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Online learning gateway for Madison Williams to earn degree

Online learning continues to be a popular option for students, like 23-year-old Madison Williams, a university transfer student at Robeson Community College, who is working towards obtaining an associate of arts.

“It gives me the ability to go to work, spend time with my kid, once he’s in bed, I can do my classes online,” said Madison. “Even when I’m done with my classes, I still have about 30 minutes to hang out and relax.” 

Online classes have been the gateway for Madison to earn a degree. She has a busy lifestyle – she’s a wife and a mother, she works full-time, and now she is attending college.  Online classes give her the flexibility she needs to achieve her goals while maintaining a good work/life balance.

Madison says that during her time enrolled at RCC, she has never stepped foot on the campus, even though it’s located less than a mile from where she works. 

“I did a brief walk around when I was in high school,” said Madison. “Other than that, that’s been it… All the communication I have had with RCC has been over the phone or through email.” 

With all the options available for distance learning, why choose Robeson Community College? 

“I decided to go to RCC because if I ever did have to go in person, it was the closest school to me,” said Madison. “I also know a lot of people who have gone to RCC and they are doing really well right now.” 

She says the faculty and staff have made a big difference, too. 

Recalling a time when she felt like giving up, she was struggling and didn’t see any reason to keep attending. 

“I was taking a math class with Vanessa Chavis,” said Madison. “She called me and said, ‘I don’t want you to quit school, at least finish this semester.’” 

“If it had not been for that phone call, I would have dropped out and been done with school,” said Madison. “It showed she cared what I did.” 

Madison finished the math class and finished out the semester strong, and is now continuing to press forward towards her degree with hopes of finishing by August 2023. 

Through it all, Madison says at times she forgets she’s an online student. 

“I feel like I am right there on campus,” said Madison. “Everything that is offered to students on campus is offered to online students. I feel like I’m very included in everything, even though I’m not there in person.” 

“So far, it’s been a great experience… my advisors are timely with emails and the teachers are great,” she said. 

Madison says that the free tuition she has received has also been a blessing. 

“I’ve got a decent job, but with a mortgage, two car payments, and a child, free tuition meant that was one less thing that I have to worry about,” Madison stated. 

She also took advantage of the one free winter session class last December offered by RCC, enrolling in Art Appreciation. 

“It was fun, I had Scotty Thompson in high school, so I felt like I was back in his class again.” 

Looking towards the future, Madison says she often stays up at night trying to figure out which school she is going to go to next, saying that it is a “big necessity” to make that decision. 

She would like to continue to take classes online. She always thought she would complete a bachelor’s degree in education, but as time goes by, she’s not quite sure if that’s still the direction she wants to go in. 

“I wanted to become a teacher, but I have kind of fallen in love with this,” said Madison, who works at North End Veterinarian Clinic in Lumberton. “Now I’m not sure what I want to do.” 

“I have worked in every single department here,” said Madison.

Her favorite part of her job at North End has been working in the kennel. 

“That’s where you get to develop those relationships,” said Madison. “I literally get to play with dogs all day long.” 

One of her favorite dogs is named Happy. 

Madison takes Happy the Dog for a walk at North End Veterinarian Clinic in Lumberton

“His name matches his personality,” said Madison. “To be a 11-year old dog, he acts like he is 5 or 6… he is just such a happy boy. I’ve only seen him not be happy once, when he was sick and not feeling well.” 

Madison says that when she sees one of the Oravet food bags, she thinks of Happy. 

Madison holds a package of Oravet pet food, the image on the front brings joy to her because it reminds her of one of her favorite dogs, Happy.

“It reminds me of him every time I see it,” she said. “I just love dogs like Happy, they are the best dogs ever.” 

Madison started at the veterinary clinic shortly after she came off maternity leave.

“My aunt invited me to come do an interview and I have been here ever since.” 

“I told my office manager that I’m coming for her position,” Madison said as she laughed. “I would like to do what she does, when she retires.” 

The office manager just happens to be her Aunt. 

“I know that I’m doing this for the animals,” said Madison. “I have always loved animals.”

But she says that her time at Robeson Community College has taught her a valuable lesson. 

“Something I have learned, in my classes some students are older, some are younger, and that showed me that you don’t have to have everything figured out exactly right now,” said Madison.

Madison said she is going to take it one day at a time, as she seeks to discover the next step she should take in her academic journey, as they say, life is a mystery to be lived, not a mystery to be solved. 

Robeson Community College currently has over 80 online classes available for the fall semester. If you are interested in registering, please contact the Admissions Office at or at (910) 272-3342. 

Like Madison, you don’t even have to step foot on the campus to enroll. 

And, Madison says if you need a good vet, “come visit us, we are right down the road from the school.”


Madison cares for Happy, one of her favorite clients at North End Veterinarian Clinic