After earning her associate’s degree in Homeland Security, Elena Honovich found herself back on campus – this time, working toward her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Elena opted for Excelsior College, one of three colleges and universities that are part of SUNY Broome’s Bachelor Partnership Center. The fully accredited college allows students to earn their bachelor’s with additional credits at SUNY Broome, and then finish their degree with online courses.
Students have the opportunity to study at their own pace. An accelerated option met Elena’s needs best.
“I chose to take compressed courses because I wanted to get my degree sooner rather than later,” she explained. “Compressed courses are eight weeks long instead of 16. It’s challenging, but I should be done within a year.”
A native of Moldova, Elena envisions a future in law enforcement – particularly federal agencies. She plans to apply for a job in the field after completing her degree.
“DEA, ATF, FBI — whichever agency will take me first!” she said.
She speaks multiple languages, and particularly enjoys investigative forensics, which is her emphasis through Excelsior.
Compressed courses are challenging, she noted: “It’s double the work and a lot of research.” To gain experience in the field, she’s doing an internship at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. Elena also works in the evenings – she and her husband own an Endicott restaurant, the Food Fusion Bar and Grill – which makes a flexible schedule a plus.
“I looked at other colleges, but I would have to travel. I have our business here,” she said, explaining her decision to enroll at Excelsior College. “It was convenient to stay here and do it online.”
Looking to finish your bachelor’s at Excelsior College? Elena has the following advice for prospective students: First, get to know APA format; you’ll be using it a lot for citations. And most importantly, recognize the importance of deadlines. Just because a course is online doesn’t mean it’s any less rigorous than one in a physical classroom.
“They need to have their priorities straight,” she said of prospective students.