What can you accomplish in 2016?

With the start of a new year, many people are focused on getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. From putting away decorations to making lists of resolutions, this fresh start is a time of positivity and hope for the future. Instead of making the same old promises of eating better, getting organized, and breaking one or two bad habits, why not set a goal of furthering your education?

Yes, just the idea of beginning can be intimidating, not to mention the career planning, studying, and time commitments. But the rewards are worth it – securing a better career, becoming financially stable, and finding a profession that is truly fulfilling! In short, making a better life for you and your loved ones.

One of the things that makes Terra State unique is the diverse population of students. The blend of ages, backgrounds, and perspectives makes our campus a perfect spot for growth and development in a safe and welcoming environment. From the 40-year-old husband and father taking classes after his shift who would like a promotion at work to the 19-year-old young woman going full time with the goal of transferring after completing her associate’s, we are proud of all of our students. Each has set a goal that started with a single step.

I’d like to introduce you to three of our students who are about to accomplish their goals of graduating with their high school diplomas as well as their associate degrees. Part of the College Credit Plus program, these three outstanding young people have inspired others to further their education with their commitment and hard work.


Spencer Elfring will graduate this spring with his Associate of Science from Terra State and a high school diploma from Clyde High School. His ultimate career goal is to become a physician’s assistant with a specialization in pediatric oncology. Spencer says his favorite class at Terra was his speech class with Shannon Lerro. It was one that always made him excited to wake up and go to class. He emphasized that connecting with others is what he likes most about attending Terra – meeting a variety of people that both inspired and challenged him.

Molli Kosanka plans to graduate from Terra State this spring with her Associate of Arts while also receiving her high school diploma from Fremont Ross. The class that really inspired her was the History of Rock-n-Roll with Assistant Professor John Cipiti – saying it was really interesting learning about musical and social trends and how they relate. Molly’s future goals include obtaining an education degree and then going into the teaching profession. She said that her best memories will be the events that connected the people on campus like the dunk tank during Welcome Week.

Meghan Sipsma will graduate with her Associate of General Science from Terra State this spring and a high school diploma from Fremont Ross. She says her best experience while at Terra was learning that she could get her degree while being a high school student – “it felt like I was really going somewhere.” She plans to become a registered nurse and eventually pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist. Meghan’s favorite class was Abnormal Psychology with Adriane Baney. This class made her appreciate all the complexities of the human mind, Meghan said.


Spencer, Molli, and Meghan all started by setting a goal and taking the first step toward it. Now they are about to accomplish the first part of their dreams and I’m so very proud that Terra State has been able to help them on their path to success. No matter your age, background, or interests, growth is one goal we should all constantly strive to achieve. So the question I pose to you is “What can you accomplish in 2016?”