She credits her time at SC4 for opening up new career opportunities at a time when she thought few existed. She graduated in 1965 from SC4, then called Port Huron Junior College, with an associate in arts degree.
"At that time, it was not as common for women to pursue higher education," Teahen said. "My whole motivation was that I knew I needed to work at some point, so I knew I needed work skills."
The education she received motivated her to transfer to Michigan State University to pursue a degree in business education.
Teahen went on to earn her bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in business and distributive education from Michigan State. In 2000, she earned her doctorate degree in higher, adult and lifelong education from Michigan State.
She said SC4 was the start she needed for skills that have been useful throughout her life – such as writing and public speaking.
Dr. Roberta Teahen is associate vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University.
|"I always speak fondly of my experience with (SC4). I'm confident I would not be where I am today and live the life I enjoy today had I not made that decision."|
Teahen understands how community colleges and higher education impact students not just through her own story, but through those of the students she impacted while at Northwestern Michigan College.
There she served in various roles including business professor, director of the Center for Business and Industry and dean of workforce development.
"Community colleges are unparalleled in their attention to individual students' needs and their focus on talent development," she said.
Teahen retired from Northwestern Michigan in May 2007. She moved on to Ferris State University in search of new challenges. Today, her responsibilities include assessment, online learning and regional accreditation.
She lives in Traverse City with her husband, Jim. They have two adult daughters.
In addition to higher education, Teahen is active as a community board member for National City Bank Corp. and member of the Mecosta-Osceola Chamber of Commerce and its education committee.
Community college students today who work hard will create opportunities for themselves, she said.
"Keep yourself capable."