Navigator Voices is a series of interviews highlighting the unique stories of students, faculty, and staff from throughout the Goodwin College learning community. Samantha Rini is a Connecticut River Academy (CTRA) graduate who is currently pursuing her Associate Degree in Nursing at Goodwin College. The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
You graduated from Connecticut River Academy in 2017 before coming to Goodwin College. Can you tell us a little about your experience at CTRA?
Samantha Rini: I enjoyed it! I came from a pretty small town, and I didn’t really like the school system in my town. I wanted to better myself. When I found out that CTRA had the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school [through their early college model], I took that opportunity. I fell in love with the structure of the school and the opportunities that they gave.
You mentioned earning college credit at CTRA through their early college model, taking classes at Goodwin College while you were still in high school. How much time did you save on your college education?
S: I want to say a year total. I know that I did basically three semesters my junior year [at CTRA], with two classes the first semester and two classes the second semester. Nine classes. In total, I think. With my RN, I should be done with the program by December of 2020. It actually puts me ahead of my graduating class in CTRA.
What made you decide to continue your education at Goodwin College?
S: I actually went to another school after graduating from CTRA. I found that I didn’t actually enjoy the structure of that school; it held me back from showing my true potential. So I went back to Goodwin once that one semester finished. I enjoyed how flexible Goodwin was. As a 19-year-old, I find myself at a higher maturity level than a lot of my peers. I like that Goodwin is geared towards adults and working adults, rather than younger students.
You are currently in a nursing degree program at Goodwin. How is your experience so far?
S: I really enjoy it. I definitely enjoy the rigorous education and class work. [At Goodwin] you really have to work for it. I feel like I earned my spot, rather than being just another student in a classroom.
You mentioned you are pursuing an RN. What does the future hold for you?
S: Right now I’m in the associate program. I’m going for my RN. My plan is to—once I get my associate—go straight for my bachelor’s degree, and then work for a couple years. Then I might come back to Goodwin for my Master’s [of Nursing].
Any advice for someone who wants to become a nurse?
S: I would say if you need a flexible schedule and want to focus on your future, then definitely go to Goodwin.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.