury will be traveling from California to Cullowhee for commencement where she will receive her degree in criminal justice. She is thrilled to be able to meet Miller, Roddick-Brown and some of her professors and classmates in person.

For more information about distance learning at WCU, visit

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