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Where Are They Now Alumni Profile – Meet Angelique Michel

picture of graduate with text 'Where Are They Now? Meet Angelique Michel'

Where Are They Now Alumni Profile – Meet Angelique Michel

Rio grad completes bachelor’s degree goal, on track to finish master’s.

In 2014, Angelique Michel earned a certificate in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders Level II from Rio Salado College, a year after completing the Level I certificate. At the time, Michel planned to complete an associate degree at Rio, transfer to a university for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and ultimately pursue a career that involved helping people. 

Seven years later, Michel is on track to realize those goals and is enjoying the success of her hard work.

“Rio Salado prepared me for the future by propelling me into academia,” Michel said. “I always knew I wanted to go to college, but when I was younger, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.”

Michel was 23 when she started at Rio Salado, enrolling in the addictions counseling program.

“I chose Rio Salado for many reasons, first being that it was solely online and allowed me to work without having to battle it out with supervisors about what hours I could work,” Michel said. 

Michel especially enjoyed the convenience and flexibility of the online learning environment.

“I never really cared for in-person classes,” Michel said. “Having to rush to school, look for parking, get to class - that was all too much and didn’t really work with my schedule for things I wanted to do in my everyday life.”

Online learning taught Michel how to continue working while allocating time for coursework. 

“No one is going to be looming over you telling you to do your homework or your reading,” Michel said. “You have to make time for it. Don’t assume online college is easy just because it’s online. In a lot of ways, it’s harder. You’re responsible for learning all the material and communicating with your professors. With that being said, it is rewarding as it frees up more time for your career, family, and life.”

Michel earned two associate degrees from Rio Salado in 2016, and then transferred to Arizona State University (ASU), where she completed a bachelor’s program in family and human development in 2019.

“Rio opened the door for the guaranteed acceptance into ASU so I could pursue my bachelor’s degree,” Michel said. “The knowledge I attained at Rio is still being heavily used today so I would say Rio prepared me very well to be a successful student, as well as person in my chosen field.”

Today Michel works as career services advisor at Ancora Education. She is also enrolled at Vanderbilt University where she is pursuing a master’s degree online in Education in Human Development Counseling.

Her career goals have shifted over the years, from addictions counseling to social worker. 

“Now I am finally at home with the idea of becoming a school counselor,” Michel said. “I hope to focus on high school students so I can introduce college to them and give them information many students do not receive.”

For now, Michel recommends that students considering their college options consider the advantages of starting at Rio Salado.

“The cost is affordable, and you have the luxury of being able to pursue your degree from home, online, whenever you want to,” Michel said. “Rio has some of the best and most helpful staff who truly want to see you graduate and will cry happy tears with you when you finally get to walk across the stage.”

See all the certificate and degree programs that Rio offers so you, too, can walk across the stage!

By Mira Radovich, PR & Marketing Analyst

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