College for America Blog

Tufts Medical Center Education Manager Earning Bachelor’s to Backup On-the-Job Experience


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Posted In: Students

Aug • 6 • 2019

Student success story Crys Draconi

Crys Draconi worked as hard as she could to advance her career as an education manager at Tufts Medical Center. She knew that to keep going, she would need a college degree, but other things – finances, other responsibilities – always got in the way. Always, that is, until she took advantage of Tufts Medical Center’s partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and the College for America program.

“I have done all I can do without (a degree), and although I have a ton of life experience and learning the hard way, I need a degree to back up what I know,” she said.

Now Draconi has earned her associate in general studies and is in the process of earning her bachelor’s in management with a concentration in public administration. The project-based, self-paced online format did the trick for Draconi by fitting into her already full life. 

“The program offered through (College for America) is invaluable. The cost is extremely affordable, and the structure is right up my alley,” she said. “… the courses here help me work around my busy schedule and help me to build the projects based on what is going on around me.”

The College for America program is designed specifically for working adult learners. Instead of traditional coursework, students demonstrate a mastery of individual competencies by completing a series of hands-on projects. The unique structure allows students to work independently and complete projects on their own schedule within 16-week terms.

Another advantage of the program was how applicable it was to Draconi’s current role, such as strengthening her business writing skills and planning expertise.

“One of my projects is creating an alliance, and we have taken the approach as we built it to create a business plan,” she said. “Having learned this in one of the projects has really given me the awareness and structure to build this usefully.”

Draconi urged her co-workers to take advantage of the Tufts Medical Center-SNHU partnership and said the ability to work whenever and wherever she needed to based on her work and life responsibilities.

“I would highly encourage it,” she said. “The project-based courses (are) right up the ally of a residency administrator since our lives are all project-based. The flexibility (helped) make the program very do-able.”