Meet Mark

Mark McCarter

Meet Mark McCarter, a 2014 Liberal Studies graduate from Athens State.

Although McCarter’s career path started in journalism, life has taken many twists and turns. In recent years, he made a career leap from sports journalist to collegiate athletics administrator and credits his current success to his degree from Athens State and the Adult Learner Services Office (ALSO), formerly known as the Adult Degree Program. Anticipating in his late 50s the precarious future of newspaper journalism, McCarter seized the opportunity to return to college, seeking both career advancement and a sense of closure, having dropped out of college in the 1970s.

His experience at Athens State not only provided him with a degree but also nurtured valuable skills like discipline, time management, and collaboration.

Instead of becoming closure, my Athens State degree became a real asset once I found myself back in the workforce.

Mark McCarter

McCarter’s enrollment at Athens State was “meant to be” and started through his wife, Patricia’s, attendance to the Adult Degree Program launch with the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Upon learning about the support Athens State offers adult learners, Patricia encouraged McCarter to apply at Athens State. Through a prior learning assessment and guidance from a few close instructors, McCarter was able to apply his previous college credit, work experience, and writing projects toward his Athens State degree requirements. During his time at Athens State, McCarter wrote and published a book titled Never A Bad Game.

“I really appreciated the prior leaning assessment’s method of digging deeper to measure outcomes and lessons learned through my life experience,” he shared. “It solidified that everything I had done up until that point mattered.”

McCarter’s story highlights the importance of accessibility and flexibility in higher education, particularly for today’s modern student. As he navigated his academic journey, McCarter sat under dedicated professors who not only imparted knowledge but also inspired a deeper fascination for the course content. Their passion for teaching and genuine concern for student success left a lasting impression on McCarter which he tries to emulate in his career today.

“It just seemed like these were the folks that you could tie up a few minutes after class with a question,” he shared. “They were accessible and that meant a lot to me.”

McCarter’s education at Athens State opened doors to new opportunities, which now includes his current role as Assistant Athletic Director for External Operations at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). This role has offered him a unique perspective on college athletics. Transitioning from a sports journalist to a prominent figure in game day management, marketing, and sales, McCarter finds fulfillment in supporting student-athletes in a different capacity.

“Student-athletes are no longer the people I am writing about and following for material,” he remarked. “They are the young men and women that I help succeed through my role at UAH, by providing the best environment for them, their families, and fans.”

According to McCarter, success is grounded in meaningful connections and respect among peers. For him, success is not solely defined by material possessions but rather by the relationships built and recognition earned through hard work and dedication. He finds fulfillment in living out the impact that Athens State University made on his life and career.

About the Adult Learner Services Office (ALSO)

We believe there is nobility in choosing to complete your education, particularly when you’re managing the pressures and constraints of adult life. Athens State celebrates the resolve of the adult learner. After all, it takes courage, and then some, to balance finishing your degree with work and family life. That’s why we offer Adult Learner Services. We assist working adults with finishing their degrees by applying their experience and knowledge as college credit. Learn more here.

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