“Second home.” That’s how Early College of Macomb (ECM) graduate Ashley Soley, 19, describes Macomb Community College. The Fraser High School alum was introduced to ECM by her counselor during sophomore year, and she eagerly jumped at the opportunity to get a free head start in college.
“Finally, I had found a stimulating environment that challenged me to greater heights,” says Soley. “The classroom setting at Macomb made me feel comfortable. I feel confident in having classroom discussions and asking my professors for help.”
During her first two years at Macomb, Soley utilized the many resources available to her, including the Reading & Writing Studios, to which she turned for assistance writing a paper. By the time Soley graduated with an Associate of General Studies degree in 2019, she was fully prepared for her next steps. Through the guidance of Career Services, she discovered her calling: nursing.
“It encompasses several different jobs all into one,” explains Soley. “Nurses take on several different roles of being a caretaker, an educator, a counselor and so much more.”
Soley enrolled in Macomb’s Nursing program. And then Coronavirus hit. After attending only one class in March, COVID-19 forced the closure of Macomb’s campuses. However, Soley feels she has successfully acclimated herself to the learning format changes necessitated by the pandemic through her previous online class experience, her willingness to connect with fellow students for support and, of course, the college’s faculty. Professors such as Cathy Kelly, who taught Soley’s anatomy and physiology course, have created an exceptional learning environment for students.
“The quality of education I receive at Macomb is unmatched,” notes Soley. “The professors at Macomb are beyond extraordinary. I have yet to attend a class with a poor professor.”
Hoping to graduate after the fall 2022 semester, Soley plans on transferring to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. Currently employed as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens, her long-term goals include opening a clinic that focuses on pain management and mental health. Adds Soley, “I want to help people find ways to cope with whatever ails them, whether it’s mental, emotional or physical.”
Outside the world of academia, Soley maintains her own mental health by participating in outdoor activities such as hiking and walking her dog. She also has a creative eye, with hobbies that include drawing, painting and photography.