Online education makes sense for working Latinos

Working full-time can seem like a great obstacle to getting a college degree because it takes up so much of the day when most traditional colleges hold their classes. That’s why the flexibility of earning a degree online made sense for Anna Maria Tapia de Mitchell.

Anna Maria is a native of Chile who has lived, worked, and raised her family in Texas over the past 30 years. Before coming to the U.S., she attended college in Chile, studying occupational therapy, as well as a specialization in interpretation and translation. While she was working as a translator for an advertising agency, in her heart, Anna Maria always wanted to be a teacher. So, a few years ago Anna Maria decided to, “quit my job and enroll in an Alternative Certification Program (ACP) to teach in Texas.”

Unfortunately, even with all her education from Chile and her work experience, when she completed the ACP, she was told her foreign college credits were not enough to grant her teaching certification.

“I desperately needed my degree,” she explained, “so this is when Excelsior College came into my life.”

Anna Maria described how she looked at universities in the Houston area, but “none of them could offer me the flexibility and speed to advance I needed like Excelsior.”

Anna Maria enrolled in Excelsior College’s Liberal Arts degree program so she could “combine all my science and humanities credits.”

While working full-time and looking after her family, Anna Maria completed her Bachelor’s degree with Excelsior College and earned her teaching certificate. She’s now a bilingual third-grade teacher, and is about to complete a Master’s degree, hoping to become an Assistant Principal or Curriculum Administrator.

Anna Maria discovered why many working adults enroll at Excelsior College—she could study online at her own pace while also meeting her family and work obligations. And, since Excelsior College accepted so many of her previous college credits, she could complete her degree faster than she ever could have attending a traditional college.

Of course, working and attending college can be challenging and costly. Fortunately, Excelsior College accepts transfer credits from many different sources, including foreign colleges and universities, as well as credit for prior corporate and military training. That helps students graduate sooner and spend less to earn their degree. Also offered are Excelsior College® Examinations where students can study on their own and earn credit for what they know, without having to take a course.

Online colleges such as Excelsior College also do not require actual classroom attendance. Students can study courses directly online, and in some cases use CD-ROMs that contain course materials. In addition, Excelsior College creates “virtual classrooms” online where students take part in live discussions with their professors and fellow students.

Earning a degree can make a tremendous difference in how much income a person can earn. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college graduates earn an average of $1 million more than high school graduates during their careers.

When asked if attending Excelsior College had changed her life, Anna Maria said, “When I obtained my Bachelor’s degree [from Excelsior College] I could immediately start teaching. It has definitely changed my life and given me the professional security I looked so much forward to.”

To learn more about earning an online degree with Excelsior College, call toll free 888-647-2388 ext. 27, or email the College at