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Distance Learning Degree Fits Student's Busy Schedule

Interviewer:

Why did you decide to further your education?

Lance Platt:

When I finished my masters degree program in 1995, I thought I was completely done with formal education. However, ten years later, looking for a new challenge, I started thinking about earning a PhD. I researched quite a few program options and before I knew it I was back in school earning another degree.

Interviewer:

Can you tell us a little bit about the degree you are pursuing.

Lance Platt:

I enrolled in a business oriented PhD program. Usually, when you take your education beyond a master's degree and earn a PhD the emphasis is on psychology or education. I wanted to further my education, but I also wanted what I learned to be applicable in the business world. I found a specialized degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in leadership which provided the balance I was looking for. It provides a lot of scholarly research but focuses on real world business application.

Interviewer:

Is your degree program living up to your expectations?

Lance Platt:

Yes, it really has. I was expecting that it would be challenging, yet rewarding. And it has been both. The most challenging aspect of the program has been balancing the work/life aspect intrinsic to these types of distance learning programs. But it's been well worth it in terms of career development. The rewards have already started to surface. The program has forced me to apply organization management and leadership principles that I would not otherwise be learning.

Interviewer:

What prompted you to enroll in distance learning program as opposed to traditional campus based degree program?

Lance Platt:

My job require me to travel extensivly, ruling out any possibility of enrolling in a "traditional" campus based degree program. The virtual distance learning environment fostered by the school I attend allows me to "attend class" while traveling. Its just like a campus program, except I don't actually ever step foot on campus. It has provided me some limited flexibility in other areas of my life outside of my career as well.

Interviewer:

What would you consider the biggest benefits to earning a college degree via a distance-learning program?

Lance Platt:

I earned my master's degree from a traditional brick-and-mortar school long before distance learning was an option. I really enjoyed it, but when I finished I knew that I would never be able to go back to a classroom environment. Distance learning has provided me an opportunity to purse a degree that I would not be able to attain otherwise.

Interviewer:

What criteria did you use for selecting a distance learning school?

Lance Platt:

The major criteria for selecting a school include the following:

1) A a reputable, accredited.
2) The school need to offer a business oriented PhD degree.
3) I wanted to earn my degree from a school I had not previously attended.
4) Easy to work with and offered flexible degree programs.

Interviewer:

What would you tell someone else considering an online degree or distance learning program?

Lance Platt:

The first thing I'd tell them is that distance learning programs in general require a high level of self-discipline. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because a distance learning program takes place outside of a traditional classroom setting that its self paced. Most good distance learning programs are quite structured, organized and demanding. Although I haven't quite finished my degree yet, I would encourage others who start a distance learning program to stay focused on the end and never quit. Any higher education degree, especially a graduate distance learning degree requires an "enduring to the end" commitment.

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