2008 Ecampus Graduates

Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson - Effective Skills

Ph.D. Education
Auburn, CA

Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson

What does completing your degree mean to you? How do you feel it will improve your life and career?
Completing my degree means that I am able to advance further in my career field and perform my job with the knowledge and skills that I need to work effectively in education. I feel that completing my degree has improved my life in that I achieved my professional goal. When I began the Community College Leadership Program, I was a tenured faculty member who wanted to enter administration. Before I completed the program, I was able to enter into educational leadership as a student services administrator. Then, by the end of the coursework in the program, I secured a job as a community college dean. I am certain that my preparation and training the Community College Leadership Program prepared me to do my job effectively. I learned about educational finance, leadership, organizational development, instructional and research methods, student learning outcomes and the history of the community college system. This coursework prepared me to be a knowledgeable and skilled community college leader.

Completing my degree has also opened many doors for me by creating opportunities to conduct further research in my field, to share my knowledge in academic forums and to increase my level of leadership responsibility in education.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I chose the Community College Leadership Program because I was able to continue working at my job while completing my Ph.D. Further, the hybrid online and on-site format allowed me to use and learn about current technology while interacting face-to-face with colleagues. Initially, I was intimidated by the technology, but the professors in the program helped me to gain confidence in my use of educational technology, for example PowerPoint, Blackboard, Podcasts, and online research engines.

I also enjoyed the quick responses I received from faculty and students in the program via Blackboard, and I liked the flexibility that the hybrid courses offered. I could complete my homework, communicate with my cohort members and conduct research when my schedule allowed me to do so. At the same time, I was able to receive the benefits of face-to-face instruction, participate in campus leadership events and listen to panel presentations on leadership.

Lastly, I would not have been able to complete my Ph.D. without the benefit of the hybrid design of this program because I have young children to support. When I began the Ph.D. program, my children were ages 3 and 5. The hybrid design of the program allowed me to pursue my academic goal without major disruption to my family.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?

Dr. Rich Shintaku was an outstanding advisor and leader in the CCLP program. He helped me to get started with the program, answered my questions about Blackboard, and provided me with the advising documents and program requirements that I needed to be successful.

When participating in a program as a distance student, it is essential to know what to expect, how many classes are needed for program completion, and what to do if a problem arises. Dr. Shintaku provided a program guide that clearly outlined program pathways, degree options, degree requirements, deadlines, an educational plan and information on financial aid. Beyond the nuts and bolts of advising, Dr. Shintaku was a caring person who truly wanted students to achieve their highest aims. His encouragement, sharing of information, guidance through Blackboard and concern for the program definitely helped me succeed as a distance student.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My Ph.D. will enable me to excel in my career path in community college administration. I am currently a dean, but I aspire to become a vice president.

Back to Graduation 2008.

Learn more about our Ph.D. in Education - Emphasis in Community College Leadership.