Ray's Bachelor's Degree in Information Studies:
I earned my Associate of Arts Degree in December of 1986. If you recall, at the time I was graduating, the Savings
and Loan Crisis was spooling up rather well.
During my Associate's Degree program, I took out student loans... the Savings and Loan fallout is what prevented
me from immediately continuing my studies as I worked as much as I could to get the loans paid off. It wasn't
working out well for me.
I did eventually find a job in Litigation Support Video Production and Presentation, and that paid good money.
So, while I was able to afford to go back to school, the requirements of my new career field often ran right through
traditional class times.
I did try to get back into school on three different occasions, only having to withdraw from classes due to work
forcing me to miss too many classes.
I eventually located the Information Studies Program from Florida State University. This required me to take a "C++"
programming course, which also delayed my entry to the program by one year as they only allowed new students in the
Of important note:
When I completed my Associate's Degree, foreign language was not a requirement for entry into the upper division of
the State Universities. During the lag time, I lost that ability to skip the language requirement for nearly all
programs... except this one. This was the only program in the entire State of Florida which did not require
a foreign language to enter, or graduate from, at that time!
I entered the program in the fall of 2001 and began with a part time load of courses, but quickly decided to move
ahead with a full course load so that I might complete the program by the spring term of 2003, which I did.
After I completed this program, I did go back to the local community college and wrap up that foreign language requirement
in Spanish. Of course, I still do not speak Spanish very well!
Information and Communications Technology
A degree in Information Studies ought to be easily recognized as Library "stuff." Where this degree differed is in
that much of the work had to do with learning how to create, from scratch, websites and artwork related to them. While
we had to learn all about research and how people conduct research - and understand how people look for information, we
also had to learn the technology that was becoming more of an everyday use by the end users.
Information and Communications Technology was the vital link to what I wanted to be doing and how I wanted to move
forward as I continued to learn more about web design and development... but I wanted more.
The degree from Florida State University was an excellent way for me to develop a lot of appreciation for what it takes
to get things online, but I wanted to develop more of the content and how to most effectively put that to use in my longer
term goals. This degree from Florida State University was the perfect answer at the perfect time. Two years prior to my
entering the program, it was not available online. One year after I completed it, they stopped taking new distance education
students - you can still do the program in person.
I was totally prepared to take full advantage of this opportunity when it became available - the definition of luck, "when
opportunity meets preparedness."
This degree opened the door to the fantastic program I completed from Amberton University in Professional Development, as
well as the J.D. program I am in with NWCULaw.