Eva was one of about 130 students who graduated from Simpson University last month including 30 from ASPIRE. ASPIRE, which offers evening and online classes, allows busy adults to complete a bachelor’s degree in 12 to 16 months.

Weed resident Eva Escatel-Pimentel knew she needed to complete her bachelor’s degree in order to be more competitive in the job market.

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program offered her a way to accomplish that goal in just a year.

Eva was one of about 130 students who graduated from Simpson University last month including 30 from ASPIRE. ASPIRE, which offers evening and online classes, allows busy adults to complete a bachelor’s degree in 12 to 16 months.

Eva majored in liberal studies, one of four majors offered in ASPIRE. The others are business management, organizational leadership, and psychology. The psychology and organizational leadership programs can also be done online.

Eva attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed after high school and earned an associate’s degree in natural science. She took some time off and began working for the U.S. Postal Service – a job she continued throughout her time in the ASPIRE program.

Managing the demands of home life, work and school was challenging, she said. “Making the drive home from Redding late at night and having to work the next day was hard, but it was worth it in the end,” Eva said.

The most rewarding part of the program, she said, “was being able to learn in a classroom filled with like-minded students in similar stages of life. Even though our class was diverse, I knew that we were all serious about our education and eager to participate.”

ASPIRE’s structure of completing a course every five weeks was also rewarding, Eva added. “It makes you feel accomplished and like you are progressing quickly.”

Eva chose the liberal studies major to give herself the option of pursuing a teaching credential. “I am hoping to find a more stable and fulfilling career now that I have earned a B.A.,” she said.

For more about Simpson’s School of Adult Studies, visit at simpsonu.edu/aspire.