Catching Up with CTU Alum Tapatha Knupke
Self-motivated and passionate about the future, Tapatha Knupke saw earning a degree as an opportunity to expand her horizons and find the job she’s always dreamed of having. For sixteen years Tapatha worked as a title insurance underwriter in the real estate industry. It was a job she just fell into but one that she happened to love, and it afforded her the opportunity to start a family. "Underwriting did not require a degree, so I didn't pursue one at the time," says Knupke. "My goal at the time was to raise my family while working in a career that I loved."
Tapatha's life took an unexpected turn in 2010, when the real estate market crash left this recently divorced, single mom without work and without the educational background to secure a new position. That's when she discovered Colorado Technical University. "Because of my prior profession, I had taken a few real estate law classes," Knupke explains. "Going into the paralegal field just made sense."
While raising her two children, Tapatha earned her associate degree at CTU, an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies in 2010, but she didn't stop there. She had dreams of one day running her own law office, so she began working toward a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. "I kept moving forward with my education to improve my odds of landing a good career," says Tapatha. "During this time I was working as an independent underwriter and applying left and right to every local law office."
That hard work and persistence paid off once she completed her second degree and almost immediately landed a job at a law firm in Clyde, Ohio where she currently works as both a legal assistant and office manager. Now, almost three years after graduating from CTU, Tapatha has set her sights on yet another goal: becoming a licensed lawyer. "My next big step is to continue on this path that will lead me into the next chapter of my life," says Tapatha. "I know that with perseverance and hard work I can someday reach that goal and hope that law school will be in my very near future."
Tapatha feels she owes much of her success to her family, who helped her both financially and emotionally while she worked to raise her children and put herself through school. She also has nothing but praise for the support she received from faculty and fellow students at CTU. "Every teacher went above and beyond to help me succeed in class," says Tapatha, "and the student programs allowed me to make friends and put me in touch with groups that encouraged and supported me throughout my time at CTU."
Tapatha has two pieces of advice for prospective CTU students: set realistic goals and take it one day at a time. "Each day I set goals that were small and attainable," says Knupke. "This method proved to be what I needed to get through school and achieve success. To this day, I still set goals and work each day to meet them."
When she looks back on her life, she can't imagine what it might look like without the opportunity to further her education at CTU. "Without my CTU education I am not sure where I would be today. As a single mother, my only job experience was in a field that had become obsolete," Knupke explains. "Without a college education, breaking into a new field would have been next to impossible."
Despite all of her success, the thing that instills Tapatha with the greatest sense of pride is the opportunity to inspire her two children, who are starting to plan for their own academic future. "The best reward that my college education gave me is the lesson that it taught my children." says Knupke. "What a better way to teach them a valuable life lesson them having them see me going to college, setting goals, making plans for our future and, best of all, succeeding in it all?"
If you’re a mother interested in going back to school, refer to our Women’s Guide for some tips and advice.