BIS in Individualized Study

Sabrina Brassard, 2009

Sabrina Brassard

Sabrina Brassard was at home raising three pre-school-aged children. She was wondering what she could do once her children were in school when an interesting opportunity at a pre-school presented itself. She found that the position required a specific level of education.  She had earned her degree in economics years before but would need another bachelor's degree to be eligible for this new, intriguing position.

She took some courses in early childhood at a local community college (NOVA).  Understanding that Sabrina's real goal was to earn a bachelor's degree, advisors at NOVA directed her toward Mason's BIS program.

According to Sabrina, what attracted her to the BIS program was, "the fact that it offered a degree program that wasn't available at any other four year college. The fact that I could design the program that I needed ... it builds on the coursework that I already have."

Sabrina said, "Going back to college after being out for fifteen years was daunting because I was still working, doing the kids, in addition to class work. But I got it done. With the BIS program, you can design [your curriculum] ... It gives you a lot more flexibility."

Sabrina earned her BIS in with a concentration in early childhood administration after one calendar year of dedicated, hard, focused work.

From there, she stepped right into the position that she had wanted: director of a church-based pre-school.  "It is the perfect Mom-job.  And for me personally, it pulled together all the pieces of my, parenting, being interested in education." 

To potential BIS students Sabrina says, "I would encourage them to do it. But I would also encourage them to be clear eyed about the amount of work. It is a lot of work, but you definitely can do it.  It can be done because I did it."

By Pamela J. Martin