2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Amy Potthast – Mom, director, community member ... and educator

Ed.M. in Organization and Human Resource Education
Portland, Ore.

Amy PotthastWhat does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
Since third grade I've aspired to become a teacher. Graduation will mean I am finally a professional educator, able to teach, coach others and develop instruction responsibly! It will be a lifelong dream realized.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
Not only did I have a 6-month-old baby (and 3-year-old son) at the beginning of the master’s program, but I also had a full-time job as a program director at a national nonprofit, and had just started a neighborhood project to bring together older moms and teen moms in a playgroup with their little kids. Without the flexibility of Ecampus – where my bus ride into work was my library reading lounge, for example – and my prime study time was between 2-4 a.m. between times nursing the baby – there is no way I would be walking in the graduation ceremony in June. I chose Ecampus because I wanted a degree without missing my kids' bedtime.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I've had many instructors I've admired. My favorite has been George Reese, our Instructional Systems Design instructor, and also a graduate of our program. He used our time so wisely and let us know if he'd be unreachable for questions. Mainly, though, he was super responsive and an exemplary teacher, who set us up for success through clear expectations and his ongoing commitment to us. (I've stayed in touch with him as I've begun an instructional design project out of class.) He's shown us both respect and care, and because of that I think he's been a great example of what we should become as adult educators.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
The education – not just the degree – is preparing me for multiple new professional fields including program evaluation, graphic design, writing and instructional design – not to mention good ol' standing in front of a room and teaching people. It's also opening doors to cutting edge fields like e-learning and m-learning (mobile learning). I'm so curious about the new field of transitioning textbooks to mobile apps, for example.

The degree is valuable because it will allow me to work in some staff roles in higher education (for example, if I wanted to work in career services at a university). But also it communicates to potential employers and clients that I'm an expert in this work, and they should lean in close to hear what I'm going to say.

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