Amber Brehmer, 29, wakes up at 4 a.m., five days a week to accomplish her three main responsibilities: parenting, work, and online school. Brehmer is a wife and the mother of a 3 year old. She’s also works full time as a clerk in the receiving department of Home Depot in Milwaukee. And, since January 2009, she’s been an online student pursuing an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Bryant & Stratton College Online, which also has 17 campuses in four states.
Brehmer personifies the average online student: a female between 25 and 44 who is employed full time and is pursuing an undergraduate degree online, according to a survey of 68,760 online learners from 87 institutions between 2006-2009 by Noel-Levitz, a consulting company that helps colleges with enrollment and student success. More than half of the surveyed online learners are married, and 35 percent are married with kids. Brehmer says once she completes her degree in April 2011, she wants to earn a bachelor’s degree online in criminal justice from Bryant & Stratton, and eventually work in forensics as a fingerprint examiner. U.S. News spoke with Brehmer about her views on online education and how she balances school, a full-time job, and her family.
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