#WhyIChoseEducation: Lois Douglass-Alston

As part of Celebrating 90 Years of NC State Education, we asked you to share your stories of why you chose education and why you love the NC State College of Education. Below is one of the many stories we received demonstrating how we’re leading the way in education in North Carolina and beyond.

Name: Lois Douglass-Alston
Graduation Year: 2015
Program: Master’s in Adult Education
Career Role & Responsibilities: I work as a Counselor in the Office of Scholarships & Student Aid at UNC-Chapel Hill, educating students, families, prospective students, University partners, and the general public regarding financial aid processes, and assisting in deciphering Federal policies that relate to financial aid.

Why did you enter the field of education?
My interest in Adult Education specifically began during childhood. Not only was my mother a classroom teacher of long-standing, but she was also an Adult Basic Education instructor. I went with my mother to her ABE classes at night and watched older adults learn how to read, how to do simple mathematics problems, and I was intrigued. Why would these grown-ups – indeed, mostly ‘old’ people’ (from a 6-year-old’s perspective) – not already know this stuff? Why would they embarrass themselves in front of others while trying to learn? My mother helped me in understanding her students’ reasons for putting themselves through such difficulty – to reap the rewards that their learning brought. Independence, self-reliance, and choice. From these experiences, I learned first-hand the transformative power of the educational process.

Why did you choose to earn your degree from the NC State College of Education?
NC State’s program in Adult Education helped me to further develop a greater understanding of adult learners and their unique educational needs.