Everyone is College Material

TCC Puts Success Within Reach

Depending on whom you ask, the term “non-traditional student” can have various definitions. At TCC, thousands of dedicated students juggle school, work and parenting, along with countless other responsibilities during their educational journeys.

Consider Brittany Brelsford, a nursing student at Trinity River Campus East Center for Health Care Professions. Brelsford is accomplishing her goals while raising her three-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, attending class full time and working for the nursing department in supplemental education as a mental health tutor. “Of all these things, my daughter is the most important job – the joy of my life,” Brelsford said.

Brelsford hoped to attend college after high school, but circumstances were not right at the time. By 2011, she was dealing with the effects of an abusive relationship and was homeless, living in her car for several months. In close proximity to the Northeast Campus, she grew up in Hurst and had several friends who were attending TCC. “I was always familiar with TCC, but life was busy and school was not a top priority,” she said.

“Set small goals and become active in campus life. Make the most out of your time,”

Brelsford's advice for other non-traditional students

After getting back on her feet, Brelsford scheduled an academic advising session at TCC and discovered she could attain the affordable education she had always wanted. “I recall the first time I saw the Trinity River Campus East. I was amazed at how beautiful the campus was and how accommodating the faculty and staff were during my visit,” Brelsford recollected. She attributes the birth of her daughter as the final call to begin achieving her educational dreams.

“Brittany is motivated to the core, and follows the Trinity River hallmarks, particularly when it comes to endless service to our program,” Nursing Academic Advisor Katherine Aultman said. “We truly have the best of the best and she is a great example for other non-traditional students facing unique challenges, who want to attain a quality education while making a difference.” In becoming involved with organizations on campus, Brelsford often tells her story and works directly with academic advising to assist current and potential students in accomplishing their goals.”

Brelsford will complete her studies at TCC in December 2014 and plans to attend Tarleton State University for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, followed by graduate school. “After graduation from TCC, I plan to stay involved through alumni activities and the TCC Foundation. I can see myself returning to teach nursing at TCC one day,” she said.