Carl Albert State College is proud to celebrate the first graduate of the Workforce Certificate program. Kathy Tomlin, from Muldrow, OK, has earned a Social Services Assistant Certificate and completed her internship at the Muldrow Public Library. Tomlin is still employed at the library, and is currently enrolled in 16 credit hours at Carl Albert.
Working toward completing her education has been a life-long goal for Tomlin. After living overseas for most of her adult life, and raising a family, Tomlin was finally able to focus on her goals. She was also now in a location that would allow her to do just that. “We moved back from Japan after more than 30 years there; my husband is retired military. Our family is from this area, so we were excited to get back. Carl Albert offered the convenience and flexibility that I needed.” Through the flexible options provided by Carl Albert, Tomlin was able to complete her certificate while balancing her internship. Tomlin completed the coursework through a variety of methods- online instruction, in the classroom, and also through Zoom. “The staff was so great to work with, and they helped me pick a schedule that would work for ME. I was able to make changes as needed, and find something that really worked for me and my family.”
Tomlin has no plans to stop at completing the certificate program. She is currently enrolled in the Psychology/Sociology program, and plans to earn her Associates Degree from Carl Albert. From there, she plans to attend Northeastern State University and earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Her goal is to become a Licensed Social Worker. “I’m 50 years old, but I’m not letting that discourage me. I have waited a long time to earn my degree.” When asked why she chose to go back to school, Tomlin said it was simple. “In order to obtain a good job with a good schedule and benefits, you simply have to have an education. It means something to have those letters behind your name. It bumps up your credibility. I’ve been passed over for positions, even with years of experience, all because I didn’t have a piece of paper. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes to better myself.”
Tomlin is proud to be a non-traditional student, and proud to serve the community at the Muldrow Library. “I get to help people each day, and send them in the right direction for resources, which I love,” she said. “It is directly related to social work- serving people of all backgrounds and making sure they have what they need.” When asked what she would say to those considering completing their degree, Tomlin didn’t hesitate. “Do it! Letters mean dollars, and if I can do it, anyone can. I will miss my instructors and classmates at Carl Albert, but I would do this all over again. They made it so easy, and so fun.”
For more information on the Workforce Certificate programs available at Carl Albert, visit www.carlalbert.edu.