College of Professional Studies (CPS) students Vince Amabile and Priscilla Holmes were recently inducted into the Tau Phi Chapter Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. To receive this honor, inductees must have earned a minimum of 12 credits in history, maintained a minimum 3.1 GPA in history courses, maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and must be ranked in the top 35% of their class.
Both Amabile and Holmes enrolled in CPS’ undergraduate degree completion programs after spending years in the workforce and raising families.
Amabile, who has been part of Villanova University’s Office of Facilities Management since 2005, started taking classes at the University in 2006, with the goal of earning a degree in History. He transitioned to a CPS program when the College launched in 2014. Amabile is now slated to graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in General Studies and Leadership and a minor in History.
“It was a difficult adjustment at first getting back into the swing of being a student again,” Amabile said. “I started out with one class, because I wanted to see if I could still do it. And then I started getting more comfortable, and everything came back.”
Holmes began taking classes toward a bachelor’s degree in 1990, while working at Villanova as an administrative assistant. She left the University in 1997 to raise her four children and returned to Villanova in 2015 to serve as Associate Director of Academic Affairs in the Charles Widger School of Law. Holmes re-enrolled in classes in fall 2018 and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a minor in History.
“I didn’t want to leave my degree unfinished, when I was so close. I’m considered a senior now because of the number of credits I had earned prior to 1997,” Holmes said. “It can be challenging because I’m working and still have children in school, and now I have homework just like they do. But this spring I’ll be taking three online classes, which is a huge benefit CPS offers in terms of flexibility. I can take classes at my own pace.”
According to Amabile, the strong support system within CPS and the support of his family helped him overcome the challenges of working toward a degree while raising his two children and working full-time.
“Getting inducted into the History Honor Society is an honor for me especially because I was one of the oldest people at the reception who was an undergrad receiving this award. It shows how persistence pays off, and how hard I worked to earn this achievement—doing things my own way instead of the traditional route. I’m here for me, not for anybody else.”
Holmes echoed a similar sentiment.
“I want to finish my degree for my own personal fulfillment—not just professional fulfilment.”