Going back to college to advance your degree can seem like a very daunting task. One of my biggest concerns was time. I was a full-time teacher, as well as a mother of two teenage boys, when I decided to start back. As one can imagine, I did not just jump in to this decision without weighing all the pros and cons, and considering the time it would involve.
The Ed.D online program at Carson-Newman University was designed with working educators in mind. The class schedule was very manageable, in that it allowed me to focus on one or two classes during a short period of time, typically an eight-week period. This was best, because it allowed me to devote the time necessary without overwhelming my schedule with multiple projects from different classes. While there were deadlines involved, many of the assignments could be done at my convenience, so that I could work according to my schedule. This meant that at times I was able to complete assignments and turn them in ahead of time. The professors of the online program were also willing to work with my schedule as a working mother
At the same time, the assignments were very informative and never seemed to be filled with busy work. This was also extremely important, because I wanted the work I completed to be productive toward the end goal: Increasing my knowledge in school leadership. Furthermore, there were never assignments that required me to miss my work as a teacher to reach practicum hours. Any classes that required practicum hours were scheduled around natural school-year breaks so that they could be acquired without missing work.
Probably one of the most important aspects of the program that fit my career would be the professors’ willingness to correspond after school hours. They were very cognizant of the fact that between 7:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., I needed to be at work, focused on my job. They went above and beyond to make sure that any virtual contact could be made after these school hours. I know that was probably an inconvenience for them, to take a phone call at 7p.m., but they were always willing to schedule a time which was suitable to me and my classmates.
While time may have been a huge consideration in my starting back to school, it seems that it was an even larger priority to the administration of Carson-Newman as they developed this program and made it fit the schedule of a working educator.