President Barak Obama declared January as “National Mentoring Month”, inspiring Center for Distance Learning student Kristen Yard (at left) to write this piece, “The Importance of Mentor/Student Relationships: a CDL Student Perspective” for The Student Connection online newsletter.
Yard spoke highly of her exeprience with mentor Elaine Franz when she began at ESC in 2008, “I was terrified. I had been out of school for quite some time, had a new baby and was out of sorts…throughout health issues, life problems and situations with classes, Franz has stood by me — an anchor in the chaos of being an adult student,” she said. Yard, who originally intended to pursue a degree in businee or medicine will be graduating in June with a degree in creative writing, a subject Yard says she “truly loves.”
Visit the CDL Facebook page and ell us about your work with your Empire State College mentor or advisor. How did that relationship impact your ESC experience?
Empire State College’s academic quality met New York Times credibility in a special article supplement, published this weekend, which featured the Center for Distance Learning.
Journalist Jayne Feld wrote in her open, “As the world grows ever more wireless, online education is increasingly the best option for time-stressed adult learners.”
The article (NY Times) showcased CDL’s breadth of course offerings, prior learning opportunities, low SUNY tuition, and Dean Tom Mackey’s philosophy that our “incredible flexibility empowers our students to take control of their futures.”
In addition, CDL student Anita Brown, who will graduate in June with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Visual Communication, shared her thoughts on course design, diverse student discussions, quality instruction, and flexible learning options.
Anita De Cianni Brown’s e-mail signature includes the following quote from Gandhi: “Be the Change You Want to See In the World.”
It’s inspirational. It’s compassionate. It’s motivational. Just like Anita.
In addition to her role as a Center for Distance Learning student, Brown works full time in the Career Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is Vice President of the Green Island Board of Education; a volunteer at the American Cancer Society, Green Island Food Pantry, and Ronald McDonald House; she recently started a photography business as a result of her college courses; and she’s the “official scorekeeper” at her daughter’s high school basketball and soccer games.
Her life philosophy is, “Do what you love,” and it’s clear through her interests and activities that she takes her own advice.
In 2009 Brown made a commitment to continue her courses in marketing and the associates degree program she completed at Hudson Valley Community College in the early 1980s. Now, 22 classes and 82 credits later, she will graduate from SUNY Empire State College in June 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Visual Communications.
“I’m sure my ‘story’ is pretty much like many others. I started taking classes at night when time would be available. I decided to have a family and continuing my education went on the back burner. After my daughter graduated high school, I decided it was time to finish what I started,” said Brown, who also plans to pursue her master’s degree.
“Taking classes online is a tremendous amount of work. But I never felt that I wasn’t getting the support I needed. The learning curve of going from traditional classroom to the online setting was pretty quick. Empire State College offered me the ability to customize a degree that suited me. Most importantly, ESC has the SUNY brand. And SUNY is an educational system I have faith in,” she said.
Read more about Anita’s experience at Empire State College as featured in the January 8thNew York Times Magazine supplement on online learning.