“Things don’t always work out how you originally intended, but that doesn’t mean that you give up,” says Ellonyia Yenney, Bachelor of Applied Studies degree candidate, spring 2015.  Teaching life lessons to their children seems to be a common theme among nontraditional distance students like Yenney.   “I wanted to let my son, Lazarus know it was never too late to complete a life goal.  For Yenney, this meant returning to school after a 20 year absence while working full-time in a position that required travel.

Obtaining a bachelor degree has helped bring credibility to Yenney’s years in the working world.  “For many nontraditional students we may have boots on the ground experience, but we cannot check a box that says we have a four-year degree.  So many doors to employment opportunities and advancement, remain closed.”  After Yenney completed her associate degree from Scott Community College, she decided to continue on at Iowa. 

Yenney currently works for Exide Technologies out of her home office in Bettendorf.  As an account manager for the original equipment and service segment of the business, she provides stored energy solutions to customers in construction, agriculture, forestry and turf care. 

Coursework Yenney took as a part of her program could easily be applied on the job.  “I pride myself in being an account manager who wants to sell a solution to the customer’s problem rather than just sell a battery.  If I do not ask the right questions to know what their problem is, I am not sure I am truly solving their problem.”

Yenney choose the BAS degree because she was able to complete the degree totally online.  This was a critical factor because Yenney works full-time and travels for work.  “My goal was to be able to work at my own pace.   While I enjoyed the distance learning lectures in real time, the guided independent studies have been wonderful because I could take them at any time of day and from any location with an internet connection.”

While Yenney initially thought that completing a degree was going to be a process that she just needed to get to work on and get through; along the way she realized the value in the courses she was completing toward that goal.  “I wish that I would have realized how much I would enjoy the classes that I would be taking.  Distance and online learning was perfect for me.”

“I would not have been able to complete my degree had I been required to be in a traditional classroom.  But at Iowa, I received the same quality education I would have on campus and that was very important to me.”  Yenney’s son now knows there is always a way to live the life you want. Lesson learned.