Although it will be the third college degree for Kimley Jones, who will receive a master’s in education, this commencement will be even more special because her daughter, Kourtney, will also receive her bachelor’s degree in psychology during Cal State San Bernardino’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17, at Coussoulis Arena.
Kourtney Denise Jones will walk in CSUSB’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences commencement exercises at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, while mother Kimley will walk on Sunday, during the College of Natural Sciences ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Although Kimley would ordinarily walk with other master’s degree candidates at the all-graduate student ceremony on Saturday at 12:45 p.m., she asked for special permission to walk in one of the Sunday ceremonies because she observes the Sabbath. Kourtney will also join Kimley on Sunday.
Kimley, who also received bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies and human development with high honors in 2008 and a multiple-subject teaching credential in 2009 from CSUSB, is excited about sharing the experience with her daughter. They even had the opportunity to share several classes.
“Taking classes together has been the most fun about going to the same school,” said Kimley, adding that she did her best at coordinating their school schedules to coincide.
With a 4.0 grade point average, 20-year-old Kourtney will be graduating in four years with highest honors. She is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor society.
“I actually started CSUSB as a participant in the High School University Program during my junior and senior year of high school,” said Kourtney, who was home-schooled most of her life before graduating from Faith Academy charter school in Lake Arrowhead. “Then I attended CSUSB on a full-time basis for the last three years.”
Kourtney’s favorite part about attending college with her mother has been people’s reaction to it. “People are so surprised when they find out,” she said. “My mom is one of my favorite people ever, so it’s nice to be able to share this experience with her.”
Kourtney plans to pursue a graduate degree at a later time, but for now wants to gain more experience in the field of psychology. The San Bernardino resident has had the opportunity to work at the CSUSB Infant/Toddler Lab School since her freshman year.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” she said. “I love working with children and their families, and while I’m not exactly sure in what capacity, it is something I want to continue.”
Kimley is currently employed by Green Com Inc., in San Bernardino as an outreach specialist and as a substitute teacher in the Fontana Unified School District. She’d like to teach in the K-12 school system, even though she does not currently have any concrete prospects. “But after commencement I plan to blaze that trail,” she said with a chuckle.
“My children have inspired me to lead by example to show them the benefits of hard work and education,” said Kimley. Her oldest son Kelly, 31, is a 2003 CSUSB graduate with a bachelor’s degree in information management; Kristine, 29, is a University of Redlands alumna; and her son, Kurtis, 25 is a CSUSB alumnus.
Kimley also cited her brother and sisters, who have all attended or graduated from college, as those who supported her through her journey. “My siblings have encouraged me with financial help, rides to school and words of praise along the way as I made small steps toward this larger goal,” she said. “My sister Sabrina is a graduate of Riverside City College; my brother Quinton is a CSUSB 1970 graduate; my sisters Jeannette and Jennifer each received master’s degrees in social work from CSUSB in 2004 and 1995 respectively. So you could say we’re a Cal State family.”
“My launch into this journey began with my goal to master the master’s, but it has become so much more,” said Kimley. “I have enjoyed rich and meaningful relationships with both students and faculty at CSUSB and I am grateful.”
“My time at CSUSB has been more than I could ask for,” Kourtney said. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of my experiences and the incredible people I have met along the way.”
Mother and daughter will celebrate with a graduation party at their home on Saturday evening, culminating five years of combined study.
The graduation ceremonies at Cal State San Bernardino’s Coussoulis Arena will be streamed online on the university’s academic computing and media live webcast page. For more information on the university’s commencement ceremonies, visit the CSUSB commencement Web page.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.