DeVry University Online
Teaching Field: Liberal Arts
Teaching Field: Liberal Arts
“The faculty at DeVry feel that we make a real difference in the lives of our students, especially students who come with a desire to learn but lack academic skills or confidence from having been out of the classroom for a long time or not having been on the college track in high school.”
While in high school, I developed a passion for foreign languages. I chose to attend Georgetown University, where I majored in French literature and minored in fine arts. Founded in 1789, Georgetown is steeped in the liberal arts—quite a different institution from DeVry. My undergraduate education expanded my worldview and gave me a deep appreciation for other cultures. I try to broaden my students’ worldview by teaching classes in psychology, my doctoral field. Psychology has a lot to do with career success.
My career at DeVry began in 2000, when I accepted a position as the Director of the Academic Support Center (ASC) on the newly opened Orlando campus. The ASC is an extensive support system dedicated to helping students on their path to graduation—the place on-campus students go if they have questions or need help or guidance. The online equivalent is the HUB. This support system is at the heart of DeVry’s commitment to empowering students.
DeVry's small class sizes and hands-on approach to learning also help students develop the skills they need to be successful both in school and beyond graduation. The faculty at DeVry feel that we make a real difference in the lives of our students, especially students who come with a desire to learn but lack academic skills or confidence from having been out of the classroom for a long time or not having been on the college track in high school. I had a student say to me, “I feel that my personal education goals and needs are of utmost importance to each and every person that I come in contact with.” This is truly what sets us apart.
DeVry has a very diverse student body. Students love it because it is so easy to fit in. Socializing is not big on campus because DeVry students are so focused on their careers. They have an idea of what they want out of life and they know they need education to get there. Whether they are millennials or nontraditional students, whether they are in conventional jobs or in the military or single moms trying to advance themselves, students expect everything they learn to be relevant to their career in some way.
To thrive here, students have to bring a few things to the table. They have to be self-motivated because our courses are fast-paced. They must be resourceful because our courses are challenging, so they have to be willing to tap into the multitude of resources we provide. They also have to be open to new experiences because we are not a typical university. Our goal is to prepare students for the workplace; our classes include many assignments that push students beyond their comfort zones, from team assignments to oral presentations.
I'm passionate about student success, so that underlies all that I do as an educator. I also want students to have fun while they learn which made me a little nervous when I transferred to the online faculty. I was not sure I would be able to be the kind of professor that I had been in the classroom—one who engages students so that they enjoy the learning process— when we are not all together and feeling each other’s energy at the same time.
I found that I thrive in the online classroom and feel just as connected with my students. We communicate frequently through online discussions and outside the course shell. We talk on the phone and students text me a lot. My students say that I come through as genuine and caring. I have compassion for students. I meet them where they are and take them as far as they want to go.
Our work with industry advisory boards ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date and provides students with the skills they will need to be successful upon graduation. Students who graduate from DeVry not only have a strong foundation in their respective majors, but they bring with them the soft skills that are in demand in today’s workplace. In sum, our students are successful because of our strong, relevant curriculum, our myriad support services, and our caring staff and faculty.