Non-Traditional Student Prefers Portland State University's Online Criminology and Criminal Justice Degree Program

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Diane Wehage does not fit the profile of a typical college student. Then again, she does not have to spend any time on a college campus except to visit her son who will be a sophomore this fall at Portland State University. However, like her son, Diane is also a college student at Portland State University (PSU). Diane is working toward her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice (http://www.online.ccj.pdx.edu) through PSU's online program.

Diane Wehage does not fit the profile of a typical college student. Then again, she does not have to spend any time on a college campus except to visit her son who will be a sophomore this fall at Portland State University.

However, like her son, Diane is also a college student at Portland State University (PSU). Diane is working toward her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice through PSU's online program. The online program allows Diane to complete her entire degree from home without any visits to PSU's campus.

"I decided to attend a distance learning program for my personal convenience which ultimately would assist me in being more successful in completing this degree," said Ms. Wehage. "As the Victim Assistance Program director (for the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office), I currently work 50-plus hours a week, and I am on-call 24/7 in support of the staff and program volunteers. When I have free time, I enjoy my family, home, and my garden too much to actually attend class away from home. I am proficient with the computer, disciplined in time management and have strong organizational skills, therefore, I felt that distant learning would work for me."

It is not only Diane Wehage's sense of timing that makes her different from most college students, but her choice of degree which marks a definite departure from where she entered the workforce. Before moving into a career in criminal justice through victim assistance, she was a registered nurse for more than 25 years.

Ms. Wehage decided in the '80s that healing emotional trauma was a more personally rewarding career than healing physical ailments. This prompted her to enter the criminal justice system as an advocate to victims of sexual assaults, child abuse, family abuse, arson, DUI crash and homicide co-survivors.    

"I returned to school to keep up with the skills and knowledge required to be competitive in the marketplace today," said Wehage. "Twenty years ago, professional experience carried a significant amount of weight on a resume. Today, a person does not make it to an interview without the educational background criteria."

PSU's online Bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice allows Diane Wehage to continue enjoying her life while earning the education necessary to continue a rewarding career. Students in the online program receive the same degree and same benefits as students who participate in the on-campus degree.

"I was attracted to Portland State University due to the online program combined with the strong academic reputation of the school. I looked at other online programs and I felt like I would be attending a correspondence course," added Wehage. "I became very interested in the Criminal Justice program when the school offered the same bachelor's degree as students who attend classes on campus. Without that incentive, I would not have applied to the program."

For more information about the Portland State University (PSU) Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice distance education program, contact a PSU Enrollment Advisor at 866-225-7127 or visit the program Web site, http://www.online.ccj.pdx.edu.

About Compass Knowledge Group
PSU has enlisted the help of Compass Knowledge Group to help market the program and recruit students. Founded in 1993, Compass Knowledge Group, Inc. or "Compass" located in Orlando, Florida partners with higher education institutions to create successful distance learning programs. Compass' industry-leading consultants assess institutional readiness and degree program viability. Using best-in-class marketing, recruitment and student retention services, Compass Knowledge Group introduces degree programs to the world and enables colleges and universities to succeed in the competitive online education marketplace.

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Patrick Wampler