Taking Care of Unfinished Business at eVersity

Kim Burnside is taking care of some unfinished business at eVersity by finally finishing the bachelor's degree she always wanted.

Kim Burnside is no stranger to college coursework. The 53-year-old has taken three previous runs at a bachelor’s degree but never quite found the right fit.

“I actually started off in a brick and mortar school that’s not even here anymore to be a computer electronics person,” she said. “I was not cut out for that.”

Instead, Burnside got into the working world early, picked up an associate’s degree along the way and today can boast of a successful career at Southwest Power Pool in Little Rock. So successful in fact, she rarely thought about going back to finish her bachelor’s degree.

So when a colleague introduced her to the University of Arkansas System eVersity, she was surprised at how powerful the allure was to finish her post-secondary education.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to try this eVersity,’” she said. “One, it’s very inexpensive. I was issued my associate (degree) through DeVry University and it was super expensive. So that was one of the things that pulled me toward the eVersity program.”

So she filled out the fast and free online application, which is one of the many ways eVersity has streamlined the college experience for busy, working learners.

“Then, they accepted all of my credits,” Burnside said. “I came in with 75 hours and they pretty much gave me all of them.”

Burnside’s job title is e-Learning Developer, so she had high standards when she started at eVersity about a year ago. She’s been pleased to discover the program surpassed all of her expectations.

“The first class was biology. I thought, ‘How am I going to do biology online?’ It was so super cool,” she said. “I fell in love with it after my first class. We had kitchen lab where you had to go and get stuff and you had to do whatever it said to do and post your results and pictures and things like that. That hooked me right there, you know, OK this is kind of fun.”

Burnside now finds herself on the threshold of attaining her goal of finishing her bachelor’s degree, majoring in University Studies.

“I don’t have to have (a bachelor’s degree) for my job; it’s really a personal thing for me now,” she said. “I have two children; a daughter that’s in med school and a son that’s graduating with a master’s degree. In my mind I’m thinking, ‘If they can do that, I can go back and get my bachelor’s.’”