Gabrielle Trzaska

BA, Psychology

May 2023

Before entering the WP Online Program, I was a student that took classes in person at William Paterson, due to me working a full-time job, there was no possible way I could complete my degree until finding out about the WP Online Program.

The WP Online Program did benefit me in many ways. Such as, having the ability to work my full-time jobs and work at my own pace doing my schoolwork and schoolwork being online instead of in person which were also great since it was very convenient.

After being in the WP Online Program I can officially say I will be graduating in May 2023 obtaining my bachelor’s degree, something nobody can take from me.


“It will go by fast, so do not fall behind! Make sure to be organized, stay on top of your work, do not be afraid to reach out to your professors, your classmates and/or other faculty with help.”

“Stay positive and engage in self-care; yes, school is important, and you want to excel in your classes, but make sure you do something fun to balance your schoolwork, so you are not stressed out.”


Otamy Crossan

BA, Leadership & Professional Studies

May 2023

I am 39 years old. I grew up in public housing in a low-income family. At the age of 14, I began working to help my mother and siblings after my father passed away. Also, I had my children at an early age. I was instilled with a sense of determination, responsibility, and resilience as a result of this experience.

Apart from being a full-time student, I work full-time as an Admissions Director and part-time as a Senior Sales Supervisor. I will graduate in the near future with a bachelor’s degree in Leadership & Professional Studies and I plan to go on to complete a master's degree in Higher Education.

My passion for what I do has led me to where I am today, and I am grateful for all of the experiences that have guided me. Besides being married to an amazing man, I have two wonderful children ages fifteen and twenty-one. In order to set a good example for my family and to make them proud, I continue to push myself to keep going. I also value education because I know its importance.


My motivation to complete my degree at WP Online was that I was able to manage my busy lifestyle as a working professional while pursuing my educational goals. The best advice I can give to future students is to set clear goals, make a realistic study plan, and stick to it. Additionally, I recommend taking advantage of WP Online's library and other resources to stay on track and make the most of the educational opportunities. Lastly, if you are struggling, don't hesitate to seek help. Faculty and staff members at WP Online are eager to provide guidance and support.


Kellie Hanna

BA, Communication Studies

August 2023

I am a 30-year-old, first-generation college student with a four-year-old daughter who is the light of my life. I have been working for my degree since I graduated high school in 2010. I had no idea what I wanted to really do with my life when I was graduating high school at 17.

Even though I did online school before, this was different as it was not the same design as what I had grown used to. I did take some time to adjust and did not do amazing my first session, but did not do horrible, either. I had some courses I loved, some courses that were not my favorite, but I focused and did what I needed to do.

There were a few semesters I did get straight A's which I absolutely will pride myself on because I worked very hard to achieve that. Fall II session of 2022, I got super sick back-to-back, COVID and then not even three weeks later, the worst strain of the flu I've ever endured. It almost set me back a little and delayed graduation but due to the saving grace that Dr. Ferris is, she truly helped me by figuring out alternative options for me so I can walk in graduation in May and complete my degree by August.

It may have taken me 9 years to get my associates and another 4 to get my bachelors, but all that matters is I did it and I was able to do it with my daughter watching me. Above all, I hope this teaches her that determination and hard work will get you where you want to be, believing in yourself, and never giving up- you will land on the moon if you just keep pushing for your goals.


Create a schedule for yourself and make sure stick to it. I noticed for almost all of my classes, the timelines of due dates were similar so that made it easier to manage because I knew what was due on what day and could plan my week around that. I would also say to try to have a good work space where distractions are limited because it is super easy to get distracted and steered away from what needs to get done.

Staying connected is important, too, because you will know if anything changes within the syllabus. Setting goals is another piece of advice because I feel like we work better when we make goals for ourselves. We know what we want to accomplish and what we need to do in order to get there.


Nur Anwari

BA, Criminology and Criminal Justice

August 2023

Education has always been of the utmost importance to me. So, when I came to America in 2021 after having started but not completed my studies in Jordan, I knew it was a priority for me to resume school, even after giving birth to my daughter. One way or another, I was determined to receive my degree. I did research about various options and was fortunate to come across William Paterson’s online program.

Studying at William Paterson has been a fantastic experience for me. As a mother of a toddler (and tiny infant when I started studying), going to classes in person was a non-starter. Besides that, William Paterson’s classes are, by their nature, set up in a way conducive to my success. The terms are short (7 weeks) and intense, and, best of all, can be completed on my own schedule.

Though there are natural deadlines on assignments and exams, I have always had the optionality to complete my work whenever my schedule allowed me to—whether that’s a few hours in the middle of the night, or 15 minutes at a time during the day. Also, for many assignments, I’ve had the option to complete them in a variety of formats—ranging from videos to written responses. I naturally prefer the written responses but have enjoyed the options available. Furthermore, from the onset I have felt supported by William Paterson. They were very fair and generous in awarding my transfer credit, and advisors have been with me every step of the process, guiding me.


One piece of advice for prospective students is to make sure that you’re able to manage your time well! Asynchronous classes are a blessing, but you can also find yourself behind a mountain of work if you keep putting off the work until tomorrow. Thankfully for me at least, the coursework, while intense, has never felt burdensome. The 7 weeks are a sprint, and the week off between them is just long enough to recharge your batteries. If you’re able to stay on top of your assignments, the work is rewarding, challenging, and fair. Best of luck!


Elvia Santos

BA, Leadership and Professional Studies

May 2023

My name is Elvia Santos, and I am the youngest of three in my family. I am from Baitoa, a small town in the Dominican Republic. My father never went to school, but he was sharp at mental math. My mother had no more than a 5th-grade education, but she is a hardworking woman who took care of my father and raised her three children.

On May 23, 2006, I arrived for the first time in the United States at Columbia University in an international cultural exchange program. However, my family was left behind in my country and I felt the need to work and help them.

I got married to a wonderful hardworking man and moved to New Jersey. In 2015 I transferred my credits to William Paterson University, completing my first semester in Global Business Administration. My biggest challenge at William Paterson University, the language barrier as a transfer student from the Dominican Republic. Due to a complicated pregnancy that resulted in surgery and complete bed rest, I was forced to drop college one more time.

I have a beautiful family with two amazing daughters, 11 years old and 6 years old, and they are my inspiration to continue every day. In 2022 I came back to WP Online with a backpack full of hope, dreams, and commitment to achieve my goal of becoming the first-generation college graduate in my family. I was concerned about how well I was able to fulfill my roles as a mother, wife, household manager, professional, and academic, but I have always been in God’s hands! I found an advertisement about WP Online, so I scheduled a meeting with the Director, Center for Degree Completion and Adult Learning. In the meeting, I met someone who enthused and motivated me while also devoting time to examining my academic record.