An adult learner, who struggled in math, gets As, with the help of online learning

Danielle Bryan, an adult learner, is on her way to earning her second associate’s degree. Her road to success was a challenging one.

Danielle dropped out of high school because she was painfully shy and struggled with depression and an anxiety disorder. Eventually, she passed the GED® test. She tried college a couple of times, but her struggles prevented her from completing a degree.

After many years, Danielle overcame her emotional difficulties. Inspired by her love of horses, she earned an associate of science degree in equine business management at the College of Central Florida (CF). “Horses are beautiful animals,” she commented. “They have one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever seen.”

She is now getting a second degree—an associate of arts in business, which she expects to complete in the spring of 2017. Her goal is to eventually get a master’s degree in business and specialize in marketing.

Danielle had always found math extremely challenging, but two of her professors at CF used online learning programs for homework and assessment, which helped her master the material. In her developmental math class, a required course, she used Pearson’s MyMathLab®. She used Pearson’s MyStatLab™ in Elementary Statistics, which she took to fulfill a math requirement. “Those were the only two times I got an A in math class,” she remarked.

Danielle thought both online learning programs were great because they showed her how to solve problems step by step and provided a lot of extra practice. “You can keep practicing the same question but with different numbers, so you can get better at it,” she explained.

Referring to classes she took previously that didn’t use online learning, Danielle remarked, “Once I finished a problem, I had no idea if I was right or wrong.” But with the MyLab programs, “you can find out as soon as you finish whether you got it right or whether you got it wrong. If you got it wrong, the program will show you how you did it wrong, what you did wrong, and how to fix it.”

With the MyLab programs, you can practice a problem over and over again until it makes sense.


Danielle also appreciated that support was available whenever she needed it. Explaining how the online learning program helped her in Elementary Statistics, she said, “I couldn’t have access to the professor twenty-four hours a day, so then I would go into MyStatLab and work on it all night if I wanted to.” She added, “I loved that it had the book in it.” When Danielle didn’t understand something, she would click on the button that took her to the section in the textbook where the content was discussed to help her master the concept.

Because of her academic success at CF, Danielle was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, where she currently serves as the society’s director of archives. She is a member of more than eight clubs on campus, including the Student Anti-Violence Advocates club, where she served as president, and she participates in various activities, such as the March of Dimes Walk, as well. In April 2016, the CF Student Activities Board recognized Danielle for her involvement in campus activities and clubs by naming her Student of the Year.

Danielle has this advice for others facing challenges similar to her own: “For anybody suffering with anxiety or depression, sometimes talking is not what you want to do, especially if you’re extremely shy. From what I’ve learned at CF alone, get involved on campus. Find a club that strikes a chord in your heart—something that you think, ‘that’s so me’—and get involved.”

She added, “Because of being involved on campus, my grades were so high. When you’re involved on campus, you’re more likely to graduate as well as have higher grades.”