Construction and engineering management graduate travels more than 2,600 miles for his degree

Construction and engineering management graduate travels more than 2,600 miles for his degree

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Jeremiah Cason flew more than 2,600 miles to get his bachelor’s degree in construction and engineering management from Rowan Uni

Jeremiah Cason flew more than 2,600 miles to get his bachelor’s degree in construction and engineering management from Rowan University.

With wife, three children and parents in tow, the 36-year-old traveled from Southern California to South Jersey to pick up the degree he pushed to finish in a little longer than a year, squeezing more than 50 credits in on top of the two associate degrees (construction supervision and journeyman industrial labor relations) he earned from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Online studies

Cason, of Beaumont, California, took all but one class – a study-abroad class in history that focused on World War II sites in England and France – online via Rowan’s Division of Global Learning & Partnerships and the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering.

He had sought advice about where to go for his bachelor’s degree from his community college advisor. “Where do I go next? Where do you know a good college I can segue into?” he asked her. He wanted a highly ranked, affordable program that he could complete efficiently.

“Rowan was considered one of the highest-ranked construction management degrees,” he said.

That was important to him. So was the ability to take classes online.

“I would never have been able to earn my degree or go to college if there were not online programs like this program offered. I am a full-time working husband, father of three and sole breadwinner for my family,” Cason said. “I could never have found time to attend traditional classes and keep my personal, work and family life together. Online courses are the only way this was possible for me.”

Juggling much more

He started at Rowan in spring semester 2018, taking 15 credits while working full time and helping raise a family – all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He has two classes he will finish this summer.

His family played an important role in his drive.

“I have an amazing wife who sacrificed and helped me get to this point. I really owe everything to her,” he said of Megan, his wife of 13 years and mother of their children Emmaline, 12; Ezekiel, 8; and Eowyn, 5.

“I have always wanted to do this,” added the son of Jane and Jerry Cason, also of Southern California. “I have always wanted to make my mom and dad proud. It means a lot to me to have them be there at graduation for me.”

Happy with classes

Whether taking history or Bible or psychology or engineering, Cason was happy with his Rowan classes, which included video chats every week.  “Rowan, I felt, was engaging. I had great personal connections with professors and students. I knew all of my instructors by name. I still talk with some of them,” he said.

"Jeremiah is quite driven.  He clearly wanted to do his best.  He often reached out to me ahead of time to ensure he met assignment expectations and didn't hesitate to respectfully question a grade if he felt he deserved better.  He took his work seriously," said Kathleen Conlan, an adjunct professor in the Construction Management Program.

It’s an amazing team that you guys have,” said Cason, who works as a project superintendent for Layton Construction’s Healthcare Division, located in Irvine, California.