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With two kids and two jobs, Ashley Watts had every excuse not to go to college.
Instead, she graduated Sept. 9 with an Associate of Arts degree, a degree that represents the first two years of a bachelor's degree. She plans to transfer her credits toward a degree in Social Work at Ohio State University.
Columbus State has a lot of course options to fit college into a busy schedule, Watts notes, such as Off-Campus centers, online classes and hybrid classes – classes that mix online learning and in-class lessons. Coupled with the lowest tuition costs in the region, it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
"There's really no excuse not to go to college," Watts says.
Watts started college right after graduating high school in 2003, but, as a single mother, it wasn't easy. During the first quarter her car broke down. She was forced to drop out, and ended up homeless for a few months.
She stuck with it, trying a couple of different majors such as Photography, Accounting, Law Enforcement and Nursing. After helping a family member through a mental health crisis, she decided she wanted to go into Social Work.
"I always wanted to go to college, but I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do," Watts says. "I was a teen parent. I was 16 when I had my first son. I just want to inspire teenage parents."