It was two years ago this month that I applied for a study sabbatical leave from my High School computer applications teaching position to be accepted into the Master’s degree program at Drexel University. This sabbatical would be my third, with my first being in 1990 for travel to New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and a full Caribbean tour from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada and nearly every island in between. At that time, teachers were allowed to take sabbaticals for travel and I was teaching Architectural Design, so I created many photographic slideshows of the architecture of these areas. My second sabbatical in 1999-2000 was to earn an MCSE, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer degree, from Drexel University technology affiliate. This certified my skills in Windows server and network systems since I had installed and configured the first file server in my classroom in 1998. My third sabbatical, this one, was for earning a new Master’s Degree simply to update my resume. Now I have completed this goal and it feels great.
Originally I had applied to Drexel for their on-campus degree, and during my interview with my advisors they suggested that I think about their new online degree program since I live over an hour from the campus. I was planning on driving into Philadelphia every day, but now I had the opportunity to take the courses online. In another meeting with my superintendant, she told me…”If you can get accepted to Drexel University, I will allow you to take the courses online.” Up until this point, our district had a policy that teachers were NOT allowed to take online courses, even though we allow students to enroll in classes at Virtual High School! So, allowing me to go with online courses was a significant change in policy. The superintendent thought I would not get accepted into Drexel, which is why she said this with a smirk on her face. Well, guess what? Not only was I accepted, but I nailed it with a 4.0 GPA, so…thank you very much, “super,” for handing me the keys to my freedom and my educational future.
My Drexel courses began June 25, 2007, and I was concerned that I would not be able to do the work and that it would be too challenging and I recall being worried about embarking on this long process. Looking back on all 30 credits, 10 courses, I can now say that it was not as difficult as I thought it would be, but it did take far more time and was more effort than any previous graduate courses I had completed. I know, because I now have 120 graduate credits, all with a 4.0, that nothing was as much work as Drexel University was in regards to reading, writing, posting and discussions. Drexel Online runs one week at a time, with the weeks opening up on Monday at 8am EST and closing on Sunday 11pm EST. If work is not turned in for that week, it is an automatic letter grade lower! It is essential to keep up and to be on time, with no excuses. My MCSE in 1999-2000 will remain the most challenging course work I have accomplished, and this degree will be my second most challenging goal achieved.
The online education world is growing, and by earning this new degree online, I may have the opportunity to become an online teacher or professor. For now, it simply feels rewarding to have completed the goal. Now it’s time to re-focus on Island Packet Sailing Adventures!
Transferred Chestnut Hill College Professional Electives 15cr. A 4.0
Summer Qtr 06-07 EDUC 511 Computer Skills for Teachers 3.0cr A 4.0
Fall Qtr 07-08 EDUC 535 Rsrch & Eval Instruction Tech 3.0cr A+ 4.0
Fall Qtr 07-08 INFO 520 Prof/Soc Aspcts Info Svcs 3.0cr A+ 4.0
Winter Qtr 07-08 EDUC 533 Virtual Learning 3.0cr A 4.0
Winter Qtr 07-08 INFO 640 Managing Information Orgs 3.0cr A 4.0
Spring Qtr 07-08 EDLT 536 Learning Sciences & Instr Des 3.0cr A+ 4.0
Spring Qtr 07-08 EDUC 530 Adv Technq Instr & Assess 3.0cr A 4.0
Summer Qtr 07-08 EDLT 537 Technologies for Perf Support 3.0cr A 4.0
Summer Qtr 07-08 EDUC 525 Multi-Media Instruc Design 3.0cr A 4.0
Fall Qtr 07-08 Took off to return to my teaching position
Winter Qtr 08-09 EDUC 516 Diversity and Today’s Teacher 3.0cr A+ 4.0
June 07 to March 09. 21 Months total. 45credits GPA =4.0