Brandman News

Santa Maria students overcome obstacles to earn their degrees

February 26, 2016 by Gustav Deutsch

Brandman’s Santa Maria campus is focused on student success through a staff and faculty that exemplify the culture of support for adult, military and veteran students.  A variety of outstanding programs such as early childhood education, criminal justice and psychology, along with teacher credentialing programs, help Brandman University students connect with careers in the local community. 


Brandman University’s Santa Maria campus is staffed by faculty full of expertise and determination.

Leslie Miller, Corporate and Community Relations manager: Never too late to go back to school.

LeAnn Akins, academic advisor : Our faculty will step in and really help out student put things in place that will help them be successful.

Patricia Graham, campus director: If you took the time and energy to apply at Brandman and start with us, that tells us that you’re committed and you really have a goal of finishing a degree program and we’re gonna make sure you accomplish that goal.

Brandman has had a presence on the Central Coast for half a century and continues to evolve to meet the needs of students. For many students the flexible combination of evening an online classes is key to success.

Miller: It’s an opportunity for people to further their education without it inconveniencing their life.

Graham: The vast majority of these folks are working during the day and coming to school at night.

Miller: And our classes are eight weeks long and I always share with students; you can do anything in eight weeks.

Among the most popular degrees at Santa Maria: early childhood education, psychology, and criminal justice. Plus, this Brandman campus is playing a role in fixing the California teacher shortage.

Susie Hinden, Brandman-credentialed teacher: The online program is exactly what is needed for the teachers that’s the way the future’s going is through technology.

New teachers learn from faculty who are still working in local schools.

Riccardo Magni, adjunct faculty member: I want to deliver something that they actually want to be excited to go to class from 5:30 to 8:30 I don’t want it to be like [sigh] “We got class tonight.” Because I would want to do that myself.

Brandman continues its long tradition of serving military veterans at the Santa Maria campus.

John Shade, B.A. in applied studies graduate: Because of that flexibility even those who are still in the service, if their job that allows them and has the time, that online component mixed with the classroom, I think that’s the key factor.

John Shade retired from the Air Force and found Brandman.

Shade: The military set me up for that because there are things, classes I won’t have to take, so I’m excited about that down the road and use what I have left of my GI Bill.

Akins: We go back to meeting where the student is coming from and we’re not making you repeat classes that you’ve already taken if it’s not necessary.

With such a diverse student body Brandman’s faculty are by each student’s side, from enrollment pushing them through to graduation.

Graham: The fact that their children get to see them graduate and what better example than that.

Shade: You can always make an excuse, we all do. We can all procrastinate with the best of them, everybody has their things that they don’t want to do. But if you truly want to educate yourself then there’s nothing that should stop you, especially with something like Brandman University.

Become a Student

Have questions about enrollment, degree programs, financial aid, or next steps?

Further your education with a few questions

Please enter your zip code to proceed.
Please enter a valid zip code to proceed.
Is this an international zip code?
Please select a degree type
Please select your area of interest
Please select a program type
Please select a session
Please enter your name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your email to proceed
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter your phone number to proceed.
Please enter a valid phone number.

About Brandman

Earn your bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or certificate at Brandman, a regionally accredited university.

We value your privacy

By submitting this form, I agree that Brandman may contact me about educational services by voice, pre-recorded message and/or text message using automated technology, at the phone number provided, including wireless numbers. I understand that my consent is not required to attend Brandman University. Privacy Policy