Nakisha Scruggs proves that hard work pays off.

Nakisha Scruggs is bringing up her five-year-old daughter in Mount Clemens — the same place where she was born and raised. The single mother has worked on the assembly line at Fiat Chrysler LLC’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant for five years. Professionally, she aspires to move to a corporate position.

“There are a lot of career opportunities with my current employer,” says Scruggs. “But to be considered, I knew I needed to finish my degree.”

When Scruggs learned about Oakland University’s business programs offered at its Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens, she discovered a perfect fit for her schedule and life.

With an accelerated schedule and online course components, students can submit homework, take quizzes, and participate in class discussions and forums remotely.

An OU general management major, Scruggs says she was able to fit classwork from the Anton/Frankel Center courses into her daily routine without changing her full-time work schedule or interrupting time with her daughter, Blake.

Today’s competitive job market has made higher education a necessity for a successful career. However, Macomb County demographics show more than 60 percent of residents over the age of 25 have taken some college courses or earned an associate degree but haven’t completed a bachelor’s degree, observes Julie Dichtel, executive director of OU Macomb County Outreach.

Dichtel emphasizes that increasing bachelor’s degree attainment is important, so working adults who live in Macomb County are employable, marketable and workforce-ready.

“We want our students to compete for the best jobs and be on a path to realizing their career ambitions like getting a raise, receiving positions with more authority or achieving the personal satisfaction that comes from attaining this higher education credential,” says Dichtel.

“The new programs at OU’s Anton/Frankel Center allows students with transfer credits from a community college or other academic institution the opportunity to finish their bachelor’s degree in about two years.” Dichtel adds, “OU academic advisers work with students to map a degree- completion plan that suits their life.”

That approach was ideal for Scruggs. “As a single mother, working full-time, any free time is a bonus.”

Scruggs’ daughter served as her inspiration. “I wanted to show her that if you want something bad enough and apply yourself, you can do anything,” Scruggs says. “I wanted to prove to myself that it’s never too late, especially to those who said I wouldn’t be able to do it.”