Student Spotlight: Joe DeLaCruz

Meet Joe

Heard About CCU:

I have a couple former colleagues that are enrollment counselors for CCU. They answered my questions and encouraged me to enroll.

What Inspired You to Complete Your Degree:

I wanted to seek a degree that would allow me to help people.

Degree Plans:

As a registered nurse I plan to serve others with compassion as if I was serving the Lord.

Valuable Assets:

I am blessed to have strong faith, encouraging family and friends, and life experiences that help me with this program.

Class Format:

On Site (Classroom)

Why CCU:

I am not a perfect man or Christian. CCU encourages me to strengthen my relationship with Christ. In fact, CCU shows me how to be a stronger Christian. I look forward to helping sick people with Christ right beside me.

Work/Life Balance Experience:

The BSN program is intense. I have a family and need to balance time with them and my studies. Fortunately, they encourage me to hit the books and do well. Balancing school and other life commitments, for me, have been rather simple.

How Did CCU Make it Possible:

The faculty and staff are very encouraging. They often pray for us and offer support when needed.

Most Memorable Experience:

When I received the acceptance notification in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program it was a huge moment for my family and me. There is no end of memorable experiences with my classmates and faculty.

Faith Integration:

As a BSN student we are taught to serve others as Christ did. CCU gives me the tools to be able to do that in my life.

Overcoming Obstacles:

I am a 45-year-old retired military veteran. Adjusting to civilian life has not always been easy. CCU, unknowingly, has provided me hope with a new career.

Advice for Prospects:

CCU is the place to be. The facilities are incredible. The staff are wonderful Christians that truly want to see each BSN student succeed.

I appreciate in-seat classes because of the camaraderie with my classmates and the face-to-face communication with my instructors. The program is rigorous and requires hands-on learning. I can't see learning nursing on-line and being able to adequately take care of patients.

How Affordable Was CCU:

I am using my Post-9/11 GI Bill® to finance school.

Value of Your Education:

The BSN program provides the tools and knowledge needed to be successful in any medical environment. I can't ask for more.

How will you be using your degree after graduation?

My plan is to start working as a registered nurse, BSN, immediately after licensing. I hope to make a difference in people’s lives and provide hope to every patient I encounter.

How are you using the skills you are learning in your current job?

Currently, I do not work. I haven't worked since I retired from the Air Force. Financially, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® is helping me.

What do you love doing outside of school and work?

Nursing school is very demanding. I am studying often, yet manage to incorporate it with my daughter’s gymnastics and guitar practice. In addition to spending time with my family, I enjoy fishing. The Colorado lakes God created bring me peace of mind.


I was raised a military child and lived all over. I was born in Spain, raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and graduated high school and enlisted in Alamogordo, New Mexico. My mom and dad are from El Paso, Texas, so that's kind of home for me.

What prompted you to enter the service?

I decided to follow my dad's footsteps and serve our country. I remember as a kid, my dad would come home from work and never had a bad thing to say about work. That stood out to me. After high school, I realized delivering pizzas and making horrible cheeseburgers was never going to allow me to afford my own place. The natural thing for me to do was join.

Has your education affected your military career?

The military provided and encouraged me with opportunities to advance my academics. I received two associate’s degrees and a bachelor’s degree. For me, there needed to be an education growth statement included in every annual report. I knew I needed to grow academically in order to be a more effective leader. Along with many other qualities, educational growth enhances leadership development.

Do you think education is of particular importance to military members?

Yes, we were taught from day one to take advantage of our education benefits and use them for our personal growth. It also helps to be able to put together well-written statements and communicate effectively on and off duty.

God's faithfulness in your journey?

Throughout my career, I wasn't always strong with my faith. During a very tough time in my life, I was physically alone and didn't know what to do. I fell on my knees and prayed. I prayed like never before. He listened and let me know He will be with me, and I will never be alone. To this day, I have no doubt that He is still with me! This definitely leads me down the right path of living a good Christian life. He has not let me down, and I have to do my best to not let him down.