Spotlight: Osher Foundation Funding Offers Adult Learners a Second Chance

Spotlight: Osher Foundation Funding Offers Adult Learners a Second Chance

Date Published:
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Circumstances beyond an individual’s control can interrupt the pursuit of a college degree. In today’s knowledge-based economy, higher education has become increasingly important. For some students who were unable to finish their degree initially, funding from the Osher Foundation is enabling them to achieve a dream.

At UNC Charlotte, 18 nontraditional undergraduate students are recipients of the Osher Reentry Scholarship. This is the fourth consecutive year that the University has received a $50,000 award from the San Francisco-based Bernard Osher Foundation; the University’s Office of Adult Students and Evening Services (OASES) administers the grant and awards the scholarships.

"Once again, we are honored to be a beneficiary of this prestigious funding," said Janet Daniel, OASES director. "Nearly 70 students have been able to return to UNC Charlotte in pursuit of their degree since the first year we received the funding. The OASES team is committed to serving the needs of our many nontraditional students and to be selected to receive this funding for a fourth year is an indication of our success."

For an adult with a family to support, knowing the tuition was paid allowed me to put my energy toward learning and not worrying...The Osher Reentry Scholarship helps to eliminate the additional stress and provides a tremendous opportunity for adult students.
Lisa Kartikis, Osher Reentry Scholarship Recipient

Lisa Kartikis, an Osher Reentry Scholarship recipient from 2008, noted that receiving the award helped her complete her degree and compete in the workforce.

"For an adult with a family to support, knowing the tuition was paid allowed me to put my energy toward learning and not worrying. There are many eager, capable adults who would like to return to school but who don’t take the steps to do so because of financial worries. The Osher Reentry Scholarship helps to eliminate the additional stress and provides a tremendous opportunity for adult students," said Kartikis, who completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration magna cum laude in December 2010. She is currently employed as an information technology product support analyst.

"My previous experience in materials management along with my bachelor’s degree enabled me to compete for this position," Kartikis stated. "For any adult student in the job market after graduation, think outside the box and take your previous experience into consideration to reinvent yourself."

To qualify for the Osher Reentry Scholarship, prospective recipients must have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of at least five or more years. In addition, students must be pursuing their first baccalaureate degree, have good academic standing, demonstrated financial need and a significant period of future employability.

"Osher Scholars continue to be among our most exceptional students," Daniel stated. "I know they are very appreciative of the funding that the Osher Foundation provides."