Two Generations, One Class:

Mother and son Taryn and Jeremiah
Mutual support: Taryn and Jeremiah Johnson will receive their bachelor’s degrees together in May 2015.

In May 2013, Jeremiah Johnson had just earned his associate’s degree in computer science from Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) and was considering his next move. “I had been told that after graduation you only have two options: either get a job or go back to school. There was no job, so I chose the latter,” says Jeremiah, who was advised to consider MET’s Accelerated Degree Completion Program (ADCP). The part-time program—in which prior undergraduate credits can be applied to a two-year bachelor’s program in Computer Science or Management Studies—has the appeal of a “traditional”college experience. That’s because each fall, the ADCP accepts a cohort of students who continue through the program together and graduate as a class. “I really wanted to finish my degree as soon as possible and not have to wait another three years or more to do so,” asserts Jeremiah. When he shared with his parents the details of the ADCP, the family decided to learn more by attending an Open House at MET. That’s when Jeremiah’s mother, Taryn, made a surprising decision. “I became interested,” she explains, “so I thought, why not apply? The rest is history.”

Metropolitan caught up with Jeremiah and Taryn—majoring in Computer Science and Management Studies, respectively—to find out what it is like to be back in school together.

Metropolitan: Why did you both decide to apply to the Accelerated Degree Completion Program?

Taryn: I earned my associate’s degree in business in 1979, and I work in the biotech field as a documentation specialist. I have always wanted to go back to college, but it never was my intention to go for five or more years in the evenings. The thought of finishing a degree in just two years, with a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, was economically sound. I have three young adults in college, working, and living at home—I might as well stop procrastinating and get busy doing! So I am following my dependents’ examples.

Jeremiah: I had heard about the ADCP from my academic advisor at QCC. Initially, I had planned on attending on my own, but my mom kept expressing how she, one day, hoped to go back to school to finish her degree. Once I finally graduated QCC, she made the decision to apply.

What is it like to be back in school together?

Taryn: It is fun and exciting. We share the commute, so we talk and discuss our upcoming course load. We encourage and inspire each other to keep on working towards our goals. This is the motto my husband and I have instilled in our children: Be the best cheerleader for one another or simply for family.

Jeremiah: I enjoy having someone close by to work with. We can brainstorm ideas together and peer-review each other’s essays, to get insight on what may have been missed. We are very supportive of each other throughout the highs and lows of our courses.

Have you found a community of peers in the program?

Taryn: Yes, we have found a wonderful, caring, and sharing community of peers who encourage and help one another. It is one of the best peer groups I have ever met, and I am very proud to be a part of the ADCP Class of 2015 community.

Jeremiah: I think the ADCP class of 2015 is the most dependable and helpful group I’ve ever encountered. Whenever I attend our group studies during the weekends, there is always a great turnout—and most are willing to stay as long as it takes until we understand the material. When we aren't meeting on campus, we meet on Google Groups online.

What do you like most, so far, about the program?

Taryn: The professors are excellent and very supportive.

Jeremiah: For me, I'd have to say my classmates. Because this is such a fast-paced program, forming study groups is a must. With a group as large as our class, it’s good to know you can seek help from others.

Does it feel good to be going back to school? What do your friends think about your endeavor?

Taryn: It feels awesome to be back in school! It is one of the best decisions I could have made. I am so very glad to have decided to apply.
Some of my friends thought, at first, how are you going to pull this off? They know that my life was already busy and full, but this is just another extension of my already busy life—and how I manage my time to get the work done. They are all cheering me on!

Do you look forward to graduating and receiving your bachelors’ degrees together?

Taryn: Yes, we are both looking forward to that day. In fact, our family—who live out-of-state in Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana—are already planning their trips to attend the graduation ceremonies in 2015.

Jeremiah: Yes! It should be a great day!