Getting My Doctorate By Eighty) 3/6/2013 <p><strong>By Guest Blogger</strong></p> <p><strong>Rana Lee Berman<br /> EdD Teaching &amp; Learnin

Getting My Doctorate By Eighty

By Guest Blogger

Rana Lee Berman
EdD Teaching & Learning Student at Argosy University, Online Programs

I am a 75-year old doctorate student, a mother of three, a grandmother of nine and a great-grandmother of two. Reading that, it might sound like I have had a great life but I have faced and overcome my share of difficulty. I am a survivor of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and I also struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. I have now been in recovery for 25 years.

In 2001, at the age of 64, I decided to go to college after being a drug and alcohol counselor for 15 years. At this point, I had been out of school 43 years! It was terrifying, but with the help of a great history teacher, I began to learn how to study and write. I had no idea what a thesis statement was, let alone how to write an essay. In the summer of 2003, I transferred from the local community college to San Francisco State University where I earned two degrees (Jewish Studies and Black Studies) with a 3.8 GPA. I then entered the MA program in Adult Education with a concentration on Social Justice and Equity, and I graduated in May 2012.

I am now in the Argosy University, Online Programs’ doctorate program in Teaching and Learning with a concentration on teaching older students and helping colleges and universities retain these important students. My research will involve looking at community colleges in California and the types of programs they have, or do not have, for adult students over the age of 35 who are coming to college for the first time. My field study in my master’s program was developing an orientation for these students, which I have been given the go-ahead to implement this spring. I am now teaching and tutoring at the very college where I started many years ago.

This has been an amazing journey for me. I want my doctorate by the time I am 80, and I know I will have it.


At Argosy University, Online Programs, our students are passionate about their studies and many students, such as Rana, have inspiring stories to share with our community. If you are a current student or alumnus who would like your story to be heard, head over to the Campus Common ( and submit it for us to review!

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