FAYETTE, Iowa (May 10, 2014) – Nathanial Reagin wasn't on the Fayette campus to graduate during the Upper Iowa University 2014 Commencement ceremonies this past weekend. He is still deployed, as he has been throughout the seven years it took him to complete his bachelor's degree in criminal justice through the UIU self-paced program.
Reagin, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2000. Today, he is a U.S. Army CID Agent and is already applying what he learned while earning his degree.
"It took me a while to finally earn my degree, but that was the beauty of the UIU self-paced program," Reagin said. "It allowed for me to be a full time solder, special agent and family man while earning my degree. I wanted to get my degree in criminal justice before I retired from the Army. I chose UIU because I had some friends that attended classes while stationed in Ft. Leavenworth, and they spoke highly of the school."
Reagin said that staying focused on his college studies for seven years "was difficult at times, between deployments, moving all over the world, raising three children and working full time. In the self-paced program, you have to be really committed to finishing your work with little to no supervision, because of the great latitude you have in turning in your assignments."
He contacted his UIU advisor and requested a complete list of all the classes needed to complete a major in criminal justice.
Once I had the list, I took one to two classes when I had the chance and crossed them off of my list as I completed them. Before I knew it I only had four classes left and completed them one at a time," Reagin added. "I have nothing but great things to say about the self-paced program. I truly believe that if it were not for the UIU self-paced program that I would not be standing here today with my degree."
Reagin plans to use his degree to help earn a promotion in the Army and has already started looking into a master's degree.
The 40-year-old Self-Paced Degree Program at UIU was created in 1973 as one of the first U.S. degree-by-mail programs and has gone by several names since then including Coordinated Off-Campus Degree Program, External Degree Program, and, until July 2013, Independent Study Program. The current self-paced program allows students to take courses either through a web-based classroom or through a paper-based option. The program offers a bachelor's of science degree in one of 14 majors, an associate of arts degree, as well as five certificate programs, which all can be completed without an on-campus residency. Students can complete each course in as few as six weeks or take up to six months to complete the course.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing