Student Success: College Grad Returns to College for New Skills

I meet with faculty and students quite a bit, and I like to share their stories. This is an occasional series.


After graduating from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in economics, Sheri Kalina started working as a teller and ATM specialist for a credit union.

While working at the credit union and then as the registration processor for Conference Services at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Sheri discovered she liked numbers and accounting. And she concluded that if she wanted to continue in an accounting-related field, she needed more education.

Accounting certificate would improve career prospects.

She came to Front Range Community College’s Boulder County Campus in Longmont intent on earning an Accounting certificate. She believed it would help improve her career prospects.

It has.

Promotion comes soon after earning Accounting certificate.

Five months after receiving her Accounting certificate, Sheri was promoted to business services coordinator for Conference Services.

“We had a retirement in the office,” Sheri says, “and my supervisor was very much interested in me taking on the role of business services coordinator because of my Accounting certificate. He wouldn’t have offered me that position without my certificate.”

Conference Services oversees about 200 conferences a year. The conferences range from a single meeting of 20 people anytime during the year to a week-long event for 3,000 people during the summer, when residence-hall space is available.

Sheri handles the Conference Services’ budgeting, invoicing, contracts, procurements, accounts payable, and purchase orders.

“I’m a very detail-oriented person,” she says.

With those responsibilities, you have to be.

FRCC classes increased her knowledge of accounting.

Although Sheri learned some accounting basics on the job, she credits Front Range for increasing her knowledge.

“I had a great experience at Front Range,” Sheri says. “Phillip Gay has a great way of teaching and keeping people engaged. I took four classes from him. He has great experience in the accounting field and great stories to tell.”

Next step: Another diploma?

Sheri also would like to move toward even higher skills.

“I’m still considering an MBA,” she says. “I wanted to make sure something happened with my Accounting certificate first.”

That mission accomplished, it’s on to the next step. An MBA degree would add to the décor of Sheri’s office at the University of Colorado. On the wall already for visitors to see are her diploma from the University of Colorado and her certificate in Accounting from Front Range Community College.