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Parkites on the Job

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Excerpts from Park University Magazine, Fall 2010


Online Alumni

Nearly 12 million post-secondary students in the U.S. take some or all of their classes online. This number is expected to skyrocket to more than 22 million in the next five years. — Ambient Insight

The following are Park alumni who earned  their degrees Online.

Mark Brady ‘07
Bachelor of Science, Management/Computer Information Systems
Lexmark International, Dell Alliance Manager
Austin, Texas
I traveled constantly for my job and I wanted nothing more than to finish my degree. If it hadn’t been for Park’s online program, I might have continued to put it off. I looked into several schools, but chose Park for many reasons. Park offered an online program for technical management at a reasonable price. Park also offered credit
hours for my technical certifications and accepted my 21 college credits. Online classes gave me the flexibility I needed, but the classes were tough with participation requirements that held me accountable. I remember working on an assignment with an active Marine stationed in Syria who logged in at various times to correspond with the team. It worked well and was a great experience.

Kim Ellis, ‘05
Bachelor of Science, Management
Senior Graphic Designer,
Navy Recruiting Command Creative Services
Millington, Tenn.
I’ve had many challenging experiences in the online classroom. And never once did I feel like I was in it alone. My most memorable online class was a course in business law. We were required to review the McDonald’s hot coffee case and to justify our position in favor of the plaintiff using a discussion thread with the instructor. Just when we thought the assignment was complete, the professor posted a challenge for us to argue the other side. That threw us for a loop, but we did it. Overall, the online experience demanded a great deal of self discipline and required me to stand on my own merits, and as a result, I believe that I learned more and worked harder than I would have in a traditional class setting.

Jaynine Howard, USMC (Ret), ‘03
Bachelor of Science, Social Psychology
President/CEO, Dream Catcher
Jacksonville, N.C.
I was a single mom with three children and an active-duty Marine. I definitely needed the flexibility of online classes. Some people think online courses are isolating. I actually developed close bonds with several of my virtual classmates and we’ve stayed in touch. Sometimes, I found myself competing against other online students in a healthy way. We pushed each other to excel. I especially liked meeting students from around the world who contributed different geographical and cultural viewpoints.

Sam Motes, ‘07
Master of Business Administration
Software Services Lead, PGT Industries
Venice, Fla.
My wife and I were traveling frequently to China to adopt our second daughter. My job also demanded a great deal of travel. To achieve my M.B.A., my only option was the flexibility of a fully online program. Park’s online M.B.A. program was a very positive experience. I especially enjoyed group projects that connected me to students from both coasts and other countries for engaging discussions. Park’s professors were always responsive and the curriculum was relevant to the business climate in the real world.

Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, ‘09
Bachelor of Science, Business
Founder and President, ECCO Select
Kansas City, Mo.
I have a very hectic schedule, working more than 60 hours a week as president of a small business, but online classes allowed me to manage my time and complete my degree. I selected Park because of its reputation. The courses were demanding, but the professors were very accessible by phone or e-mail. Since many students in my classes were also working full-time jobs, we used conference calls to connect for study group discussions. I’ve kept most of my books because many of my courses directly applied to my business. The online program was well worth the sacrifices and time.

Lori Rohre, ‘07
Bachelor of Science, Business/Human Resource Management
Director of Human Resources, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Austin, Texas
Online classes are significantly more challenging because the onus is on the student. The flexibility of class online is both good and challenging. It’s easy to put off doing class work until you finish “this or that” without the time constraints of a traditional classroom. It’s up to the student to to carve out time to do the reading each week and log on to participate in required discussion threads. It requires discipline and motivation. Even with all the things that I had to balance (marriage, children, aging parents, work and life), I not only completed my degree, but was nominated the 2007 Outstanding Graduate at Park’s campus center in Austin. It was tough, but like anything, if you set your mind to it you can make it happen.


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