“You’re too old!” “You won’t have enough time.” “It’ll be too hard.” This was my inner voice, arguing against pursuing another advanced degree. It had been more than 30 years since I had earned my master of arts in communicative disorders. I wanted to be able to influence the development and use of technology in my academic environment; however, I didn’t feel I had the credibility and enough knowledge to influence those in my district who had the power to make decisions about change.
I finally convinced myself to dive in and apply to an online university. After jumping through all the admissions hoops, I was finally accepted … and subsequently rejected from a for-profit university I interpreted the disappointing experience as divine intervention for abandoning further academic pursuit. What I realized later was that the divine message wasn’t “Give up the dream,” but “Look elsewhere to fulfill the dream.”
Enter Concordia University Irvine (CUI). After remembering what happens to a dream deferred, and not wanting my dream to fester and run, I attended an information session for CUI. I remember the presenter telling me at the end of the session that if I didn’t enroll at CUI, I should enroll somewhere. “Wow,” I thought. “He actually cared.” After I gathered the necessary enrollment requirements, I took the plunge and enrolled at CUI; and so began my return to academia.
For the next two years, I experienced guidance, faith-filled encouragement, and camaraderie amid the rigors of current, advanced, applicable technology in education. Had I known I would experience all that, I would have pursued my second masters of arts degree many years sooner. The professors were knowledgeable in their subject areas. They also recognized that in the ever-changing world of technology, new information could come (and be readily incorporated) from us students during the course of our program. Nearly all my professors were still actively involved in teaching at the elementary or secondary level, and were sensitive to our challenges as working students.
Several professors were instrumental in my journey’s success as they encouraged me to continue while dealing with personal challenges within my own family. Additionally, support and camaraderie from my cohort developed to a level I never thought possible in an online program. Two years flew by, and now I proudly hold a master of arts in education technology. You’ll never hear me say the journey was easy; however, you’ll never hear me lament that the journey was impassable. I can thank my professors and my cohort for my journey’s successful culmination.
I absolutely loved the experience, loved the education, and loved the outcome. Indeed, I loved getting my masters from CUI!