Betty and Tim Crocker
It was never a question of if Betty ’14 and Tim ‘14 Crocker would go back to school, but when.
“Both of us had two years in, but we’d always wanted to go back,” Betty said. “When we first got married, I said I wanted to finish. It’s not just a piece of paper at all; it really is much more than that. We were able to apply concepts right away in our jobs, and that was the most important piece.”
The Crockers work in the Inland Empire – Betty is director of information systems at Arrowhead Christian School and Redlands Christian School, while Tim is a lieutenant with the San Bernardino Police Department – and it made sense for them to come to Redlands.
“It was more than just logistics,” Betty said. “It wasn’t just about getting the degree, but having that quality behind it.”
They decided to enroll in the business administration program, and were in the same cohort.
“That was our date night, every Wednesday night,” Betty said. “We just had a professor and 20 some students with us.”
The couple enjoyed learning together, and also working together on assignments.
“We have been able to support each other significantly,” Tim said. “We have significantly different writing styles so a lot of the homework we still did on our own, but if we did need someone, we had each other.”
“I think it’s been a building block in our partnership,” Betty said. “We got to see each other in a light we never had before.”
Betty also discovered something new: GIS. She began applying what she learned in class at her work, and ended up winning the 2013 Excellence in Business GIS Undergraduate Award for her submission on educational consulting and GIS.
“I didn’t even know what it was when we started,” she said. “I thought it was just Google Maps. It’s the techie part of me.”
Both of the Crockers will be graduating with high honors, and they’re excited to share that with their children.
“We’re able to show our kids that you can succeed, you can go to college,” Tim said. “If we can do it working full time, they should be able to do it.”
Betty and Tim’s educational journey is far from over, with Tim already enrolled in the MBA program, and Betty headed to the School of Education in the fall. They plan to use their degrees to enhance their careers and also Tim’s side business of hand forging custom knives.
“I really enjoy being in Christian education, but at the same time I am interested in becoming more of an independent educational consultant,” Betty said. “I want to help schools through the accreditation process. I really like the whole process, from the organizational structure of it to helping them understand the importance of self-improvement plans.”
“I’m going to take police work as far as I can go, and if I can eventually get into the chief’s job I’d like to do that,” Tim said. “Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it sounds. There’s a lot involved, so if that doesn’t happen I will still retire after 30 years in police work and move on to doing business consulting.”
Both Tim and Betty have found that going back to school changed their lives in only positive ways.
“I found that the education has also improved me on a personal level,” Tim said. “I found myself looking at life more positively. It also expanded our critical thinking abilities, and now we really look and take a broader perspective.”
Written by: Catherine Garcia