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Learning Center Experience
Meet Anne Henningsen. A
native of International Falls, Minnesota, Anne and her husband Allen have been
married for 23 years. They are the proud parents of two grown children.
Anne attended South
Dakota State University, where she majored in sociology. “After 3 years of
college (1992–1995), my husband was offered a job in my hometown so we packed
up and moved. International Falls only has a community college, so my college
plans were put on hold.”
Anne and Allen started
“After a couple of
years of being a stay-at-home mom, I enrolled in some classes at the local
community college. I eventually earned an accounting certificate and then my
associate’s degree. This all occurred over a span of 7 years, taking classes
here and there while working and raising a family.”
Anne also started work
in the accounting department at her local credit union.
“When one of my coworkers
was let go after 10 years of employment―with no inclination that she was
going to be fired―it made me realize I needed to finish my degree.”
Anne decided to make a
change and finish what she started nearly two decades earlier.
“It was around this
same time that my son was just starting to take some online classes for his
college program. So I did some research and found Kaplan University. I was very
surprised (and disappointed with myself for waiting so long) that I only had 18
months of classes left to get my bachelor’s degree in human services―a degree
that ties together with what I had started 19 years earlier.”
Anne graduated from
Kaplan University with her Bachelor of Science in Human Services in April 2015.
She credits her family for providing the support and encouragement that made it
“Because they believed
in me and were willing to help and support me through the process of completing
my degree, I believed I could do it. Needing to be able to take time away from
my family and just regular household duties, and knowing my family would step
up and assist where needed, helped me to be able to dedicate the time needed
for my classes and homework. My family encouraged me when I was feeling
overwhelmed and they were understanding when my time had to be devoted to my
Anne also credits her
success to finding the right balance between family, work, and school. “What I
did to balance school time with everything else was to have specific time set
aside for school. But, I also had the flexibility to switch up the times if
life events came up. Also, to keep it balanced, family time was family time and
I didn’t bring school to work. Everything was kept separate, so I could
concentrate on each aspect and not have everything blur together.”
She also decided to
change careers. She left the credit union after 14 years and, thanks to her
degree from Kaplan University, Anne joined Koochiching County Public Health,
where she is a social worker/care coordinator.
She loves it.
“Being new to my
position, I still have lots to learn. Right now, my typical day includes
getting to know the different health care plans and being available to my
clients. I work with clients that are on the CADI waiver (ranging in ages from
15 months to 65 years old).”
The Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver
in Minnesota provides funding for home- and community-based services for
children and adults who would otherwise require the level of care provided in a
“I am also a care
coordinator for clients on the different medical plans. What I have been
enjoying most about my new job is interacting with the clients. Going out to my
clients’ homes, being able to offer them help and hope is an amazing feeling.”
According to Anne,
while school was tough, her experience at Kaplan University was well worth it.
“Going back to school
and finishing my degree while having a family and a full-time job was a
challenge. But, I realized that I needed get my bachelor’s degree, get a job
that I have chosen for myself, and make myself and my family proud.
Anne is looking
forward to a bright future.
“Having been working
in the same job for over 14 years was also difficult to move away from, but I
was looking at it from the perspective that I have at least 18 more years to
work before retirement. The job I had at the credit union was a position that I
worked my way up into. It wasn’t the ‘career’ I had chosen for myself, not the
job I wanted to retire from. Being able to work with people on a daily basis,
being able to improve their lives if even in the smallest, simplest way (a
phone call to say hi, how are you doing), is a career I look forward to
Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career
advancement. Additional training or
certification may be required. In addition, job titles and
responsibilities may vary from organization to organization.
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