Tranae Felton describes herself as an older student and parent with a full time job, so her time is valuable. If she was going to pursue a bachelor's degree, the most critical thing was that she find a program that could help her make an impact after she graduated.
The B.A in Policy, Politics and International Affairs program at The University of Baltimore checked all her boxes. After earning her associate degree in sociology from Community College of Baltimore County, Tranae transferred to UBalt in fall 2020.
"When I think about the avenues that one can take by having this type of degree, it is definitely exciting, especially in this world that we live in today."
The program's courses have students analyzing public policies; government at multiple levels; election campaigns; and how media, government and politics, and race intersect. An early indication she was on the right path came when one of her first classes asked students to review policies from the 1920s-50s and consider their impact on today's world.
"It's interesting how the content is so old as far as when policies were made and how relevant they still are to this day, and how much of a struggle some of them still are. I feel like I'm able to still relate this to right now."
The Policy, Politics and International Affairs program is one of several UBalt programs that offers upper-level courses fully online, which is one of the aspects that drew Tranae's interest.
"For my lifestyle, I have to be flexible," she says.
So, she has been taking a mix of online and in-person classes.
Tranae felt welcomed from her initial inquiry with the University's Admission office.
"The recruitment process is very, very personable," she says, adding that one counselor often reached out to check in and offer guidance. "I know she was trying to fit into my chaotic life, but that was one thing that stuck out."
Inspired by her parents, Tranae has long been motivated to get a bachelor's degree. Once her daughter was old enough, she decided it was time to enroll in classes. Like her two sisters who earned their master's degrees and serve as her support system, Tranae is a first-generation college student.
She hopes to find a career working in international affairs, but is keeping her options open.
"I am excited to see what doors will open and where I will land. I really don't know what path it will take me on, but I'm excited wherever that will be."