The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Monday, April 20, 2009

By Christine Hawkinson

In the short time I’ve been with the Distance Learning Center, I have had the opportunity to talk with several graduates of our programs. Three observations stand out:
  • They all agree that earning a degree online is worth every bit of the sacrifice.
  • They all rave about the quality of instruction and the benefits of interacting with students across the country who work in various professions.
  • There is no typical day in the life of an online student.
Most of our students are employed, many have families, and all juggle their lives to accommodate study time. I am still thinking about comments from two students you can read more about in the Spring 2009 PLEXUS.

Kelli Johnson earned her Master of Science in Engineering in 15 months, while substitute teaching and waitressing. Her success depended on lots of planning and study sessions at four in the morning. An extra challenge to Kelli’s schedule: she had to plan for time needed to download information and upload assignments with dial-up internet service!

Don Zurek worked full time while earning his Master of Science in Engineering. He has two children and a wife who also works full time. He credits the support of his wife and her willingness take on some of his responsibilities at home. Don was also creative when it came to squeezing 10-15 hours of study time into his already busy week. Rather than lunching with colleagues, he brown bagged it and read a chapter for class. And his wife took the wheel on trips to the mall so he could read on the way.

Every student offers a source of inspiration and encouragement for others. Send me your top hint for finding study time and I’ll share them in a future blog. E-mail me at



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