DeVry University Online
Teaching field: Business
Teaching field: Business
"You have to be organized to do well as a distance learner. DeVry makes it as easy as possible for you. You don't have to buy a book. Everything is online: the syllabus, the teacher, the textbook, a library, and access to research and periodicals."
In my college computer science classes, I was the only one among the programming students that really liked documenting what we did. That's the way I found my niche. I started as a tech writer in my 20s, working for small companies. My assignments quickly became repetitive and boring (how many times can you describe the same product features?), but I liked the work itself. I set my sights on working for a large consulting company that would offer a variety of clients and challenges and give me more chances to continue learning.
I took night courses at the University of Michigan to get my master's in technical communications. For seven years, including my time in graduate school, I was a single mother with triplets. It was a tremendous challenge, but it made a big difference because I had taken responsibility for being as good as possible at what I do. I am now at the top of my field.
As a senior consultant for a large corporation, with 13 years on the job, I now do some business process design and instructional design in addition to technical writing. Because of my technical background, I get involved in data integration and other technical aspects of the client project. I support clients in various industries: manufacturing, automotive, human resources, and more.
I teach COMP 100, a prerequisite for many majors at DeVry University. The course helps students understand and effectively use the XP operating system, the Internet, and Microsoft Office. In addition, I also give "live lectures" on COMP course assignments and the concepts supporting them. Via the computer, students can ask questions or talk through problems they are having, and I can draw on the whiteboard. In addition, I have taught Sunday school and led corporate training classes. I get a kick out of explaining things simply and effectively so that people at different levels can understand and apply the information.
Consulting has taught me always to meet or exceed customer expectations. I bring that to the classroom, where the students are my customers, and I also try to teach it as the key to success in the business world. You always have to exceed expectations - do more than the job description, do more than you say you will - to advance. For example, I read the Wall Street Journal every day to keep informed about business trends that my clients face.
The teacher I most admired taught my high school geometry class. He had been a principal, had retired, and was coming back to the classroom. He was tough and very human. I liked him immediately. Most of my classmates did not, but he won them over by the end of the course. He expected us to work to your full potential, and he cared about us.
As a teacher myself, I try to do the same. When students answer a question in one or two sentences, I suggest ways to expand their response - show their thinking, do some research, refer to the book - whatever it takes to engage with the material. I really do care about how well my students do. I try to imagine the face behind every name on the screen. I check my voicemail and email every day so that I will be accessible when students have a question.
You have to be organized to do well as a distance learner. DeVry University makes it as easy as possible for you. You don't have to buy a book. Everything is online: the syllabus, the teacher, the textbook, a library, and access to research and periodicals. For example, when we discuss annual reports, we use Hoover's online database of company information; DeVry University pays for the subscription. The platform that connects you with the teacher and other students is very easy to use. The Hub, your online library, also has links to computer-based learning modules so you can practice your skills.
On the other hand, you have to organize your time so that you can prepare and participate in class. The more you participate, the better you will do. If you have a computer problem or if you leave things for the last moment, it is hard to do well. We move quickly. By the middle of the second week, it is hard to catch up on anything you miss.
The students in my courses represent various disciplines from Criminal Justice to Human Resources. COMP 100 teaches skills that all business professionals need to present material effectively in the workplace. We work on projects such as resume-writing that are directly relevant to getting jobs and promotions.
Some of my students have had previous college experience, but were dissatisfied with it and dropped out. The great majority are married with children and working fulltime. They are very happy to be in college, and very focused on pursuing a degree. They are not there to party. They know how to get the most out of the opportunity that DeVry University offers. I admire them.
DeVry University has a true customer focus. The university is very aware of student needs and careful not to take the students, its customers, for granted. It does everything possible to improve the student experience. The school constantly upgrades courses, as I know from experience. I helped design lectures for an engineering course, using my instructional design experience to simplify the presentation while retaining the meat of the subject.
Among its online competitors, DeVry University is ahead of the curve in many ways - for example, in its software acquisition practices that benefit students. If you participate and take advantage of the resources available to you, you will succeed. DeVry University is accredited, like the state universities, and it is recognized in industry for exceeding the accreditation requirements. You can be proud to say that you have a degree from DeVry University.