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Eastern Oregon University: Where Success is More Than Just Talk – Realizing Career Aspirations

Eastern Oregon University: Where Success is More Than Just Talk – Realizing Career Aspirations

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University (EOU) doesn’t just talk about student and career success; it’s deeply ingrained in the institution’s mission. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate, an adult returning to education, or an online learner, EOU is determined to support you in achieving your career aspirations.

The 2023 Eastern Oregon University Spring Symposium was held on campus Wednesday, May 18. Jessica McDonald shares her research with Nayeli Maston, a junior at EOU. (EOU photograph / Michael K. Dakota)

EOU acknowledges the significance of life experiences. Just ask Kente’ Bates, a 46-year-old military veteran who returned to school. EOU recognizes his life experiences and awards him credits, making the process seamless. Bates earned his Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Leadership, Organization, and management, highlighting EOU’s affordability and commitment to recognizing individual journeys.

Bates believes a degree will make a difference in people’s lives. “If you want to get your degree, I would encourage people, especially those over 40, to do it. Just put one foot in front of the other,” he said. “Eastern Oregon University is an example of a very well-kept secret, a hidden gem. 

Daisy Sue Minthorn, an Indigenous EOU alum and rising filmmaker, exemplifies EOU’s dedication to nurturing emerging talent. She sees her time at EOU as a critical stepping stone towards her career goals, including securing a grant from the Oregon Film Association in 2024.

Brianna Brigs, another EOU alum, credits much of her success at a global technology company to her strong work ethic and the internship opportunities provided by EOU. Her internships were invaluable, helping her stand out during a challenging period.

“The internship was tremendously valuable,” Brigs said.”It opened doors for me. I graduated just as the pandemic hit, it allowed me to have experience, to stick out.”

For online learners like Troy Tate, who aspires to further his career by opening a daycare center in Portland, EOU offers a flexible path to success. EOU’s online Bachelor of Science degree program validated Tate’s professionalism and passion for his chosen career path, enabling him to find joy in his work.

“I was glad to find an online degree program, EOU was extremely helpful,” Tate said. “It was important to finish my degree, it was important to validate that we are professionals. I have a Bachelor of Science because this is a science. This is extremely rewarding, the kids are constantly making my day better, the kids bring you a lot of joy, it’s not work to me, It’s easy to get out of bed in the morning.”

Garcia Plascencia’s journey at EOU took a brief detour during the pandemic. Concerned about remote teaching, she took a year off from her studies. Her decision proved wise, as she joined the Teach Rural Program in Warrenton, forming essential connections and gaining valuable teaching experience.

Betsy Rochelle, ‘23, a recent EOU graduate, is the fourth generation in her family to embrace a teaching career after completing her EOU education. In the fall of 2023 Rochelle stepped into her career as a teacher. The institution’s affordability, supportive environment, and small-town atmosphere made EOU the ideal choice for her to pursue her passion for teaching. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Miss Betsy Rochelle to our District. She is stepping into a vital role as the music teacher for Madras Elementary,” Joseph Prechtl, Communications Coordinator for Jefferson County School District 509J said. “We are looking forward to seeing Miss Rochelle follow in their footsteps as she starts her teaching career.”

Keith Walker, a lifelong learner, chose EOU to formalize his education with a degree. As a non-traditional student working at a drug treatment facility in La Grande, he recognized the importance of a degree for advancing his career, especially if he were to work outside Oregon.

In essence, EOU represents not just a university but a launchpad for personal and professional growth. Its dedication to diversity, flexibility, affordability, and unwavering support has empowered numerous students, irrespective of their backgrounds, to realize their career dreams. Whether you’re a recent graduate, an adult returning to education, or an online learner, EOU’s primary goal is to help you unleash your full potential and turn your aspirations into achievements.