It’s been a few months since I last posted a blog entry. The end of the semester brought a flurry of deadlines. I participated in the online ACS ConfChem where a paper about Flipping at an Open-Enrollment College was presented (more on this in upcoming blogs). More importantly, I ran my statistics on the data from my dissertation study. Over the summer months I revised the dissertation, and yesterday I defended and earned the title of Dr. Butzler!
When I began my journey towards a doctoral degree, I researched a variety of institutions. I was looking for a degree in education with an emphasis in e-learning or online learning. Most importantly, I needed a degree plan that was flexible and convenient and ONLINE. Surprisingly there were few institutions that offered such a degree. I found Northcentral University located physically in Arizona. I was apprehensive, but as I dug deeper into the degree structure, I knew that this would be a good fit with my busy schedule.
I started in April of 2011 taking courses in 12 week intervals. I could overlap courses; start a second at about week 4 of the prior course. I could end early and pick up more classes. A year and a half of course work was followed by comprehensive exams. Then came the dissertation courses. Although frustrating at times, this experience was PERFECT for my busy life… full time job and 4 kids! I applaud Northcentral for designing and offering degrees that are tailored for adults like me. I learned so much and as a result, I am a better educator and researcher. And writer!
Online learning is not for everyone. A doctoral degree is not for everyone. You need to be self-disciplined and a self-directed learner. Above all else, you need to be humble. The mentors, chairs, and committee members know more than you. Take their advice and learn from it. Thank you Northcentral! My goal of obtaining a doctoral degree has been accomplished!