James Williams

I didn’t feel that closure until I got that diploma through the mail..
Alumni, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

I first started attending UNC Charlotte in the fall of 1984. I attended long enough to earn a degree, but I left empty handed. I took classes at a local Community college in 1990 to try to make up the 4 hrs I wasn’t aware I needed to graduate. Poor advising from the community college Advisor’s led to me taking courses that didn’t transfer. 

I was readmitted in 1993 to UNC Charlotte. The 2 year rule as well as changes to the Criminal Justice Program requirements increased my needed credits to 36 credit hours. I took 4 hours that semester but did not continue afterwards. Then life happened! For years I wanted to finish my degree but I did not know how I would juggle work, school, and family.

On July 2nd 2015, everything started to fall into place. I was on UNC Charlotte’s campus for my son’s orientation when I received a call from my employer to inform me about an interview that was scheduled for a job that I had applied for. The caller asked that I bring proof of my highest level of education to the interview. I walked over to the registrars office, gave them my social security number, and asked for a copy of my transcript. As the woman at the counter, Julie Burt, was preparing my transcript, she informed me that instead of social security numbers, the university now used student ID numbers. She then said, “You have one, and all of your information is in our new system!” She then handed me the number, and said ,”You are so close, you need to look into this some time soon...”.

The rest is history! Thank you to the spark that was ignited in the Registrar’s Office that day, and all the great Advisors that are part of the 49er Finish Program. I was able to finish my degree and I graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Criminal Justice on December 17th 2016!

“I hope I’m a role model for my kids. I hope that’s one thing they get out of this. Prior to going back, I never discussed my college experience with them. When I marched in graduation last December, it was a different feeling this time because I had a better understanding of where I stood. But I didn’t feel that closure until I got that diploma through the mail.”