Faith Stipanovich, one of Pittsburgh’s leaders in the field of human resources, credits the Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCP) at Geneva College for providing the foundation of her career. The payroll manager for Allegheny County, Faith is also this year’s president of the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association (PHRA), an organization that builds leadership and works to influence HR professionals and organizations in the region.
Faith first found out about the ADCP when the small law firm she was working for downsized. “I knew in my heart that I needed to complete my undergraduate studies to reach the career success I so desired.”
Although she hoped to someday receive her bachelor’s degree, she did not see any pressing reasons why she should attend college on a regular basis. So Faith began searching for programs that would accommodate her schedule and open up more career opportunities.
Knowing what Faith was looking for, a friend suggested she enter the Geneva College Adult Degree Completion Program for a bachelor’s degree in human resources. Faith was attracted by the short amount of time it would take to complete the 48 credits, and the program matched her desire for helping others succeed. Offered in 11 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, the program made it possible for Faith to choose a convenient location and fit classes between working both full- and part-time jobs.
Faith soon found that the structure of the classes was as beneficial as the structure of the program in general. “The final project was very good preparation for my future graduate school studies and allowed me to design and implement a real work project.”
Faith went on to complete her master’s degree in human resources at LaRoche College and was then offered a job as payroll manager at the Allegheny County Office of the Controller. “I have been working for quite some time on a project to improve the way Allegheny County collects time and attendance and processes payroll,” she said. “This project involves a lot of challenges, including a big culture change within all of the departments involved in processing payroll.”
Because the Adult Degree Completion Program is an accelerated program, Faith says students must be willing to sacrifice time in order to achieve their bachelor’s degree and ultimate career goals. But with the encouragement of professors and other adult students in similar situations, students can reach their goals and learn a lot about themselves along the way.
“Some of the best learning opportunities come from sharing our experiences with each other,” she said.
- Abby Jackson
Geneva is the first college in the country to offer a five-year B.S. /M.S. degree in cardiovascular science technology through Inova Heart and Vascular Institute in Virginia.