“In order to make it very far in the state system,” she said, “you have to have a bachelor’s degree.”
In 2011, she enrolled at Central Washington University. Then her husband, Brent, got a job as a prosecutor for Pacific County, and moved her and their three children to Raymond, Wash., a tiny community far from any universities.
“I needed a highly rated program that I could do from home,” she said. She chose Washington State University Global Campus.
WSU’s online program is challenging, she said. “At a brick and mortar school, you can show up, you don’t need to always post on a discussion board,” she said. “At WSU Global, I had to write everything—my writing skills have really increased.”
Bottoms earned her 2016 bachelors in social sciences, with a minor in American Indian studies. On May 2, just two days after attending the Global Campus commencement celebration in Seattle, she started a new job as a facility senior planner for the state Department of Corrections.
“I’ll be in charge of all the lease space in the state,” she said, “designing new lease spaces and doing renovations.”
Also attending the Seattle celebration were her children, husband, and her mother, Lisa Johnston, who was brimming with pride: “WSU is a known university,” Johnston said, “it’s a respected university, and it’s a respected university degree.”