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Fulfilling a Dream through Online Education

Posted on Jun 10, 2013
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Michael Cheslock earned his bachelors degree through the Distance Learning Center

Michael Cheslock earned his bachelor's degree through the Distance Learning Center

When Michael Cheslock was asked about his goals in life, he responded without hesitation: "Be the best dad I can be" to his four-year-old daughter Alivia.

His second goal? Teach elementary school. Cheslock just took a big step toward accomplishing that goal by earning a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education through UW-Superior's Distance Learning Center.

A desire to teach

Cheslock graduated from UW-Superior in May 2012. He previously had obtained a bachelor's degree in business from UW-Stout. After graduating from Stout, he moved back to his hometown of Rhinelander, Wis., and got a job as the Youth Program Director at the YMCA. There his "itch" to teach bloomed.

Distance Learning at UW-Superior

Cheslock's interest in teaching continued as he became a substitute teacher in the Rhinelander area. After taking an online course through UW-Superior, he decided in late 2007 to enroll in the university's Distance Learning program with his sights set on completing a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

Benefits of Distance Learning

Cheslock said he enjoyed the overall structure and flexibility of distance learning. He could work and study at his own pace and on his own time. He was able to work, take classes, and raise his daughter, which would not have been possible for him as an on-campus student.

Rhinelander, born and raised

He also enjoyed being able to stay at home with his family rather than commuting back and forth between Rhinelander and the UW-Superior campus. That kind of convenience was the major selling point for Cheslock, as it is for many distance learning students juggling school, family and full-time jobs.

Scholarships, loans and more

Cheslock faced the cost issue head on by taking the initiative to apply for distance learning scholarships. Along with grants and student loans, he received scholarships, such as the Ericka M. Baker Education Scholarship in 2010, the Rodger & Gloria Redding Scholarship, and the Markovich Distance Learning Scholarship. He also received the Inez Church Grant in Rhinelander.

Actively living life

In addition to being a part-time student and full-time father, Cheslock coaches youth basketball through the YMCA. He enjoys swimming as well as playing on a YMCA basketball league. He also is a major sports fan, especially for Wisconsin teams.

Dreams for the future

As Cheslock strives to be a top-notch dad, he is well on his way to accomplishing his second goal of becoming a first-rate public school teacher. When asked what his dream job would be, Cheslock said he would love to teach and coach.

If Cheslock continues on this current path to success, there is no doubt all of his dreams will come true.

News Contact: Amanda Akason | 715-394-8480 | aakason{atuws}
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