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With my degrees in accounting from Purdue Global, I achieved a goal I set 30 years ago 

Thirty years after joining the U.S. Army Reserve, Dottie came back with a degree in accounting from Purdue Global. (Purdue University photo/Alli Chaney & Matt Kerkhoff)

After being a U.S. Army reservist and supporting my military husband, I returned to school to finish what I had started

For 30 years, Dottie has had the goal of earning a degree that moves her forward. Now she’s sharing her journey from U.S. Army reservist to military spouse to Purdue Global graduate.

When I joined the military in 1987, I had intended to go back to school as soon as I could. In my case, I chose first to be a supportive mother and military spouse, something I am incredibly proud of. Thirty years later, I decided it was time to finish what I had originally planned to do.

Before joining the U.S. Army Reserve, I earned my certificate in bookkeeping at Hagerstown Business College in 1987, but I never intended to stop there. I always planned to go back for my associate degree in accounting. While in the Army, I went into finance as a way to get a background for my original goal. I thought I would continue on to college right away. It was also in the Army where I met my husband, who was an active-duty member. When we got married, I decided to support him and his military career.

We lived across Germany and California, and along the way we had two amazing kids. When my husband retired from the military, he decided to get a degree, so I supported him as he went back to college. I also supported our children through their college journeys. So after my family earned their degrees, I started looking back at my original goal, and I thought, “OK, I need to do this.”

Purdue Global had exactly what I needed coming back to school after 30 years. I didn’t know if I could keep the commitment to online learning, but the format of the program was perfect for me. They were clear about my schedule and expectations and offered support.

After I went back and got my associate degree, I continued with Purdue Global and earned my bachelor’s in accounting with a concentration in managerial accounting. I was a corporate controller with no degree, so everything I had was through experiential learning. The degree itself has provided me with a lot of information and has advanced me in my career.

Taking 30 years to get to this accomplishment, I am most proud that I earned a 4.0 for both of my degrees, which showed me that even at my age I was able to learn new things. However, I couldn’t have done this without my husband who spent numerous hours reviewing my work and supporting me every step of the way.

Dottie Harnish, BS accounting ’23 Purdue Global

Dottie Harnish

Purdue Global had exactly what I needed coming back to school after 30 years.

Dottie Harnish BS accounting ’23 / Purdue Global

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