Thirteen years ago, Kenneth Boula ’13 earned an associate’s degree in computer information systems from Holyoke Community College. He has a solid career in the IT field, and currently works as a data services specialist for UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. But, he’s always known he wanted to go back to school for a bachelor’s. He took courses at a few local colleges, but found the class schedule too difficult to manage on top of a full-time job.

Student in HCC/Elms Bachelor's Program Set to Graduate

Wed May 15, 2013

Ken BoulaThirteen years ago, Kenneth Boula ’13 earned an associate’s degree in computer information systems from Holyoke Community College. He has a solid career in the IT field, and currently works as a data services specialist for UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. But, he’s always known he wanted to go back to school for a bachelor’s. He took courses at a few local colleges, but found the class schedule too difficult to manage on top of a full-time job.

“And that’s when I heard about the HCC/Elms partnership,” Ken said. “It was much more convenient for me to go to class on Saturdays than weeknights.”

Ken enrolled in the HCC/Elms bachelor’s degree completion program in August 2011. Majoring in business management and marketing, he knew the degree would increase his chances of a promotion or a more senior job.

“It’s been challenging for sure. My family jokes that they don’t know me anymore. It’s a long day being in classes for eight hours on a Saturday, but the schedule made it really easy for me to get my work done and earn a bachelor’s,” Ken said.

Ken appreciated the mix of students’ backgrounds. “We had a few traditional undergraduate students come in to take classes with us on occasion. There were several younger students who really understood the new technologies, and then there were old guys like me who have extensive work experience. It was nice to have that wide diversity.”

The program is flexible, too. Because Ken had prior coursework completed at Western New England University and Westfield State University, he was able to skip a few Saturdays during the 20-month program.

An honors student, Ken is part of the second class to graduate from the HCC/Elms program. He is considering applying to the Elms College M.B.A. program. But first, he will enjoy a cruise to Europe this fall.