Alumni Spotlight: LaShae Johnson
National American University alumna LaShae Johnson shares how having a professor who cared, positively impacted her educational journey.
LaShae Johnson received an associate degree in professional legal services and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from National American University. She is a six-year veteran of the United States Army and owns her own small business, a credit repair company, while also taking care of her family.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE STUDYING ONLINE?
It was definitely different from what I had been used to. And I honestly had no idea how I would get through it considering that most of my previous education was face-to-face. Once I learned how to navigate through the portals and speaking to my teachers, I found them to be accessible and understanding that I am also a working parent, as well as having to do my motherly duties after work. My professors were very helpful in working with me, even if I had to turn in an assignment late. They were there, they understood that this is a world that does not stop, but also showed that passion of wanting to see me succeed.
IS THERE A SPECIFIC MEMORY THAT STANDS OUT TO YOU ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT NAU?
It is what I would say is a bittersweet moment. We had just begun the course for that semester and my grandfather passed away. And not even a couple of weeks later my brother passed. I was struggling with my course work and missing a lot of days. I remember, the instructor reached out to me because I had completely given up on school. And she said, ‘I refuse to see you fail. You’ve come so far.’ To know I still had somebody who cared, to see me push through in spite of everything that was going on, and to still say, “hey, it’s just a little bump in the road, you’re going to get it, I just need you to refocus.” And that was a turning point for me, to know that someone still cared about, not just my schoolwork, but my personal life as well. I managed to push through and came out with three A’s that semester. I was like, “oh gosh, how did this happen with me constantly being gone and not being in class” and it was a real turning point for me – not just with how I view life but how I view NAU staff.
WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER GOALS?
Right now I’m in the process of re-enrolling at NAU. There’s something about always being able to be more knowledgeable in a field. And absolutely, I’ve said it before. I love the staff and I’m ready to jump back in and see what else I can get under my belt.