Victoria Carranza has a lot on her plate. She is a loving wife, mother to five children — four of whom are under the age of ten — and a dedicated student at the Mount’s Weekend/Evening & Online College (WEOC) where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.
Her hectic schedule necessitates excellent time management skills and a supportive husband who steps up when it’s bathtime or bedtime. Fortunately, Carranza has both. In fact, it was her husband who urged her to return to school after she was laid off from her job as a photographer’s apprentice during the pandemic.
Carranza, who now lives in Texas, was only too happy to rejoin the online component of WEOC where she first pursued a bachelor’s degree in 2010. At the time, she was working for a naturopathic doctor’s office, so she decided to major in sociology and enrolled in weekend classes.
“I had been hopping from one community college to another, and I wasn’t getting the support I needed,” she recalls. “Then my friend recommended the Mount, so I went to an orientation and fell in love with it.”
But 18 months into the program, she moved to Texas where she met her husband, got married and started a family. Her education took a back seat while she raised her children and took on a variety of part-time jobs, including special education assistant at her son’s school. The position was so rewarding that she considered a career in teaching. When she rejoined WEOC in 2020, she switched her major to liberal arts with a minor in psychology.
“The transition from the in-person to the online program has been wonderful — even though it took me 10 years to come back,” says Carranza, “I miss being in a classroom, but the professors are very approachable and give us one-on-one time that helps us feel connected.”
Carranza has also connected with peers through student activities and leadership programs. She is a member of Latinas Unidas and a mentor through the Peer Mentoring Program. Recently, she was invited to join the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, the Mount’s oldest honor society for adult learners.
“I’ve received so much support and encouragement from the Mount,” says Carranza. “Returning to school was daunting, but anytime I doubted myself I received words of encouragement from staff and advisors.”
With the support of her professors, Carranza has decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work after graduation. She says that her positive journey with the Mount has given her the confidence she needs to transition to an online graduate program.