ALPHA Student Profile - Iris Lynch

ALPHA Student Profile
Iris Lynch

At 5 am, Iris Lynch rises from her bed for a full day of work and a full night of coursework. She heads downstairs and starts her first job of the day – being a mother of four. Why does she do it? She loves learning.

“Coker College’s ALPHA program has helped me realize that knowledge is power,” Iris said. “I’ve experienced so much – I’ve read the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey,’ learned about art, history and many other things. It’s so exciting.”

All ALPHA students are required to take a variety of liberal arts courses, just like Coker’s traditional day students. This liberal arts core lays a foundation for lifelong inquiry and learning.

Iris, a junior business major with a minor in psychology, already earned a paralegal degree and had over a decade of working in management when she enrolled at Coker. She wanted to explore new areas and become a teacher.

“I didn’t really have a need or a specific reason to go back to school, but as I came into the program, my advisors have been really great at guiding me towards certain classes,” Iris said.

While in the education program, Iris gained first-hand experience in the classroom through teaching internships. After a few internships, she realized becoming a teacher may not be for her, but she continues to value her internship experiences because they steered her towards a business degree.

Iris manages her time between being with her husband and four children and working up to sixty hours a week, all while earning a business degree. She credits Coker’s convenient ALPHA class schedule for making it possible for her to balance all her responsibilities.

“I appreciate the size of the classes and the hours. The fact that they offer class until 8 p.m. is great for working adults,” she said.

Iris is also grateful to her professors. With the small class sizes, Iris and her professors connect on a personal level. If she runs late at her job, she just explains her situation to her professors. Iris knows this is not just special treatment for her.

“Professors are extremely understanding of our lives outside of school,” she explained.

Iris also utilized the special resources Coker offers, such as the Writer’s Studio and math tutors.

“If it weren’t for the Writer’s Studio, I wouldn’t have made it through English,” she said. “They would do anything, even come in on Sunday if that was what you needed.”

Coker’s ALPHA program has given Iris a drive to keep on learning. She’s already thinking about what’s next – and that may be a Master’s in Business Administration.

By Patrick Flynn, Writing Intern

For more information, contact Ashley Simatic - 843.383.8018

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