2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Tay McEdwards – Inspiration, success beget world-changing ideas

B.S. in Liberal Studies
Tacoma, Wash.

Tay McEdwardsWhat does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
Earning my OSU degree means an opportunity for a better quality of life for my family and me. It signifies an accomplishment 15 years in the making. Being a nontraditional student with a 10-year gap in my education, I spent that time focusing on my career. After facing countless rejections toward career growth, the aspirations of a peer inspired me. Her desire to be something more than a mid-level manager drove her to pursue a college education. She overcame being a teenage mother with a seventh grade education level to being in the honor society at her community college. She inspired me to return to school after a 10-year hiatus, so completion of this degree does not only signify my journey but also the journey of those who inspired me along the way.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I chose OSU online to complete my education because of its flexibility, graduation rate, and affordability. As the breadwinner in my family, my career commitments made a flexible and affordable education a requirement. Working approximately 45 hours a week left little flexibility to attend school. I enjoyed the online experience because of its ability to fit it into my constantly changing schedule. Most of the instructors provided the same if not better quality education than previous in class instruction I have attended. In some cases, it appeared the instructors took more of an interest in my education because of the flexibility on their end as well. I truly enjoyed the online education experience. I hope to see the online graduate program options expanded soon.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I had several instructors who were influential during my OSU career. My course with Mina Carson created such a sense of pride for my own diversity that I would consider it the most influential. The climate of history course was extremely influential in learning the history of those who encountered challenges before me and challenged society to allow me the opportunities that I have today. Being a transgender male, her course on Gay and Lesbian History presented an open and accepting educational environment, which led to a greater sense of pride for my unique attributes. This positive educational experience enriched my learning experience and participation in several sociology and anthropology courses as well.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
My degree is a stepping-stone toward my goal of being a college instructor. I will be pursuing a master’s degree in sociology to continue the development of others. The level of knowledge I received during my time with OSU differed tremendously from that of the public school system. The formation of our culture is primarily based upon this system, which is why I would like to expand the knowledge of others. As a result, this will in turn create a better society and a better world.

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