Mom of 5 graduates from college nearly 30 years after starting her degree

Tyra Muhammad returned to college nearly three decades after she first started.

Tyra Muhammad graduated from college nearly 30 years after she started her undergraduate studies.

The 46-year-old mother of five graduated last month from Grambling State University, which she attended at the same time as three of her five children.

“I had the thought of, ‘I’m too old to do this. I’m too old to go back to school and be back on campus,’ but my kids encouraged me and were there for me,” Muhammad told “Good Morning America,” adding with a laugh, “People at times would think we were all siblings [on campus] together, so I appreciated that.”

Muhammad, an English major, first entered Grambling State as a freshman in 1994.

She met her husband in school and the two married at the end of Muhammad’s freshman year, when she was 19. The couple soon started their family and Muhammad paused her college career when she became pregnant and it was too hard physically to stay in school.

Muhammad would go to become a certified nursing assistant and tried a few times to restart at Grambling State but said her studies always took second place to motherhood and she never finished her degree.

“I kind of put myself on the back burner, which is generally what most mothers and women do,” she said.

Muhammad and her husband later divorced and by 2018, with her youngest child now a teenager, she was ready to go back to college. She re-enrolled at Grambling State, where three of her children were already enrolled.

“I sat my children down and talked to them and asked them if it’d be awkward if I attended at the same time and they said no,” recalled Muhammad. “I always wanted my degree and also wanted to be an example to my children in terms of the importance of education.”

Muhammad, whose children are now ages 15, 19, 22, 23 and 26, said the family got positive attention on campus because they would so often be seen together. She had at least one class with one of her children and enjoyed doing campus activities and study sessions with the others.

“It was a fun time,” she said. “I really, really enjoyed my time in school with my children.”

Muhammad’s son Elijah, 22, said he and his siblings also enjoyed the rare chance to attend college with their mom.

“It was fun for me,” said Elijah, who is studying business management and marketing. “Every parent is curious as to what their child is doing on campus and she got to see what I was doing and what

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Free education for essential workers in Michigan is expanding into a pathway toward a four-year degree

The opportunity for essential workers in Michigan to earn a tuition-free degree during the coronavirus pandemic has just expanded.

a bridge over a body of water: A partnership with Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College offers a pathway for essential workers in Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic to earn a degree tuition-free.

© David Jesse/Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network
A partnership with Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College offers a pathway for essential workers in Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic to earn a degree tuition-free.

Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College announced a partnership on Wednesday that provides an affordable path toward a four-year degree to frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.


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Through the partnership, frontline workers who complete an associate degree at HFC and pursue a bachelor’s degree at EMU will be offered a scholarship at the university.

“Our frontline workers put themselves at risk to serve Michigan citizens during a pandemic. Now we are putting them at the forefront by supporting their futures,” said HFC President Russ Kavalhuna. “This new partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University is an exciting opportunity for frontliners to extend their education even further. It will maximize their investment in themselves as they seek new or advanced careers.”

The collaboration is the first of its kind and extends HFC’s participation in Michigan’s “Future for Frontliners” program that offers scholarships to essentials workers without an associate or bachelor’s degree to earn one at no cost from a local community college, according to a release.

“Michigan’s frontline workers have worked tirelessly around the clock for months to maintain essential services and to keep our communities safe,” Eastern Michigan University President James Smith said in a statement. “This new scholarship initiative is an extension of the excellent collaboration we have had with Henry Ford College for many years and provides a new opportunity to reward frontline workers by creating an affordable path to a college degree.”

The “Futures for Frontliners” program, first announced in April, was inspired by the federal government’s support of soldiers returning from World War II by providing them with educational opportunities, according to a press release issued by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office earlier this year.

Those eligible for the “Future for Frontliners” scholarship program include: those working in hospitals or nursing homes, grocery store employees, child care workers, sanitation workers and those who deliver supplies.

The EMU scholarship offered through the partnership is available to new students who enroll at university.

“This is great news for the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who have been serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s good news for our economy,” Whitmer said in a statement on Wednesday.

