I mentioned before that, in my never-ending quest for a new career in a medical field, I found a Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) program that I could finish in about two years instead of the four years at other schools. It's at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). While we were in Indianapolis, I stopped at IUPUI and talked to an enrollment counselor and also someone familiar with the specifics of the NMT program.
The out-of-state tuition is my biggest concern, at over $600 a unit (choke! gasp!). In California I'm used to paying only $20 a unit (aka, credit hours), which makes community colleges really affordable there. So if I wanted to go to school at IUPUI, I'd need to establish residency first.
The problem in a lot of colleges is that if you start out as an out-of-state student, they keep you as out-of-state forever and ever, amen. But when I asked the IUPUI people about it, they said that you pay out-of-state tuition until you become a resident, and then you can appeal your residency status, and they'll switch you to in-state from that point on. In-state tuition is just over $200 a unit.
I still have prerequisites to finish--Anatomy & Physiology (2 semesters), Chemistry (2 semesters), Physics (1 semester), and possibly Algebra & Trig--I took Calculus 30 years ago. But the enrollment counselor recommended taking those at a community college, where the out-of-state tuition is less than IUPUI's in-state rate. I can do that while I'm establishing residency.
The NMT program starts every year in June, so I'd need to be ready to start in 2009. So I'd need to move to Indiana before June of 2008 and bust my tail to finish all the prerequisites in time.
The problem with all of this is that it's falling into place. The only thing that would get in the way of doing it is if my house hasn't sold and closed by this coming May. And I still might be able to work around that for a while. Maybe.
I've gone from hypotheticals to real life in the course of a conversation with the counselor. I've gone from having no clue what program to study (because the available programs didn't ring my chimes) to having a direction and a game plan in the same short amount of time. And it's scary.
I might be moving to Indiana.
I probably will, but I wasn't ready for the decision yet. It hit me last night at 4:30 in the morning, and I lay there staring at the ceiling thinking about my kids and my friends in California, and about the friends I don't know if I'll be able to make in Indiana. I haven't had to start over in a new town since 1985, and I'm a little out of practice...
But I'm not worried, just scared. There's a difference. It's helping me focus, and I've started getting practical and thinking through all the little--and big--decisions I'll have to make. (I'll take the "In God We Trust" license plate design, thank you.)
Now all I need is for my house to sell.