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Tishara Melcher

Middle River, MN
Major: Career and technical education certificate and
secondary education licensure
BSU graduate:  2010
Route: BSU online

Massage therapy instructor
Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls, MN

Tishara Melcher

Tishara Melcher had two young children, a busy husband and a new job when she enrolled as a BSU online student in 2007.   By the time she finished her degree in 2010, her family had celebrated the birth of a new member born the previous year.

“I worked, had a baby, and earned my degree,” Melcher says with a laugh. “It can be done.  My advice to anyone thinking about it is to go for it. BSU will do what it can to make it work for you.”

She had always intended to complete her degree but moved with her parents from Karlstad, MN, to San Diego, CA, just one year into her college studies.   Because college in California was more expensive for her, she completed a massage therapist program instead and returned to Minnesota. At age 20, she launched a massage therapy practice.

In 2006, Northland Community and Technical College asked her to develop a training program for massage therapists.  Melcher jumped at the chance but soon learned she needed a teaching certificate.  BSU’s online certificate program kept her chance to teach alive. After completing the BSU certificate program online, she decided to pursue her four-year degree.

“I really wanted to know more about teaching and to earn my bachelor’s degree,” Melcher says. Having earned some credits for the teaching experience she already had, she tailored her bachelor’s program to fit her professional interests.

“The ability to customize the program and the flexibility to complete coursework online were huge for me,” Melcher says, noting that she usually studied after her kids went to bed. 

She admits that she put in some late nights, but she also managed time for family events such as camping at Itasca State Park.  With online access at the park lodge, she logged on for a class session without foregoing family fun.  Keeping her life in balance, she notes, was key to her success.

“What’s great about the BSU online program is that you’re still able to live life, get your degree, and be balanced," Melcher says.  "I was really able to do everything that I wanted."

As an online student, she never set foot on campus, but she’s a proud graduate and owner of a BSU sweatshirt ordered online, of course.