Joann Mia -- GED -- CTI -- AA -- BA -- MA

When Joann Mia began her studies at Mercer, it was to pursue her GED. She never dreamed that one day she would earn her master's degree, but this month she did just that.

After completing the GED program at Mercer's James Kerney Campus, Mia graduated from the Career Training Institute, then started credit courses. After completing her associate degree she transferred to Rider University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and her teacher certification. She completed her master's degree this May from Thomas Edison State College.

"I had to defend my thesis in a conference call with people from all over the country," she said. Her thesis, "Retention and Attrition in Urban Community Colleges, was well received. "It was quite an experience."

Joann Mia, Learning Center Coordinator at MCCC's James Kerney Campus.

Mia took two years to complete the program, which she accomplished while working full-time at the James Kerney Campus. "It was a dream," she said. "It was something I really wanted to do. I hope to put it all to work right here at this urban campus." One of her goals is to reach parents, who will in turn have more to give to their children. "That is where I see success for this community. You have to educate the parents first."

Mia recently started a new job at Mercer, coordinating the Learning Center at the James Kerney Campus. She supervises staff and coordinates their efforts. Previously she was a financial aid officer. "I never had administrative responsibilities before. This is quite a challenge for me," she said.

She credits Jeremy Parry, recently retired, with being her mentor since 1998.

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