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Changing Course Later in Life is No Challenge Here

SUNY Optometry student Jana Widell.
In life, things change. Sometimes the plans that you had at 19 take a turn by the time you reach 25. But just because your plans change doesn’t mean that you can’t make them a reality, even if they include a career in a health care profession.

Meet Jana Widell, a 2006 graduate of SUNY New Paltz who majored in theater. From a young age, acting was Jana’s passion. It’s what she wanted to do with her life and she appreciated the opportunities and the excellent education that she received studying theater at New Paltz. But by the time she was in her mid-twenties, Jana’s priorities—and career plans—had begun to change.

Jana grew up in the optical world. Her father had owned an optical store in Upstate New York and her family had always wanted her to become an optometrists and take over the store. Her youthful resistance to this idea began to fade as Jana got older and she found herself increasingly attracted to the idea. But how do you go from a theater major to an optometry student? Jana tells her story of her trip back to school at the College of Optometry. Watch the story and learn how it all came to be:

And Jana is just one of the many adult learners headed back to school. In fact, one-third of all students in higher education are adult learners. And here at SUNY we want to be sure we accommodate all our students and make them feel welcome. That’s why SUNY provides numerous supports for flexible study such as part-time or evening and weekend study, childcare, online study, opportunities for credit for life experience, and more.

When adults decide to enter or return to college, whether it’s to advance their career opportunities, to be a role model, or to improve their finances, SUNY is dedicated to providing an affordable education that suits their lives.

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