:: Meet Baron Barrera: UEX Online Student

Posted: April 7, 2010


UEX Online Student Takes Courses to Prepare for Medical Career

Baron Barrera was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, California, near Los Angeles. He joined the Unites States Coast Guard soon after graduating from high school because he “wanted to have a job that not only paid me, but paid for my school as well. I also wanted to stay active and help people while staying close to the ocean.” Since joining, Baron has been stationed in several different states including Alaska, California, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas. When he transferred to Houston to be near his wife, Cayla, a native Texan, Baron began looking for online college options. Since he is always on-call for the Coast Guard, having flexibility to work anytime, anywhere on his studies was vital to Baron’s academic needs. He found University Extension (UEX). Its online classes gave him the needed flexibility to fully commit to both work and school.

Baron has also been able to take UEX courses for free through the military Tuition Assistance program. All of his coursework has been paid by the military. Baron plans to use the credits he’s earned with UEX to transfer to medical school to pursue a career as a Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.

How has taking courses at University Extension helped you reach your academic goals?

Baron Barrera: “I have taken numerous online courses through UEX and I feel each class has not only helped me satisfy my general requirements but has also helped set me up for academic success in the future. Although I have not completed my degree, I am confident that I will do well in my future academic endeavors because of the great educational foundation I’ve gained through UEX.”

What was the benefit of online classes for you?

“I’m an active duty Guardian with the U.S. Coast Guard and because I’m always on call I cannot take classes in a traditional classroom setting. By taking self-paced online classes, UEX has allowed me to gain a quality education in spite of a hectic work schedule.”

What would you say are biggest benefits of taking courses with University Extension?

“The most obvious that comes to mind is the fact that you’re gaining an education from one of the best academic institutions in the country at your own pace that fits each individual’s schedule.”

Do you have any advice to someone considering enrolling in University Extension?

“I would tell anyone interested in taking courses through UEX to understand that you are attending a very good school in which there is a mutual relationship between the students and the faculty—each will work hard for the other. I would tell anyone interested in taking UEX courses that success within each course is gained through hard work.”

This story is featured as part of Continuing and Innovative Education’s 100th year celebration. Read more about how CIE has impacted lives then and now.

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