HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Marlene Sedeno was first exposed to online courses at Mililani High School.
As a young mother, she earned her degree ahead of her graduating class.
"My senior year I didn't have to go to school and I could take care of my daughter," she said.
That continued at Leeward Community College when she enrolled in a distance learning program.
"And they said, 'We just started this pathway, it's called Aloha Pathways.' Every semester they started adding more and more courses online," she said.
Sedeno received her associate’s degree from LCC. Then at the University of Hawaii, she earned her bachelor’s degree in economics solely through online classes.
“We see the advantages to students like Marlene of making these online opportunities possible. Yes, I think this is a wave of the future,” said Denise Konan, Dean of the College of Social Sciences at UH Manoa.
Sedeno is the first UH student to complete the Aloha Pathways program where all her courses were online.
“I’ve never stepped foot in a UH-Manoa classroom, ever. I don’t even know what it looks like,” she said.
It wasn't easy. She juggled family life and a job, squeezing in homework when her daughters took a nap or her husband kept them busy.
"I knew that quitting wasn't an option. I didn't want to let my children down and my family down," she said.
"We're so proud of Marlene," Konan said.
Sedeno is sold on online study and the UH Aloha Pathways program.
"There's professors and students that know our culture, that know the island life, that you're able to connect with compared to those other mainland universities that are online," she said.
She wants others to know that if they’re motivated and organized they can do what she did.