Front Range Community College Blog

Accounting Graduate Moves Ahead with Balance in Her Life

Elisha Thornton

Elisha Thornton has balanced academic life, family life, and work life and is ready for more of the same.

Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

Elisha graduated from Front Range in May 2016 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in accounting. Her path to the degree was similar to one that some community college students walk.

A traditional high school wasn’t the right fit for Elisha. She dropped out of high school but then returned and graduated without loss of time from McLain High School, an alternative high school in the Jefferson County School District.

She went to work in the restaurant and grocery industry.

She also contended with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, but after two years of treatment was found to have no symptoms.

“I didn’t know how to apply to college,” she says of her time after high school. When she focused on college, she enrolled at Metropolitan State University of Denver to study biology, but parking in downtown Denver was an issue.

Applying to Front Range

So she applied to Front Range, which was closer to her home, where she and her husband, a mechanical engineer, are raising two children, now 10 and 8.

Elisha also changed her career focus to accounting, all the while continuing to work as a title clerk in the Department of Motor Vehicles in Jefferson County.

“Accounting is universal,” she says. “It’s found in every industry. It leaves me open to more opportunities.”

Accounting internship opened door

She found her first opportunity in an accounting office by asking to be an intern in the Accounting division of Jefferson County government. Her task was to help organize paperwork related to grants associated with the 2013 floods.

Her internship turned into a full-time job as an office assistant in the Accounting division, making Bev Mason, her accounting faculty at Front Range, proud of all she’s accomplished.

Elisha admires Bev, too. “She’s a spitfire. People think accountants don’t have a sense of humor, but she’s funny. She also knows her stuff.”

Accounting transfer to Regis

Elisha is considering taking advantage of Front Range’s transfer partnership with Regis University for a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The partnership allows students to complete a third year of courses at Front Range and their final year at Regis.

Another option would be to start at Regis right away. The Regis schedule for its accelerated bachelor of science in accounting – one eight-week class at a time – might give Elisha the balance she likes in her life.

Avatar for John Feeley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.