2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Stephanie Houtman – With profs expecting excellence, she delivers 

Stephanie HoutmanB.S. in Environmental Sciences
McCloud, Calif.

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
Earning my OSU degree is the culmination of a long-term goal. I had looked for a long time for a distance education program where I could finish my science based degree. The Oregon State Ecampus environmental sciences degree was just the program I was looking for. I was finally able to complete my higher education after a 20-year break.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I live in a rural area of Northern California with my husband and two children. Relocating to physically attend a college was not an option for my family. OSU Ecampus was the first program I found that had science degrees available. I loved the Ecampus format. It allowed me to continue my education with minimal impact to my family. My oldest son has some special needs and it is hard for me have consistent obligations away from home. The Ecampus format allowed me to care for my family and obtain my education.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
My main contact to OSU was my Ecampus advisor Dawn Marie Gaid. She was easy to work with and had useful advice each time I contacted her. I felt that being an Ecampus student put a greater emphasis on my relationship with my advisor. Most all of my instructors exceeded my expectations. There was an expectation for academic excellence. The instructors created an engaging academic environment for the students. My first course at OSU was GEO 323 taught be Phillip L. Jackson, Ph.D. He was encouraging and helpful, and his well-organized course was a great beginning to my OSU degree. Randall P. Moore, Ph.D. taught FW 303 which I took in my final term at OSU. Dr. Moore went out of his way to engage me as a student, and his love for the subject and teaching was evident throughout the term.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
The most important aspect of finishing my degree is the example I have set for my children. I value education and want to see my young children eventually go to college. My children watched me work and obtain my degree. I sat alongside them at the dinner table doing homework, providing a positive example. In a more practical application, obtaining my degree in environmental sciences will open doors that were closed before. Living in a rural area with limited employment opportunities, my OSU degree will help me to be more competitive in the small job market.

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