TVCC Science Student Success Spotlight

Introducing TVCC alum Jeretta Shoemaker

The science department faculty are very proud of our students. We wanted to tell some of their stories and show where their educational journey has taken them. We will feature a different student every quarter. Be sure to check back and see how far dreams can take you and what a great foundation you can get at Treasure Valley Community College!!

TVCC Student Spotlight

Jeretta Shoemaker
AAOT Treasure Valley Community College June 2011
B.S. Boise State University (Biology) May 2014
M.S.S.E. Montana State University (Science Education) current student


1. When did you attend TVCC?
I attended TVCC from September 2008 – June 2011.

2. How/Why did you choose TVCC?
I chose TVCC because it was very convenient for me and my family. Campus was 15 minutes from home, and I could attend classes and still be involved in my children’s school activities and volunteer in their classes.

3. What was your experience like (academically/socially)?
It was very intimidating for me to return to school as a non-traditional student. I started out part-time, and two of the instructors I had that very first quarter (Marc Wilson and Cindy Feibert) were very instrumental in making me feel at ease. My confidence grew and I achieved a high level of success. Even as a non-traditional student I was able to participate in clubs such as Phi Theta Kappa, which really rounded out my experience from a social standpoint.

4. What degree did you earn at TVCC?
I earned an Associate of Arts Oregon transfer degree.

5. Where did you transfer to?
I transferred to Boise State University.

6. Did you feel prepared?
Absolutely! Honestly, I was worried about transferring to a university to seek a degree in biology. Would all of my science and math taken at TVCC adequately prepare for the upper division courses that I would now be taking? The answer was a resounding “yes!” I hit the ground running at BSU, and never looked back.

7. How was the transfer process?
The transfer process was smooth for me. When I applied to BSU I had my transcript from TVCC sent over for evaluation. At that point I had not completed my AAOT, and it was the middle of the quarter at TVCC. BSU populated my degree and I could easily identify if there was anything missing. After completing my AAOT, I had my transcript sent to BSU again. All of my classes transferred well with the exception of one. On that one, the TVCC instructor provided me with a copy of the syllabus, and BSU ended up taking it. I was pleased with the whole process.

8. What degree did you earn at your transfer institution?
At BSU I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

9. Do you think your education was worthwhile? (you can elaborate)
Getting an education was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself. It has also benefited my entire family. I learned so much, and in areas that I never thought I would be interested in. I did not start out as a biology major, but rather nursing. After taking a multitude of science courses, I discovered that this subject was truly my passion. I also learned many skills in areas such as writing, and reached a new level of social awareness from courses like Ethnic Studies and Sociology. These things continue to benefit me. Gaining an education also opened many doors for me for employment. I was able to take my degree and decide which type of position I would like to work in as a biologist. There were opportunities in areas such as natural resources, food processing, labs, medicine, and teaching.

10. Any thoughts or advice you would give someone beginning the process? What worked well? What would you do differently? What was your key to success? (what helped you be a successful student?)
Apply yourself. Give 100%. Engage. I feel that one of my major keys to success was my willingness to work hard. That philosophy encompasses many things, from setting time aside to study to always attending class. I did not take my education lightly. I was 38-years-old and ready for a change, so I took charge of my destiny and applied myself. I think that my biggest key to success was always getting to know my professors, and making sure that they knew who I was as well. This was true at both TVCC and BSU. I would talk to the instructors when I was struggling with a topic and I always interacted with them in class, asking questions and contributing to discussions. I have professors at both colleges that have written me letters of recommendation for scholarships and for jobs, and I fully believe that this is because I wasn’t just a name.

11. Where are you today? What are you doing/working? What are your goals and aspirations?
I currently work in the Science Department at Treasure Valley Community College. I work as the Science Lab Coordinator for both the Ontario campus and the Caldwell center. I also teach Medical Terminology, Cadaver Dissection, and labs for several of the biology courses. I have been working on earning my MSSE (Master of Science for Science Educators) from Montana State University for the past year, and hope to complete that degree soon. I love teaching science, probably because I am such a science nerd myself. I enjoy sharing the excitement of new discoveries with students, and especially like encouraging my students towards success.