BIS in Individualized Study

Suzanne Bristow, 2009

Suzanne Bristow

Suzanne Bristow had a daughter in high school and had already gone back to school herself and earned an associate's degree. She wanted a degree in psychology, but found traditional programs unable to meet her needs.

She discovered Mason's BIS program, where she could "incorporate all the things that interested me to come up with a degree. I could study all the things that I love."

Suzanne found great support in the BIS staff.  BIS instructor Alan More, "helped reign me in, helped me figure out what I was interested in, and how best to do it.  [By the time] I finished BIS 300, I made my list and checked each thing off as I went along."

In May 2009, Suzanne earned her BIS in Special Education Psychology. "I remember the day before graduation thinking that it couldn't be real."  It was just one week after her daughter graduated from college.

Suzanne says having her degree opens doors.  "It brings your income level up ... With a degree in hand, it feels different.  It was a life goal, a family goal.  It is very empowering...."

To others considering becoming a BIS student she says, "Take advantage of any opportunity that comes along.  Be open to the whole experience.  You will get disheartened but you can achieve your goal."