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History major: York College gave me the 'opportunity to rise to the occasion’

December 21, 2017
Sarah Goss
Sarah Goss ’17 credits her professors for continuing to push her to be competitive with her peers and herself and prepare her for her next step.

Don’t stop here, keep going. 

That’s the encouragement Sarah Goss received from her professors at York College of Pennsylvania. And now that she's just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History, that’s exactly what she plans to do. 

Finding her way 

It only took one semester for Sarah to realize she didn’t want to be a Math major.  

A counselor at the Career Development Center on campus helped her switch her focus to History. Then, things just clicked.  

She fell in love with the subjects she was studying, felt engaged with the teaching methods, and connected with her professors.  

Dr. Paul Doutrich and Dr. Kay McAdams were instrumental in her success, Sarah says, making the transition smooth. 

“The support and interest they have in my studies is incredible,” Sarah says. They pushed her, helping her to be the best she could be. And with small class sizes, they were able to work with her on an individual level and really get to know her. 

“They really, truly care about you as a student – not as a dollar sign, not as a number,” she says. 

Finding a balance 

Sarah grew up in Manchester Township, York County, graduating from Central York High School in 2014. 

The affordability of York College was a major factor in her decision to choose the school. Being able to continue working was important too, and staying close to home allowed her to do that while commuting to campus for classes. 

After working and going to school full time during her freshman and sophomore years, Sarah cut back, working the last two years part time at Shiloh Veterinary Hospital. Sarah found the lessons of balancing work and school valuable. 

“It definitely prepares you for the real world,” she says. 

Many of her classmates also worked, and, while professors were empathetic, they didn’t expect any less of those students.  

“They give you the opportunity to rise to the occasion,” Sarah says. 

Connecting the dots 

As a sophomore, Sarah declared dual minors in Anthropology and Art History. Looking at history from each of those different angles provided context and allowed her to connect the dots in different subjects, deepening her understanding. 

“It just makes it a full circle,” Sarah says. 

She went on to become an editor for Past and Present, a publication for the History and Political Science department’s senior seminar papers, and was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. 

Looking forward 

Even with a change in majors and working throughout her schooling, Sarah will graduate a semester early.  

She credits her professors for continuing to push her to be competitive with her peers and herself and prepare her for her next step — graduate school. 

“I feel like I’m prepared for the workload,” she says, “I feel like I’m ready to compete for a spot in grad school and for a job.” 

Sarah plans to pursue a master’s degree in applied sociology, and hopes to attend Clemson in the fall. After that, she’s considering a job as a federal analyst or in cultural resource management. 

Whatever she does, she wants to help people — to bridge the gap in communication between different people and make sure everyone has access to the resources they need. 

And graduation day?  

Sarah says it was exciting and emotional. But her ending at York College is also a beginning.  

She’s not stopping here. She’s going to keep going. 

Click here to learn more about York College's History program

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