2010 Ecampus Graduates

Corinne Fisher

B.S. Liberal Studies
Damascus, Oregon

Sheila Allen

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career? I wanted more, but I was scared to try school again. High school had been easy for me, but college was harder. I struggled in classes for good grades, which frustrated me greatly! The summer of 2008, I made several goals for me to fulfill before I turned 30. One of them, right on the top of the list, was to finish my degree. 

In order for me to finish my degree, and not move back to Corvallis- which I did not want to do because I was happy in my job and home in Damascus - that I would finish through the Ecampus. Finishing through the Ecampus meant I had to switch majors from Communication to Liberal Studies. It also meant, I could take two classes per term, and finish in time to graduate June 2010. Two months before my 30th birthday.

It's now the beginning of Spring term. My last term at OSU, and I am so proud of myself. With the exception of a B in Statistics (the class I was dreading the most), I have gotten A's in all my classes. I added a minor in sociology, completed solely through the Ecampus, which has challenged me to think about my current job in ministry and in helping others in new and bigger ways. I am so grateful to be finishing my degree, and for the OSU Extended Campus!

As for how it will improve my career, a baccalaureate degree is pretty much the minimum education requirement for my profession and achieving it will open up doors that had been previously inaccessible to me.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?  I have often joked that I didn't choose to take classes online... it chose me. The OSU Extended Campus reflects a change in society to offer classes in ways to engage students who may be older, work full-time to support a family or self or like me: have a desire to finish something started.

Over the last two years, I have read many reasons my classmates have chosen to take classes online, and many seem to filter down to a common goal: we do not want to give up on our education, but we also do not want to give up on the reality of life around us. The OSU Extended Campus offers such option. We can pursue our career or take care of our families and continue to work towards our educational goals.

For myself, I have been able to move myself from an administrative positive to a team leader position, while still taking classes. I also, simply, have loved working with the professors and my classmates through the blackboard and email. I love "going to class" in my pajamas or at various times during the day. I love having the time to think through what I post in the online discussion boards, versus sharing in a classroom. I love knowing that I am learning! And I am being challenged to think and process ideas that are new or too big for me to fully grasp. I've never felt the OSU Extended Campus offered education in a less personal setting because its online and not in a classroom. I will passionately speak the opposite!

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student? Three professors, specifically, have been influential in my success as a distance student. Professor Del Mar challenged me to think and write clearly. It had been years since I was graded on my writing, and he was patient as he reminded me how to write a strong thesis statements! His class and teaching, helped me gain the confidence to keep going with my goal to finish! Professor Hale was also influential to me, not merely as a professor in the "Giving and Volunteerism" class, but the material and topics of the class meant so much to me. A huge part of my current job at the church is working with volunteers. I am also paid through the giving of others. I love to serve in the community. This class touched not just my brain, but my heart.

Professor Del Mar and Hale taught me a lot, but I have to say I owe much of my success in finishing my degree to Professor Cordray. She is amazing. I took all three of her online classes, each teaching me invaluable lessons about society and what influences us. She has a gift in being personable even online; you truly know she cares that you are learning and understanding. She doesn't let you get away with not learning. And that is a good thing!

I never felt as connected to my professors while on campus.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before? My Ecampus degree is allowing me to start my life again. If I want to pursue Bible school or a Masters, I can. If I want to change career paths, I can. I now have a degree and job experience. I will have finished something so important to me. And, I will have finished it well! It tells me I can do it, and it reminds me that I never want to stop learning, even after I receive my degree!

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