Argosy Student Grateful for BVU Discovery

In the wake of her previous college closing, Jamie Doescher finds the fit she needs in online classes and a degree from Buena Vista University.

Jamie Doescher was four classes short of earning her bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent psychology in March 2019 when the college she attended, Argosy University Twin Cities, closed, leaving Doescher in a state of uncertainty.

“We had the option of trying to transfer credits, or we could possibly opt out of our degree completely,” says Doescher, of Lakefield, Minn. “With me only having four classes left, there’s no way I could quit and give up on everything.”

Doescher, the mother of two, spent last summer working for a behavior specialist at The Autumn Center in Spencer. While there, a coworker suggested she examine options available through online instruction at Buena Vista University. Doescher connected with Peggy Bates, BVU Assistant Director of Student Success, who reached out to BVU Interim President Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the time. Lenzmeier directed an effort to see that BVU would “teach-out” displaced Argosy students.

“With a family, I wanted a career that promised a more regular work week. I knew that was something I needed.”

Jamie Doescher

“Because of BVU’s online degree options and robust listing of programs offered, we felt uniquely prepared to assist Argosy students in completing their degrees in a timely and cost-effective manner,” Lenzmeier says.

Doescher enrolled in classes online through BVU. She found the professors accessible and easy to follow. She worked as a paraprofessional at Pleasantview Elementary School in Lakefield, which augmented her instruction. In December 2019, Doescher landed a temporary position in the children’s mental health and childcare licensing programs with Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services. Her employers pledged the position would become her full-time career once she earned her BVU diploma. Doescher finished her instruction and earned a bachelor’s in psychology this spring, the same week she and husband, Nick, celebrated her 39th birthday.

“I now have a career in social work that I’m really enjoying,” she says, noting how her work likely will provide a meaningful example for their son, Carson, 11, and daughter Kendalyn, 7.

“Carson understands the whole process, he’s proud of all my hard work,” she says. “It showed him to never give up on something you want. Kendalyn is happy Mom is done!”

Beyond knowing she’d be better equipped to serve children, Doescher kept plugging away, motivated by her growing career prospects. The educational journey has taken Doescher from the halls of Jackson County Central High School, where she graduated in 1999, to Argosy University, Minnesota West Community College in Worthington, and back to Argosy, before finding BVU with its pledge to serve, one backed by the Higher Learning Commission.

Along the way, Doescher has worked as a veterinary tech, a medical lab technician, a paraprofessional, and more. She says she’s indebted to several coworkers, especially Pleasantview Elementary teachers Brittany Rogers and Brittany Pohlman, and the school’s principal, Tammy Timko, all of whom inspired her to keep reaching for that psychology degree.

“I liked my job at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake and did that for 10 years,” she says. “But with a family, I wanted a career that promised a more regular work week. I knew that was something I needed.”

She’s happy she found it. She’s even got the BVU diploma that proves she made it.

“I received my diploma from BVU in the mail,” she says. “I’ve got it framed and ready for my office.”