“From the beginning, creating paths to prosperity for more Michiganders has been a top priority for my administration. I’m proud that our state has developed a way to give back to the Michiganders who have been working around the clock to protect us, and I am grateful for this partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University to help more people get on a path to opportunity.”

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Advertiser content hosted by the Guardian: How your children can give themselves more career options when choosing a degree

It’s an unfortunate paradox of our society that our children are tasked to decide what to study at university, while they are still in their teens.

We have all looked back at that moment in our own lives in hindsight and thought “Why didn’t I…?”

Of course, you’ve probably also realised that life has a way of sorting itself out as it unfolds. Choosing a course of study is less about locking in your next half-decade, but more about arming yourself for the future. Especially with the trend towards more flexible, volatile and unpredictable careers.

That’s why a combination degree could be the wisest option for your child. If your child is tossing up between multiple areas of study or wants varied experience in a timeframe that won’t leave them behind their peers, this might be the answer they didn’t even know existed.

More than just a double degree

While a double degree is often just two concurrent single degrees, a UWA combination is different. It takes the specialisms from different bachelor’s degrees and combines them to make a carefully curated degree that gives your child a level of qualification and transdisciplinary skills found in a double degree, while also fast-tracking their future and arming them with the flexibility to increase and enhance their eventual career options.

Here are some examples of the many combinations UWA offers:

Law and Commerce

Option 1: 6 years

Bachelor of Arts (major in Law and Society, second major in Business Law) plus Juris Doctor postgrad.

Students will graduate with a Juris Doctor for just 1.5 years of additional study. The Juris Doctor is Western Australia’s only postgraduate qualifying law degree, ensuring students will be qualified to practise law as a lawyer or barrister, or to embark on a career as a parliamentarian, policy analyst and more.

Option 2: 3 years

Bachelor of Commerce (major in Business Law, second major in Political Science and International Relations).

A great option for students interested in law, but not interested in becoming a practising lawyer. They will graduate 1.5 years sooner.

Option 3: 5 years

Bachelor of Arts (major in Law and Society, second major in Business Law) plus the Master of Commerce or Master of International Relations.


Bachelor of Commerce (major in Business Law and second major in Law and Society) plus the Master of Commerce or the Master of International Relations.


Law with Commerce, Arts or Criminology

Option 1: 3 years

Bachelor of Arts (major in Law and Society, second major in Criminology).

Option 2: 3 years

Bachelor of Arts (major in Law and Society plus second major from Commerce degree).

Under either option, students will graduate with the same qualification as a double degree – two years sooner.

Engineering and Commerce

This combination is designed to get students into their career more qualified and sooner. Students will graduate as a qualified and accredited engineer with strong business and commerce acumen – a skill set employers are looking for in industries from mining to finance

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Bake Off champion Peter Sawkins insists he’ll complete his Edinburgh University degree

He became the youngest ever winner of the Great British Bake Off after the 2020 final aired on Tuesday night.

But Peter Sawkins, 20, isn’t getting carried away by his newfound culinary fame.

The student – who studies finance at Edinburgh University – has insisted he’ll finish his degree before taking on any Bake Off related offers. 

Bake Off champion: Peter Sawkins, 20, isn't getting carried away by his newfound culinary fame

Bake Off champion: Peter Sawkins, 20, isn’t getting carried away by his newfound culinary fame

‘I am studying at Edinburgh University, and it’s my third year in a four-year degree,’ he said, as reports The Mirror. ‘I’m looking forward to baking a few things at a relaxed pace for friends and family who won’t be scrutinising quite as closely as the judges.

‘I don’t know what will come out of this but I hope there are a few fun opportunities that I can take up!’ 

Of his experience on the much-loved show, Peter said: ‘I can’t recommend doing it enough. You get to meet enthusiastic, energetic and passionate people that all love a shared common interest!’

Peter revealed how he celebrated his win, watching the final, which was recorded over the summer, with his university flatmates.

