Mom is back to school for master’s

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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A year after Carol Boles of Rocklin had her youngest child out of college, she decided to enroll herself. “They (children) teased that I just missed writing tuition checks,” Boles said jokingly. Boles made a drastic move, shifting back into the role of a student at age 52. Almost 30 years after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Boles returned to the classroom – but this time things were much different. Boles said during her first go-around in college, there was no such thing as personal computers. Now, laptops are the norm and technology is a driving force in education, she said. Although she admitted to lacking technological savviness, she quickly learned once enrolled in Drexel University in Sacramento in January. Entered in the Master of Science, library and information program, Boles is enrolled in two courses this quarter – both heavily integrating computer advances. “It’s very interactive and electronic,” she said. All assignments are electronic, the class is equipped with a camera to watch interviews with people across the country and smart boards take technology to another level. Instead of dry erase boards or chalkboards, they’ve been replaced with smart boards, in which professors “write” with their finger, a computer saves all previous notes and students can access it electronically. Carol currently works part time at the Placer County Library Rocklin branch and spends more than 30 hours a week studying, doing homework and preparing for class, she said. “It put a real cramp in my style,” Carol said with a laugh. “Studying takes a lot of work.” With taking on going back to school, Carol had to sacrifice other things – but they’re sacrifices she’s willing to make. “It is a commitment,” Carol said. “It’s not a sacrifice I’m sorry I’m making. It’s a huge challenge, but it’s very exciting, it’s fun to be challenged intellectually.” Among Carol’s summer courses is information ethics, taught by Toni Carbo. The class includes readings and discussions on subjects such as censorship, fair and accurate information and ethics. “We all talk, we all learn from each other,” Carbo said. Carol is one of eight of Carbo’s students in the summer class, where Carol and the students actively participate, Carbo said. Carol said going back to school was something she always wanted to do, but she wasn’t fully aware of what was available. When the opportunity came, Carol said her husband and kids were not only supportive, but excited for her. Things fell into place, and now Carol is a third of the way finished. For other empty nester moms considering going back to school, Carol says, “go for it.” “It’s just been a really positive experience,” she said. Tips for adults going back to school • Think about why you want to return to school • Take classes to see if going back to school is for you • Discuss plans with children, significant others to make sure all are on board with the upcoming changes • Research how you will pay for the program • Research schools to find a good fit in regards to class size, class times, etc. — Information from College of Continuing Education and Continuing Education Suite 101 Web sites. Lauren Weber can be reached at