Spotlight

Mike Kirkpatrick '12

Wilson College helped former U.S. Army mechanic Michael Kirkpatrick earn a bachelor’s degree in business management in a variety of ways besides education, including allowing him to receive credit for work experience and assisting with payment for credits through his employer, as well as the G.I. Bill.

“I was impressed with how well the financial aid office worked with (Letterkenny Army Depot) and the Department of Veterans Affairs office to ensure that all of my classes were paid and tuition was covered,” said Kirkpatrick, who took a job at Letterkenny after leaving the Army.

The Shippensburg student graduated in May 2012, but before that, earned an associate degree in management from Wilson. The college allowed him to transfer credits from four other institutions he had attended, as well as accepting credits from skills he had learned on the job.

“Wilson was very understanding about my status as a nontraditional student,” Kirkpatrick said. “There were times when I had to miss a semester due to personal reasons, and it was easy for me to pick up right where I left off. The professors were always able to meet with me outside of office hours and were prompt with their responses to emails.”

Kirkpatrick took advantage of evening classes and January-term classes to help speed his path to graduation with less impact on his work schedule at Letterkenny, where he is a safety technician who works with managers, supervisors and employees to ensure compliance with federal, state and Army regulations.

Kirkpatrick’s degree from Wilson will help him advance at Letterkenny, which he says promotes from within when possible and supports employees getting college degrees.

“The degree will open a lot more doors of opportunity for me, but promotions are not handed to you,” said Kirkpatrick, 31. “I have to learn how to apply experiences to ensure success. This degree will simply push me to excel and support me.”

Kirkpatrick’s positive experience at Wilson has inspired him to continue his education. Just after getting his bachelor’s degree, he enrolled in a master’s program in business administration at Shippensburg University.