Adult education department leads graduate to successful IT career

A photo of Kristopher Krause

Kristopher Krause was working full-time in pest control when he decided he wanted to do more. He soon enrolled in adult education courses at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, passed his GED exam, and enrolled in associate degree classes the next semester. Krause graduated in May 2019 with his associate of applied science degree in computer information systems.

“I got tired of working 40-plus hours a week for $10 an hour doing something I didn’t like,” he said. “I needed help with my math skills, and the adult education department helped me better understand how to solve the equations. I was able to pass my GED and go on to get my associate’s degree.”

Krause said he dropped out of school in the ninth grade and entered the workforce. He moved several times and worked in a variety of job fields before moving to Batesville. After starting classes at UACCB, he participated in a paid internship at Peco Foods, Inc. during his second full semester at college. He was hired as an IT support technician in February 2018. By the time he graduated in May, he had his first full year of information technology experience at Peco under his belt. Krause was promoted to a Computerway Food System administrator and transferred to Mississippi. 

“The software puts out labels used to trace the products,” Krause said.

Krause worked full-time and took night classes to earn his GED. Andrea Lee, director of adult education, said she sees many students in the same situation as Krause and is amazed by their tenacity.

“When you see someone who is working 40 hours per week, coming to night classes, and maintains their determination, you know they’re going to do great things,” Lee said. “I appreciate that about students like Kris. I know they’re dealing with a lot beyond classes. To see them keep going is very rewarding.”