Michele DeLuca

Michele DeLucaMichele DeLuca returned to school for personal enrichment.  As she puts it, "I wanted to expand my horizons and knowledge by learning about areas that I had never studied in the past." She chose CSUDH and the IDS/PACE program because the evening and weekend classes IDS/PACE offered enabled her to attend classes without interference to, or disruption of, her daily work schedule.

"I felt the program was a perfect fit for someone who was employed full time," Michele says. "I found this to be an accurate assessment because I was able to complete the program by solely attending classes in the evenings or weekends.  The Interdisciplinary format was wonderful because it enabled me to study a broader scope of material than had I been enrolled in a program with one narrow focus."

Michele says she enjoyed all of her IDS classes fully.  "I was able to take away something from each one that I thought was really great and expanded my knowledge.  I've studied globalization, labor, gender, history, humanities, literature, cultural pluralism (and more) – you name it and I have enjoyed every single class!"

What are some of the best things about the IDS/PACE experience? According to Michele, "the professors are great and truly want the students to succeed.  They understand the commitment everyone has made and back it up with support and encouragement.  The diversity of the classroom is also wonderful.  The program has individuals of all ages and backgrounds and that adds a wonderful flavor to the classes because everyone has something unique to contribute due to age and personal experience.  An unexpected plus was that I really connected with other students.  I did not think that would happen when returning to school at a later age as a full time worker and commuter.  I was wonderfully surprised to make new friends and feel completely at ease in the classroom environment.  I want to stress to anyone who is thinking about returning to school that you will find the classroom setting in the IDS/PACE program very welcoming from both the student and faculty perspective."

When asked about the challenge of working and returning to school, Michele says she hasn't considered it a challenge but rather a fabulous journey that entailed discipline and commitment.  "Obviously, I have had to curtail some of my social life to keep up with school work but I have had so much fun that a few dinners out was a small sacrifice to make.  One thing is for sure, you have to stay up on the assignments when you work because your free time is very limited!"

Michele "absolutely recommends" the IDS/PACE program, especially to those who work because the program is structured in such a way that it allows individuals who have family or work obligations to succeed.  "The evening and weekend format is really an asset," she found.

What are Michele's future plans? "The experience has been such a great one that I plan to continue my education at the graduate level"-an MA for sure and probably a PhD program to follow.