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‘You’ll never regret getting an education’

Sarah Rocheleau is a busy mother and small business owner. Kacie Schulz is a determined mom focused on personal and professional growth.

They pursued human development and family sciencedegrees at North Dakota State University for different reasons. Rocheleau wanted to improve her home daycare business, gain career flexibility and finish a long, higher education journey. Schulz wanted career advancement and more tools to better serve her clients as a financial adviser.

It was sometimes difficult, but always rewarding. And both said the program’s flexible scheduling, online classes and helpful professors allowed them to reach their educational goals and unlock new career opportunities.

“You’ll never regret getting an education to advance in your field,” said Schulz, who is a certified financial planner in West Fargo. “You’ll never regret learning more and taking that next step toward your goal. I don’t know anyone who looks back and regrets pursuing a degree.

“And NDSU’s human development and family science program gives parents a way to do it.”

Sarah Rocheleau
Sarah Rocheleau pursued an NDSU human development and family science degree to gain career flexibility and improve her business.

A long road

Rocheleau started college at NDSU in 2004 as an animal science student. She changed majors to human development and family science and left school in 2008 before earning a degree.

Then life happened. She got a job and started a family. She wanted to return to school, but was worried her busy life wouldn’t allow it. She has a business, small children, family obligations and not much free time.

But she was determined to find a way to earn a college degree to teach her kids about perseverance, accomplish a longstanding goal and to improve her business.

After years of thinking otherwise, she realized it was possible at NDSU.

“Having my courses online helped tremendously,” said Rocheleau, who is from California but now lives in Minnesota. “The HDFS department really worked with me. They tailored the experience to my life so I could get it done. Most of the classes are self-paced and I was able to schedule things for when I had the time.”  

Rocheleau earned her bachelor’s degree in human development and family science with an emphasis in child and adolescent development in December. She said strong support from her family and the NDSU faculty helped her accomplish her goal.

Rocheleau said her time at NDSU has helped her become a better daycare provider and the HDFS degree could eventually lead to another rewarding career. Whatever the future holds, she knows she’s now got career options.

“Getting a degree is so important,” she said. “And HDFS is so versatile. There are so many things you can do with it. I can move my career the way I want to now. It was so worth it.”

Kacie Schulz
Kacie Schulz chose an NDSU human development and family science degree to gain more tool to help her as a financial advisor.

A fulfilling career

Schulz was a teacher before beginning a career in financial services a few years ago. Always looking to learn and improve, she enrolled in NDSU’s family financial planning online master’s degree program hosted by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.

Schulz said the program is ideal because it allows students to earn a professional designation in addition to their master’s degree. Professional designations, which include certified financial planner and personal finance specialist, are important in financial services industry because they designate a high level of competency in financial planning and investing.

Schulz also chose the master’s program to gain more skills that will help clients make tough financial decisions.

“We all depend on technology so much in our jobs and in our lives,” she said. “But in financial planning, people want somebody to monitor things, make sure it’s quality controlled and to have a personal connection. There isn’t a robot or artificial intelligence that can replace that relationship.

“The courses at NDSU help you provide that for your clients at the highest level.”

Schulz completed one course each semester for five years to earn a master’s. That’s a highlight of the program, Schulz says. You can work at your own pace and still do all the other things that lead to a fulfilled life.

During her time in the program, she changed employers, had two children and endured a global pandemic.

“Like anything worth doing, it can be difficult,” said Schulz, who also teaches an undergraduate course at NDSU. “But I had access to do it when it worked for me. That’s the only way I could have attempted it. I’m really fortunate to have had this educational experience at NDSU. They say it’s not possible to have your cake and eat it, too.

“But I feel like I can now do both.”


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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU University Relations

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:08:16 AM
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