Studious: The student - who studies finance at Edinburgh University - has insisted he'll finish his degree before taking on any Bake Off related offers

Studious: The student – who studies finance at Edinburgh University – has insisted he’ll finish his degree before taking on any Bake Off related offers

The baker was unable to tell his housemates that he had won the show, and as he explained to Radio 2 they all sat down to watch the final together, as they have done for every episode of the 2020 series. 

Speaking on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, the University of Edinburgh student explained his three housemates’ epic reaction as they found out he had won at the same time as millions of other viewers on Tuesday. 

‘It was great fun, it was just celebrations, lots and lots of cheering so apologies to the flats above and below,’ he laughed. ‘It might have been a bit loud just after 9 o’clock.’

‘We just watched it as we’ve been watching the whole series. It was really nice, it was quite relaxed. It was a shame that we couldn’t do a big party… but we had a lovely time, the four of us in the flat, nice and chilled out.’

Winner! GBBO 2020 champion Peter revealed how he celebrated his win, watching the final, which was recorded over the summer, with his university flatmates

Winner! GBBO 2020 champion Peter revealed how he celebrated his win, watching the final, which was recorded over the summer, with his university flatmates

‘I made a cake. We ate that alongside it. It was a really lovely time.’

He also celebrated virtually with his Bake Off family, revealing the group are still in constant contact.  

‘We’ve got the Bake Off bubble WhatsApp group. It’s popping off every day. We’ve just become a wee family, we’ve got so close so fast, we’re all in together, 24 hours a day and it couldn’t be a better group to share the whole experience with.’

Peter beat Laura Adlington and Dave Friday in the tense finale, and he admitted to Radio 2 that while his journey in

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People without a college degree are much more likely than others to say they don’t intend to vote this year

Americans without a high school diploma were 28 percentage points more likely than overall respondents to say they are not planning to vote. Skye Gould/Business Insider

© Skye Gould/Business Insider
Americans without a high school diploma were 28 percentage points more likely than overall respondents to say they are not planning to vote. Skye Gould/Business Insider

  • A new set of polls from Insider in conjunction with SurveyMonkey found Americans without a college degree to be far more likely to say they don’t intend to vote in the 2020 election than other groups.
  • Among those without a high school diploma or equivalent, 40% said they have no plans to vote this year.
  • Those responses make the group 28% more likely than the average respondent to not vote.
  • Almost 20% of those with a high school diploma or equivalent said they won’t vote, with a steep dropoff in non-voter responses from there among other demographics.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A new round of Insider polls found voters without college degrees to be significantly more likely than the average respondent to say they don’t intend to vote in the 2020 election.

This data is based on an aggregation of eight polls with a total of 8,975 respondents conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience from August through early October. Respondents were asked if they were registered to vote and then subsequently if they intended to vote in the 2020 election, as well as a number of other demographic questions. Overall, 12% of respondents indicated they probably or definitely would not vote in the 2020 election. 


Americans without a high school diploma were 28 percentage points more likely than overall respondents to say they were not planning to vote.

Those with a high school degree or equivalent were 7 percentage points more likely than the average respondent to say they’re not voting.

Among voters with less than a high school diploma, 40% said they have no plans to vote — by far the highest among any other subsection.

Nearly 20% of high school degree respondents said they won’t vote, and then there was another dropoff from there.

  • 11% of respondents with some college but no degree said they didn’t intend to vote
  • 10% of those with an associate’s degree said they had no plans to vote
  • 8% with graduate degrees said they had no intention of voting
  • 7% with bachelor’s degrees said they were not voting in 2020

These responses line up with previous surveys on the correlation between education level and voting.

In a non-partisan Knight Foundation study of the 43% of eligible voters who did not turn out in 2016, non-voters were found to be much less likely to be informed about the political process and to actively seek out news.

“A significant gap between voters and non-voters exists in terms of educational attainment,” the study’s authors wrote. “Non-voters are significantly less likely to have graduated from college than their active voter counterparts, although highly educated non-voters also exist.”

Beyond not keeping up as much with the news, the Knight Foundation study found non-voters also struggled with navigating through the voting process.  

