#PrepareAtPeace | Eva Benton ’17, SPS

Jan 1, 1970

Twice the Experience

By Valeska Redmond, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives 

Eva Benton ’17, B.A. Psychology, ’19 Dual Licensure in Education

From shoes to cosmetics, you name it, Eva Benton can sell almost anything to you. With more than 20 years of experience in retail, the Goldsboro native has been a successful sales professional with a proven track record. But after being on her feet for two decades, Benton decided to move her career into a different direction and follow her true passion: psychology and education. Benton, like most Gen-Xers, started college immediately after graduating from high school, but along with her two best friends dropped out. These friends would discover the true value of finishing their degrees much sooner than Benton, and both would go on to become strong leaders within their professions. Always remaining a positive influence throughout their friendship, these inspiring women would set forth a path that Benton was eager to follow. “I was the last out of the group who didn’t have a bachelor’s degree. I felt it was time for me to finish what I once started”, Benton said.

After receiving a flyer in the mail announcing adult and online learning degree programs offered at WPU, Benton took advantage of the free application and shortly thereafter was accepted into the School of Professional Studies’ (SPS) psychology program. Though change didn’t come easy for the 45-year old retail manager. Learning to work more efficiently to accomplish the set tasks became a new challenge, and the new reality for Benton. “I really had to adapt to the fast paced learning environment. I wasn’t used to the seven week class format, and I had to push myself very hard. But I am grateful for it now, because I finished my degree faster, and I learned to manage my time better,” said Benton, who graduated within two years in 2017.

With a bachelor’s degree in her pocket and her improved time management skills at work, Benton returned to her alma mater in 2018 with the goal of completing the dual licensure program in education. “I came back to WPU because of the student-focused programs and small classes in SPS. The faculty and staff are very caring and understanding of the needs of adult learners. They are committed to providing as close to a traditional college experience as adult students’ lives will permit”, Benton said.

Given Benton’s good academic standing and deep understanding of WPU, Benton was recently selected to serve as the first SPS ambassador. Student Ambassadors serve as a point of contact for prospective and current students while also serving as representatives at institutional functions. “I enjoy being back in the classroom and sharing with new students strategies on how to best balance work and life“, Benton said. Soon, the classroom will become Benton’s permanent environment as she aspires to teach middle school students in social studies.

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