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Hundreds of Main Campus and ADP students, who have shown a commitment and dedication to learning throughout their degree programs, will be honored Saturday at Post University’s 125th Commencement ceremony.

I’d like to share the story of one of those exceptional students, Post’s 2015 co-valedictorian, Colleen Briggs, who completed her degree through Post’s Online Education Institute.

Photo of ADP Valedictorian, Colleen Briggs

Colleen Briggs

ADP Valedictorian, Colleen Briggs

It’s extremely rare to be named a college Valedictorian. Most universities bestow the honor on just one or two students each year. Well, in the case of Colleen Briggs, Post University’s 2015 Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) Valedictorian, she is one of two Valedictorians living under the same roof.

That’s correct – Briggs’ husband, Jerald Briggs, Sergeant First Class, United States Army, was Post’s ADP Valedictorian in 2014.

Briggs and her husband researched colleges together, applied for colleges together, and ended up attending Post University together as well. Briggs, the mother of three young children, enrolled shortly after her husband, joining the Psychology program in October 2011.

“Post has been incredible for both of us,” she said. “I was strongly encouraged by my husband to return to school. I was able to see the work he was doing in his bachelor’s degree, and while I knew I had a really long road ahead of me, I’m so happy I made the decision to go back to school.”

Briggs attended a traditional college out of high school, but withdrew shortly after to wed her husband and start their family. Her husband is an active member of the U.S. Army, and Post’s close relationship with the military was a large part in their decision.

“Post really offers a wealth of benefits for service members and their families,” she said. “It’s because of that we were both able to get our education.”

When she enrolled in Post’s Online Education Institute, Briggs was surprised to find the classes challenging and the workload taxing.

“I had a preconceived notion that online education would be far easier than traditional education, but that wasn’t the case at all,” she said. “Post has demanding, high quality courses. To be a successful student in this environment you really have to be disciplined and motivated to work hard.”

Between two courses each MOD and raising a family, Briggs was challenged every day. She met each of those challenges and excelled in the Psychology program, working her way to the top of her class.

“I was able to gain such an understanding of human behavior in the Psychology program,” she said. “My professors were incredibly supportive of me and really mentored me throughout the program.”

After completing her undergraduate program, Briggs rejoined her husband once again in Post’s Malcolm Baldrige School of Business, enrolling in the MBA program with a concentration in Project Management. Her husband is also currently enrolled in the MBA program.

“The business focus is an exciting transition for me,” she said. “I love seeing a project through from start to finish. I’ve led volunteer organizations, and that’s really where my passion is, I like to lead people.”

Briggs is now hooked on higher education and encourages all students and adult learners considering college to give it shot, with two pieces of advice—prepare to work hard and be open to making connections.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that an online program doesn’t let you develop connections.  That’s not at all the case at Post, with peers or professors,” she said. “If you’re willing to put the work in, you’ll get an incredible amount back in return.”

Congratulations to Colleen and every student that will be earning their degree on Saturday!