Mother-Daughter Both Working on Education Degrees at WPU

April 21, 2022

William Peace University has many stories of a mother and daughter attending — just not at the same time. But that’s just what happened to Carla and Riley Jamieson, who are now both studying education. 

Carla Jamieson had been considering a degree in education for years and finally decided to go for it. 

Meanwhile, her daughter, Riley, was wrapping up two years at Wake Tech Community College and realized she also wanted to pursue education. 

So they both enrolled at William Peace University and began classes the same semester, Fall 2021. 

“When we found out we were both going, we were like, ‘Oh wow. That’s going to be interesting,’” Carla Jamieson said. 

Carla had been working as an instructional assistant in Wake County schools. She’s now pursuing her teaching license through WPU’s TA to Teacher Program. This program which is part of WPU’s School of Professional Studies, is designed for working adults who want to further their education.

Riley had studied engineering while at Wake Tech, but fell in love with history. She’s studying middle school education as a traditional student. 

“When we went online [for COVID] at WTCC, I somehow fell behind and it was so hard to ask questions,” Riley said. “I ended up not passing and couldn’t take the next steps. I always wanted to be a history teacher or do something in history, and my instructors were complimentary, encouraging me that I could be a teacher.” 

Because they are in different programs, they don’t have classes together, but take the same classes and often with the same professors. Riley lives at home with her mom in Rolesville. Both say the convenience of WPU’s programs has been a big help, especially Carla, who continues to work full-time. 

“I like that it feels like a core of people, a little family you’re traveling with,” Carla said of being an adult student. “As an adult you have that fear of talking to new people, but here, we all know each other. We have group texts about when something is due. It’s nice to walk into the classroom and see people you know.” 

Riley agrees that small class sizes were appealing. WPU’s average class size is 14, but some are far smaller. 

“One of the classes had just five students,” Riley said. “You can just make connections with your classmates a bit better. It’s not the teacher just lecturing. We have conversations and interactions about learning and how to teach.” 

Carla said she heard about the program through teachers at Wake County Schools and shared that with her daughter. Both will do their student teaching the same semester spring 2023 and will both graduate in May 2023.