Master of Education
AIU Online M.Ed. Graduate
What made you think about continuing your education?
I was in the Air Force, and I worked as a Histotechnologist. Histotechnology is the study of disease, and it deals with tissue rather than blood. I did that for three years in the Air Force, and when I got out, I had a job opportunity with a company called Urocor.
During my employment, the medical lab director saw that I had management capabilities, and there was a job opening that nobody seemed to be able to fill. The director approached me, and asked if I would take on the supervisory role, which I was in for 6 years. The company was growing rapidly, and I began thinking of my education.
When I started my degree program, I had some really great instructors. Watching those teachers and seeing how helpful they were, made me think of all the things that I've done. I've always been in a role where I'm helping someone as either a trainer or teacher, and I thought a Master's degree in education would be very appropriate. I'm 35 and I've been teaching or tutoring since I was 15—whether it was flute lessons, or swimming. I looked at the versatility of a degree in education, and realized that I could do a lot of things with it.
What led you to AIU Online?
I started thinking—I have a 13-year-old, 3 grandchildren by marriage, and numerous hobbies, so attending a university with a program that allows me flexibility and time to be near my family was extremely important. I thought I should look at online opportunities.
One evening I was watching the news and an advertisement came up for AIU Online. I immediately went to the web site, and completed the online form saying that I wanted more information. I quickly received a phone call from an Admissions Advisor and I was impressed! I had never seen anything like that before.
The Admissions Advisor spent time with me during the admissions process; I got the opportunity to tell them why I thought I would succeed at AIU Online. After I was accepted, I entered the Master of Education degree program.
I chose a concentration in instructional technology because I knew that that's the direction that other universities were going. I also know that some of the local universities are starting to get their online programs going.
How was your experience with AIU Online?
The experience was dynamic—more than what I expected. I had very good experiences, even with my first contact, and my Admissions Advisor was very sweet and always got back with me in a timely fashion. She answered every question that I had, and gave me great attention. Every advisor I came in contact with was wonderful, and one of the best things that I can say is that the AIU Online staff is very knowledgeable and respected in the education community.
As for the instructors, AIU Online hires qualified instructors because they are instructing master's programs. You can tell by their styles, and the way they interact with students they are in it for the art of teaching. They were online most of the time, and they were personable, and wanted to know about you—what you wanted to do when you finished your degree program. I felt like the instructors really cared that their students could be productive in the real world.
How has your life changed since obtaining your degree from AIU Online?
My career has changed quite a bit as a result of obtaining my degree. I've gone from a supervisor in the health systems industry to a company called Delex Systems located in Vienna, VA. They deal primarily with the Department of Defense. They do contract work with the government to derive training programs.
I began my job search in September, 2005 with my graduation date in December approaching quickly. In November I found a position listed by Delex Systems for an Instructional Designer. It was fate. I read the job description and submitted my resume.
It seemed as though they were looking specifically for me—someone who had prior military experience, the ability to gain top-secret security clearance, and—lo and behold—a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Instructional Technology. I had all the requirements!
The next day I received a call for a telephone interview, and evidently I did very well. A few days later, I received a call from the local office in Oklahoma City to come in for an interview. Shortly after that, I received a job offer.
After I was hired, I asked why I was chosen over the other candidates. I was told that I was hired because of my personality, military experience, and my master's degree.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I'd like to instruct for AIU Online as I enjoyed the experience so much as a student. I would like to continue growing with my new company and become a lead designer. I also plan to pursue my doctorate degree next year. If AIU Online had a doctorate program, that's where I would go!
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