Master of Education
AIU Online M.Ed. Graduate
What made you decide to continue your education?
I graduated from high school in 1983, and at first I didn't think I wanted to go to college. I used to work at a restaurant in Virginia, and I was standing at the bread station. Each food station had a person standing in front of it. I looked at everyone who was standing in front of their stations, and I saw all stages of life. I was the young one, there was a middle-aged woman, and then I looked at an older co-worker, and I saw my future. It hit me that I could be working there for the rest of my life. It was an epiphany, and I knew I had to do something.
When it happened, one of the dishwashers was attending a university in Virginia, and he told me that I should go to college. He brought me the paperwork, and I registered and attended the same university. I was determined to finish. I thought that I couldn't stop because I would be right where I started from.
Years later, I got married and had two children, and when I was home, I realized that I needed to do something productive. I knew I needed to get my Master's degree and I chose education – a field that I would always be able to pursue a job in.
How did you select AIU Online for your Master's degree program?
I needed an accredited university, and I wasn't sure of what I was looking for, but I did need something that I could do on my own time. As soon as I found AIU Online, I e-mailed an Admissions Advisor. As soon as I clicked that mouse – within a minute – the phone rang with the advisor on the line. I thought it was great that she called me so fast. She cared. I wasn't just a number or a student. She was really concerned about what I had to say.
I told her "Look, I'm 40 years old. I want my education and I want to be an example for my boys, and I want to continue to accomplish things, and be an example." Once I got started I really loved it, because you can get an answer quickly from an instructor, they'll e-mail you right back. Everything could be done online. There was a great technical support department. I don't know how many times I almost blew up my computer and the technical support department was able to help me immediately.
Did you have any challenges during your program?
I had a few serious health issues that came back to haunt me during my degree program. In 2001, when I was in school for nursing, my left eye started going blind, and my doctor found a malignant tumor,. I started my degree program with AIU Online in May of 2005. I knew the tumor was growing by the time I got started and it was a matter of finding out what the treatment was going to be. I wasn't going to let it keep me from finishing my degree program.
We had a two week break for the Holidays and I received my gamma ray treatment. It was perfect timing. I had the treatment, and by the time I was recovered, it was time to return to courses. I was well-rested and ready to get back into it.
Did AIU Online work with you during your illness?
What I liked about AIU Online was that, if I would have asked for an extension, the instructors would have given it to me, but I was determined to get my assignments in on time.
You do what you have to do, and you just go on. That's my attitude. You've gotta do what you've gotta do.
My illness isn't what's on my mind every day. What's for dinner is on my mind. I have to be strong for my kids, and they don't need to see me moping around and complaining. When the punches come, you take them, suck it up, straighten yourself up, and keep going. My mother was tough, and I'm glad, because she made us strong.
So, what's next?
I'm going back to a different school to get my teaching certification. Don't be surprised if I become a Principal. There are people who need help, and I have a lot of ideas.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I love AIU Online. I recommend the university to everyone. Anyone that I know that I can guide to AIU Online, I will guide them. My advice to anyone is that you can do it! Don't hesitate; just try it, because you can do it! If I can do it, anybody can do it!
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