Online Learning Leads Veteran to Degree Completion


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Tuesday, January 9, 2024
image of Jimmie Booze in his cap and gown with text: Where Are They Now? Meet Jimmie B.

By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer

Army veteran Jimmie Booze made use of his military education benefits, attending several colleges to study accounting, urban planning and social work. However, it wasn’t until Booze found Rio Salado College that he reached his degree potential.

“I served in the Army from 1976 to 1982 and was able to go back to school via the VA’s vocational education program,” Booze said. “However, no degree was obtained.”

Originally from Ohio, Booze decided to fulfill that goal once and for all and decided that online learning would be the key to his success.

“After looking at other online schools, Rio's curriculum provided a more robust, comprehensive, practical program than the others,” Booze said.

He enrolled in Rio’s addictions studies program and settled into online learning.

“Learning from home was convenient and challenging as it related to my work-life balance objectives,” Booze said. “You definitely need a strong commitment. The distractions of home life can make it difficult to stay focused unless your resolve is solid.”

This time around, Booze was influenced by his passion for helping others when deciding on a program of study.

“College fit perfectly into my life because it came at a time of transition in my life,” he said. “I was offered the opportunity to perfect the gift of counsel I had exercised for most of my adult life.”

Booze completed his program in September, earning an associate degree in addictions and substance use disorders.

(NOTE: This program is currently offering a full scholarship to assist students pursuing behavioral health pathways. The deadline to apply is April 18, 2024. Learn more about the AHCCCS scholarship here.)

He is currently employed as a licensed chemical dependency counselor intern at MHMR, a mental health service agency in Texas.

“While completing the 4,000 hours as an intern and taking the exam for full licensure, I plan to pursue my bachelor’s degree, and eventually a master’s degree in counseling,” he said.

Booze is grateful that Rio Salado was the one college that allowed him to realize his dream of a college degree and career success.

“Rio prepared me well for the practical applications of my profession,” he said. “I would recommend Rio for the comprehensive, practical, and clear approach its curriculum provides and its easy-to-understand format.”