CCAC alumnus returns as a psychology professor

David Heilman, North Campus Staff

Janice Weaver was a nontraditional student at CCAC North Campus in 2004. She recently received her PHD in Psychology and revisited the campus that started it all. She offers her story, and a bit of insight to those enrolled, and inspiration to those who aren’t sure of their path.
At the time Janice’s home life was the driving force for her return to school. “I lived with my parents, and my mother had Alzheimer’s disease. That’s a devastating disease for family to watch someone go through,” she says. “So that kind of had me wake up and say, ‘you know, I’d better figure out what I’m going to do,’ because my dad wasn’t getting any younger, and my mother was deteriorating. I remembered when I was at Pines Plaza and what a great experience that was and I thought, ‘I’m going to go back to the North Campus.’”
“Well, I was very non-traditional, 42, and when I came here I had thought I was not a very smart student because I had past invalidating experiences. But I found that the professors were very helpful in changing my opinion of myself […] for the first time in my life I realized that I was college material,” said Weaver.
After graduating from CCAC she moved online to Grand Canyon University where she received her PHD. “I went on to get my Bachelor’s in psychology, and then my master’s in human resources and recently, last June, I earned my PHD in psychology, seven years of online study.”
She recounts her difficulties and how her drive during her education was the chance to come back to the North Campus to teach. “I would never recommend a PHD online to anyone. In the process my dad had died, my dear pet had died but you know there was something inside of me that kept me going because I didn’t know I was going to teach here but for some reason I just felt like I want to be here. If it’s going to take a PHD then I’m going to get a PHD.”
During that trialing time she found her passion for betterment of education experiences which ultimately inspired the dissertation that would grant her the PHD she sought after. “My dissertation was about how faculty interactions with students build their self-efficacy […] and also improves their intent to persist in college.”
“I wanted to come back here and teach I wanted to be for the students here, what the professors had been for me when I was here,” said Weaver.
In August of 2019 Janice Weaver came full circle joining the staff at North Campus as a CCAC professor of psychology after beginning her academic journey at North in that summer of 2004. At the age of 42, she found her calling, pursued it, and now helps the next generation do the same.