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Where Are They Now Alumni Profile – Meet Leann Crandall

two photos of a graduate, one in cap and gown with text 'Where Are They Now Alumni Profile – Meet Leann Crandall'

Where Are They Now Alumni Profile – Meet Leann Crandall

In 2012, Rio Salado College graduate Leann Crandall (then Hancock) proudly celebrated earning an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders, a field she chose for a very important reason.

“At the time, I found myself dealing with a loved-one who was deep into substance abuse,” Crandall said. “I didn’t understand what was happening to my family or what my role was, so I was looking for information and guidance.”

She found that Rio Salado’s program met her needs and more.

“I chose Rio Salado for the convenience of an online format and for the program options,” Crandall said. “Rio’s addictions program allowed me to further my education while giving me the understanding and skills critical to navigating the unpredictable, and often toxic, world of substance abuse.”

Online learning was a new concept for Crandall and required acclimation.

“It was a new experience for me and required some adjustments,” Crandall said. “A home environment often comes with many distractions, especially for a mother, and it took time to settle into a routine that was conducive to learning. I developed some key skills that contributed to my success as a remote student.”

These key skills included time management and having a dedicated learning space.

“I learned very quickly that deadlines in online learning are hard and fast,” Crandall said. “This required that I complete assignments with time to spare in case of technical difficulties. I also found that having a designated learning space in my home helped me stay on task. When I entered that space, it was a signal to me and to my family that I was ‘in class.’”

Crandall also noted the importance of accessing all available resources.

“It was key to my success as an online student to reach out to those who cared about me and supported me physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” Crandall said. “This included my family, friends, church, and the great outdoors.” 

After completing her Rio Salado program, Crandall transferred to Arizona State University (ASU), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in family and human development in 2014.

“My time at Rio Salado prepared me for the rigorous online program at ASU,” Crandall said. “With the skill set I learned in those first two years of remote learning I was able to work full time, take care of my children as a single mom, and maintain a 4.0 GPA. I graduated with honors from ASU. And I cried. I had been on the most amazing journey of learning and growing and I made it!”

Today, Crandall has remarried and runs the travel department for a company that audits child nutrition programs in several states.

“Besides travel coordinator, I fill other roles in the company, and I am very happy working with my husband and our team of auditors,” Crandall said. “My life experiences, along with my educational path, have prepared me to be a source of strength to those in my circle of influence, and this is very rewarding.”

Crandall feels every student can find something rewarding through education.  

“If a person is intent on learning, no educational endeavor is a waste of time,” Crandall said.  “I found Rio Salado to be affordable, convenient, and well-rounded. The degree programs offered are many and can benefit those who are new to higher education as well as those who are pursuing personal interests.”

See all the certificate and degree options available at Rio Salado College and find your new career path today!

By Mira Radovich, PR & Marketing Analyst

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