Working father finds balance through online degree program


Kyle Durrschmidt, ASU Online graduate, stands with two children in front of an outdoor wooden fence

Kyle Durrschmidt was working as a veterinary technician when he was laid off during the COVID pandemic. The San Diego native and father of two quickly adapted to his new role as a stay-at-home parent but felt like there was more he could do to provide for his children. This fall, he graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2022 graduates.

Kyle Durrschmidt was working as a veterinary technician when he was laid off during the COVID pandemic. The San Diego native and father of two quickly adapted to his new role as a stay-at-home parent but felt like there was more he could do to provide for his children. 

Durrschmidt decided that to give his family the best chance at a better life, he would go back to school and finish his degree. 

This fall, he graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

It was important to choose the right degree program, and liberal studies felt like an ideal fit. He researched programs and looked at online ranking sites, ultimately selecting a degree program offered by Arizona State University through ASU Online, one of the most flexible and multidisciplinary programs offered by the university. 

“I saw the high reviews on ASU, so I researched more on the ASU school site,” Durrschmidt said. “The fact that 91% of students would choose ASU again made the decision easy.”

Enrolling in online classes provided a plethora of benefits, not least of which was the opportunity to spend more time with his family.

“ASU Online gave me the ability to spend time with my kids and be a dad while still achieving my dreams,” he said. 

Here, Durrschmidt shares more about his online academic journey and the advice he would give to others seeking online degrees:

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I didn’t want to tie myself down to one specific major and thought liberal studies was a great choice.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU Online — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: How wonderful and supportive the faculty and support staff really are. My college counseling program answered everything I needed help with and my success coaches, Andrea and Chantelle, constantly checked in to help. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU Online?

A: Professor Seeley’s course, FAS 331: Marriage and Family, gave me the best understanding of what time management was needed to succeed — how to balance my family and marriage while succeeding in my own dreams.  

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Use your time wisely! With such a busy schedule during the day and so little time at night to study and complete work, I learned that completing assignments on time and staying ahead of them was crucial. I learned not to wait until the last minute and to know what was coming up in the following weeks. This taught me to always be prepared, and also to be efficient with the time I have.

Q: What was your favorite spot for power studying?

A: My kids' room after they went to sleep! 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Find a job that fits with my family. I have been looking into operations and analyst positions, something in sports or hospitality.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Cure children’s cancer. My nephew was just recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is starting chemo soon. And I follow a lot of parents’ pages and find the number of young children with cancer to be alarming and awful. 

Written by Margot LaNoue for ASU Online.

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