The Distance Learner

Advice on earning a college degree through distance education

About Matthew & David

Matthew and David Bass were both home schooled K through 12. After graduating from high school, they began searching for a way to study for college without compromising their vocational and financial goals, while at the same time maintaining their faith and moral values.

They saw their home school friends moving out of state to attend college, often resulting in a disconnection with their church community, friends, and family. In some cases, this disconnection even impacted their friends’ spiritual walks. They knew there had to be a better way to earn a college degree.

Distance education proved to be God’s answer to their questions.

Matthew’s Story

After graduating from high school in 2000, Matthew knew he wanted to pursue a career in software development. What he didn’t know was how to do that without taking a detour in his walk with God. He saw the negative influences the college campuses were having on his friends. After much prayer, reading, and consultation with his parents, he began to discern that God was leading him in a different direction.

Matthew enrolled at a local community college for a year, then entered a distance education program through Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey. At the same time, he began apprenticing at RoleModel Software, a software development studio founded by a visionary home school father in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

During his sophomore year of college, he was hired as a student intern at SAS Institute, the world’s largest privately owned software company. Just under a year later, he was hired as a full-time, salaried employee before he had even graduated from college. Matthew credits this to the real-world experience he gained while apprenticing at RoleModel Software, as well as his forward-thinking manager at SAS.

Matthew graduated in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science and no college debt whatsoever. He has since left SAS to start his own independent software consulting business, Adeptware.

David’s Story

Creative writing has been David’s passion for many years. After graduating from high school in 2003, he did not rush directly into college. Instead, he waited a semester to see where God might want him to devote his time, energy, and talent. During this waiting period, he was hired as an intern at a public policy organization. He still holds this position today.

Several months later, David decided to take on several college courses through the distance education programs at Liberty University and Fayetteville Technical Community College. With this schedule of work and school, he was able to work towards a college degree while getting real-world experience in his chosen field of writing.

Over the next two years, he was also able to devote time to outreach through church and civic ministries, in addition to writing a number of political and cultural columns defending the Christian faith and a conservative view of politics and the world. Many of David’s columns have been published by WorldNetDaily and World Newspaper Publishing.

The flexibility of distance education also allowed David to collaborate with a friend on a novel during this time. He was able to experiment with his writing in many different areas, something that he would not have been able to do had he been tethered to a traditional college.

David is continuing to work towards a degree in Journalism through distance education, while pursuing his interest in writing fiction and his passion for impacting the culture in a positive way through the writtten word.

What They Do Now

After having been home schooled for so many years, Matthew and David recognize the benefits of taking an unconventional approach to education. They have found distance education to be an incredibly positive alternative to what most graduates are doing today. As a result of this, they have felt led to share their own experiences with distance education with other home schoolers through speaking and writing.

In addition to starting this blog and regularly publishing articles in well-known home school magazines like The Old Schoolhouse, they have also spoken at several local home school groups, including North Carolinians for Home Education, a state home school organization.

If you’re interested in having Matthew and David write for your own publication or speak at your home school group, please e-mail them.