UC Clermont

Kaitlynn Parker

Dancing to Her Own Tune

Student and former dancer Kaitlyn Parker shows how UC Clermont is helping her tap into her nursing career plans.

When Kaitlynn Parker graduated from Glen Este High School in 2014, the veteran dancer of 14 years thought she wanted to move away for college — until she realized the right step was much closer to home.

"UC Clermont was the affordable option because I could live with my parents as I started school," Parker says, before adding that she found many more benefits beyond saving money after setting foot on campus. "I love the small classroom settings and feeling like it's OK to ask questions. I feel like there's always something going on, and I love that the instructors really take the time to help you succeed."

Although undecided about her major at first, Parker, who comes from a family of nurses, had a light-bulb moment after talking to a friend who works as a nurse anesthetist. She quickly enrolled in Clermont's pre-nursing program and plans to transfer to Main Campus to complete her bachelor's degree in nursing down the road. She also works part-time as an access coordinator at University Hospital, learning more about the medical field while also looking forward to the hands-on nature of her future career choice.

"I think working with the patients is going to be the best part of becoming a nurse, because I like to connect with and help people," says Parker, whose favorite class so far is her anatomy and physiology course. "It's really challenging, but Professor Karen Mathis makes it fun and understandable."

In the meantime, Parker, who plans to graduate with her bachelor's degree in 2019, is in no rush to leave the idyllic UC Clermont campus. "I plan at staying at Clermont as long as I can, especially for my science classes," she says. "In the long run, I think that staying close to home and saving money while still having access to a college campus is probably the most reasonable choice — especially for those students who crave smaller classroom settings and more one-on-one contact with supportive teachers."