University Helps Student Obtain Her Degree Through Innovative Program

University Helps Student Obtain Her Degree Through Innovative Program

By: Kevin Castro

India Williams’ life changed dramatically in the spring of 2022. She had transferred to A&M-San Antonio from Alamo Colleges a year earlier and was pursuing a B.A. in communications. But then her husband, who’s in the military, was transferred from Texas to South Korea.

Williams had grown up in a military family, so she was accustomed to moving. Still, relocating overseas some 7,000 miles away was a big disruption, and she was concerned that she’d miss out on her chance to earn her A&M-San Antonio degree.

But thanks to an innovative, course-sharing consortium, Williams was able to complete her degree from South Korea and is graduating on May 13. She and her family will be in San Antonio for commencement.

“I can’t wait to walk the stage and finish this degree,” said Williams, who served as vice president of A&M-San Antonio’s Black Student Union during her time on campus.

The consortium, dubbed Acadeum, is a national network of colleges and universities that launched in 2016 to help higher education institutions fill available seats in online courses. The program enables colleges and universities to expand their academic portfolios while helping students find the courses they need to complete their education.

A&M-San Antonio joined the Acadeum consortium in the fall of 2021, and the rest of the A&M System joined the following year. By combining A&M-San Antonio online courses with offerings from other institutions through the consortium, Williams was able to meet her graduation requirements.

It wasn’t easy, however, as Williams had to navigate a complicated mix of courses and contend with vastly different time zones. But she said A&M-San Antonio’s professors and advisors made the process as smooth as possible, including Antoinette Curl, executive director of academic advising.

  • “Sometimes India and I had trouble figuring out the time zone differences between South Korea and San Antonio,” Curl said. “But she overcame that challenge to successfully finish her classes. She also worked while completing her degree.”

Williams said she’d sometimes be up until 4 a.m. emailing professors and attending online classes. “It was tough, but I had support from my professors and my husband. I was willing to do what I needed to get this degree.”

Williams said that Jenny Moore, clinical professor of communication, also helped her find the appropriate courses through Acadeum.

  • “Our institution is military embracing. This means that we must also embrace innovative resources to help our students through academic barriers,” Moore said. “Completion of the degree is an economic and professional stepping stone for all of India’s family, so I am pleased to be a part of allowing her to succeed while living outside of the U.S.”

As Williams’ graduation day approaches, she said that despite the challenges of her academic journey, she never lost sight of her goal to finish what she started at A&M-San Antonio.

“I owe so much to my professors and advisors for helping make this possible for me.”

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