Determined Student to Graduate on Hybrid of eVersity, Regular Classwork

Rebecca conquers her university math class at UA System eVersity

Math classes have been Rebecca Winkler’s collegiate nemesis. As successful as she’s been in her other studies at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, math was another story.

“I’ve been trying to pass math for four years and I could not do it,” she said.

With each attempt, Winkler started to decipher that testing was particularly difficult for her, even when she enrolled in online coursework.

“I’ve tried other online programs with other schools,” she said. “What always got me was having to go and take my test on campus. Something about knowing I was in a testing environment, I just did not do well.”

Finally, her advisor suggested eVersity, Arkansas’s first all-online university. Winkler was attracted to the lower cost of the program and the fact that there was no in-person testing. Still, she didn’t expect much given her track record. But this time, she passed the first time out.

“Professors in a small environment can nurture you face-to-face,” she said. “And eVersity was able to nurture me and give me everything I needed, even though I wasn’t face-to-face.”

Winkler gave eVersity’s faculty and staff high marks, not just for the academic rigor and pedagogy, but for also providing an effective alternative to learning environments that were challenging to her.

“Sometimes it’s harder for me to learn,” Winkler said. “I did grow up with (Attention Deficit Disorder), so sometimes it’s hard to keep my attention with things. Last semester I was going to redo a psychology class and there were about 50 freshmen in there. I’m sitting third row and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my goodness. All I hear is this chitter-chatter behind me. This is too much for me.’ So I physically had to drop out of that class because I could not take the talking.”

Winkler also had some health problems to deal with during her four years, with which eVersity staff and faculty were similarly accommodating. Now, she’s on pace to graduate at UAM with a degree in criminal justice in December.

“eVersity did everything they could to help me,” she said. “I have chronic asthma and chronic stomach diseases, so sometimes I’m not able to sit through a whole lecture in class. If it’s my stomach, which has happened since I was eight years old, I might just have to leave. Or if it’s my asthma, maybe I’m sitting there coughing too much for the other students and I’m being distractive.”

“But with eVersity, I was at home at my kitchen table. It was just me and I passed,” she said. “I finally passed and it was just amazing.”