With white voters without a

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Steven Jackson, Oregon State Beavers great, fulfills promise to mom by earning college degree after NFL career

When Steven Jackson declared for the NFL draft in 2003 after a record-setting three-year career at Oregon State, he made a promise to his mother: It would not stop him from earning a college degree.

Seventeen years later, Jackson finally fulfilled the promise.

The Beavers great on Tuesday revealed on social media that he had earned his college degree from Oregon State, sharing a touching video of the moment his mother learned the news.

“Is this it?” she shouted, laughing and celebrating, as she opened what appeared to be a present with Jackson’s diploma. “Oh, Jesus!”

A few seconds later, Jackson held his diploma for his mother to read as she soaked up her son’s accomplishment.

“They put your whole name it,” she said, eliciting a round of laughter from Jackson. The two hugged and she repeatedly thanked him.

Jackson is one of the most accomplished athletes in Oregon State history, rushing for 3,625 yards and scoring 39 touchdowns from 2001-03. He was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the No. 24 overall pick of the 2004 draft and went on to play nine seasons with the organization, rushing for 10,138 yards — the most in franchise history — while earning three Pro Bowl selections.

He went on to play parts of three more seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots before retiring in 2015 with 11,438 rushing yards, 3,683 receiving yards and 78 total touchdowns. He was later inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

In December 2016, Jackson announced on his website that he was returning to Oregon State to finish his degree and that he would be switching his major from architecture to human development and family science. He said he hoped to eventually mentor “young people in and around the communities that I live in.”

“Since my last game with the Patriots, I decided to dive in and really get back into school, and to fulfill a promise that I made to my parents to (finish) my college degree,” Jackson wrote. “I left Oregon State in 2003 when I was a junior, midway through the year. I was actually on course to graduate the following winter, which would have been a little early. But the NFL had me projected as a first-round talent going into the draft, and the chance to make that dream a reality was one I couldn’t pass up.

“My parents didn’t have a chance to get college degrees, but they were really sticklers on education. There would be instances where my dad wouldn’t let me go to football practice if I didn’t have homework done, and those kinds of things stuck out in my head. When I decided that I would give the NFL a shot, I didn’t know that 12 years would pass, or that I would have a long, successful career. But I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and I promised that I would always go back. I don’t think you ever get too

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WGU Aligns to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Framework to Bolster Workforce Relevance of Cloud Computing Degree

Upgrades to cutting-edge online cloud computing program prepare students for in-demand cloud careers

Today, Western Governors University (WGU) announced the launch of key updates to its Bachelor of Science Cloud Computing (BSCC) degree program built in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). The degree program is designed to prepare students with the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy and meet the demands of employers seeking cloud professionals.

WGU’s degree programs are online and competency-based, removing the barriers of time, allowing working learners to study and advance in their degree programs according to their schedules. Students in the BSCC degree program complete their credential on average in 18 months and prepare for industry-recognized certifications that include AWS Certifications along their path to degree.

“The technology skills gap has been exacerbated by a lack of innovation in technology education,” said Dr. Elke Leeds, Dean and Academic Vice President of WGU’s College of Information Technology. “WGU has a deep knowledge of the skills that employers are looking for, and we will continue to innovate in our degree programs and future educational offerings by ensuring that our curriculum meets the demands of learners and employers.”

WGU collaborated with two AWS education programs, AWS Educate and AWS Academy, to update its BSCC degree program. Team members from AWS Educate assisted WGU program developers to embed cloud-specific learning objectives and hands-on experiences into the program with the intent to ensure alignment with the needs of cloud employers. As an AWS Academy member institution, WGU has also incorporated AWS Academy Cloud Operations into its degree, which is a course developed by AWS experts and delivered by AWS accredited educators. As part of the course, students are also required to pass the AWS Certified SysOps – Associate exam.

“Western Governors University is a leading innovator in higher education, and we are proud to deepen our collaboration via this new bachelor of science degree in cloud computing,” said Josh Weatherly, Director of US Education Vertical Sales and Global Programs at AWS. “WGU’s competency-based learning model aligns with our belief in the importance of working backward from the skills employers are seeking while also providing the flexibility of remote learning anywhere in the world. We are excited for WGU’s cloud computing degree help expand and diversify the cloud workforce of tomorrow.”

For more information about WGU and the Bachelor of Science Cloud Computing degree program, visit

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 127,000 students nationwide and has more than 202,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 23 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy.

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BSN degree gives edge in nursing career

For those looking to gain an edge for a nursing career, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the first step.

a young girl using a laptop computer sitting on top of a book shelf

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The report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice, stated the education impacts the knowledge and competencies of the nurse clinician. For those with a BSN, they are not only well-prepared to meet demands, they also are valued for their critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion.


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Kathryn Tart, EdD, MSN, RN, founding dean and professor, and Humana endowed dean’s chair in nursing at the University of Houston, said there are multiple paths to get a BSN, such as the RN to BSN, second degree BSN, and traditional BSN.

Applicants for the nursing program will have their overall GPA, science GPAs, and testing exams reviewed in addition to an interview process.

“All nursing programs have qualifications,” Tart said. “We have more applicants than we’ve ever had. People want to help and know there’s a need. It’s a good profession to have a job and make a difference with individuals, families and the communities they touch.”

Dr. Rhonda Bell, San Jacinto College — Central Campus (SJC) dean of Health and Natural Sciences, said they have nursing programs on all three campuses as the demand for nurses continues to stay steady.

The BSN is one more step to obtaining a position in a clinical setting.

“We’re trying to meet the demand,” said Bell. “We’re expecting lots of retirements.”

San Jacinto College’s RN-to-BSN program is one year and designed for the working RN with an associate degree looking to advance within the profession. The program follows an eight-week course model, building on previous education and experience while providing face-to-face and distance learning opportunities that accommodate an employed RN’s schedule.

Concepts covered include community health nursing, nursing research, public and global health policy, informatics, and leadership.

“We see the success of our students as they master the curriculum. This allows them to be independent in learning. The chancellor has worked on this for a number of years. It’s exciting,” Bell said.

The National Institutes of Health article, Is a Baccalaureate in Nursing Worth It? The Return to Education, 2000—2008, stated the Institute of Medicine recommended 80% of RNs attain a bachelor’s degree by 2020 as the increasing complexity of nursing care warrants a higher educational standard.

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Paul Quinn College in Dallas part of Chipotle’s debt-free degree program for workers

Paul Quinn College in southern Dallas is partnering with Chipotle Mexican Grill in an education initiative that covers 100% of tuition costs up front for eligible employees.

The restaurant chain’s Cultivate Education program can be applied to more than 75 business and technology degrees. The partnership comes as a result of Chipotle’s alliance with Guild Education, a for-profit company that manages tuition reimbursement programs.

After 120 days of employment, Chipotle workers are eligible to pursue debt-free degrees from nonprofit, accredited universities, including Paul Quinn, the nation’s first urban work college and one of its oldest historically Black colleges and universities.

“It expands who we get to define as our students,” Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell said in an interview with KXAS-TV (NBC 5). “The opportunity to welcome an amazing group of individuals like these to our college, to what we offer, to our culture, is just something we are incredibly thrilled by and frankly quite humbled to have the opportunity to do.”

More than 8,000 Chipotle employees have enrolled in classes since the program launched in 2016, the company said.

“We want to provide employees with the tools to achieve their full potential and recognize that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles for not furthering their education,” Marissa Andrada, chief diversity, inclusion and people officer at Chipotle, said in a written statement. “Ensuring we provide inclusive benefits and a support system for our employees and recognizing the importance of offering an HBCU in our education program will continue to aid in our efforts to cultivate a better world.”

Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas.

Sorrell also spoke about institutions owning their role in making college more affordable, including by changing fee structures.

“Just like Chipotle found a way to do debt-free education, how about we find a way to make sure that students don’t have to ask multiple generations of their families to go into debt for them to graduate?” he said in the NBC 5 interview. “These types of things, we have to have honest conversations about them, in broad daylight, so that then we can address the issues in a way that leaves everyone better off than when the conversation began.”

This story, originally published in Texas Metro News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and TMN. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

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