NECB: Why did you decide to attend NECB?
Desireé: I’ve always wanted to obtain my bachelor’s degree but thought it would be difficult working full-time and being a mother. I had just completed my Associate’s degree and discovered NECB through my employer. After researching NECB, I felt it was the perfect option, since it was accredited and received several awards for its degree programs. I also had experience with online courses in the past and felt online courses would be the best option for me, as it would not interfere with my work or motherhood.
NECB: What advice would you give to someone who is considering going to NECB?
Desireé: I would advise potential NECB students to do their own research before enrolling, by browsing through NECB’s degree programs to find the program that best suits their career goals and schedule. The NECB website has a list of degree programs and the courses required to obtain the various degrees. This allows potential students to get an overview of the required courses and they’re also able to view how many courses are included in the degree program. Potential students can then determine whether part-time or full-time enrollment best suits their schedule, prior to enrolling.
NECB: What advice would you give to students to be successful with online learning? Any challenges you had to overcome? Or any misconceptions you had going in that turned out to be untrue?
Desireé: I would advise NECB students to remain organized. Since Mondays were the start of a new week of assignments due, I would sign into the student portal each Monday morning and log assignments and due dates into my agenda notebook. After considering my other obligations, I would set a day and time in my agenda to complete the assignments. Creating a schedule for assignments at the beginning of the week, ensured that I would not be overwhelmed or taken by surprise by the assignments due. It also allowed me to complete assignments according to due dates and my other obligations.
Communicating with the professors is also recommended for further clarity on all assignments, and I also recommend reaching out to fellow students for clarity or other helpful tips for completing assignments. Although online courses are more synonymous with independent work than in-person courses, collaboration can be achieved through email, and working with student peers is just as beneficial as reaching out to the professors.
I recommend communicating regularly with fellow students, as group projects are assigned in certain courses within the degree program. My first group project started off challenging, due to the high-level of communication that was required to complete an assignment online with several team members, who had different schedules and learning styles. With a high-level of communication, collaboration was a success.
NECB: How did you juggle being a full-time mom, student and working? Any tips you can share with future / current NECB Students?
Desireé: Making efficient use of my time allowed me to juggle motherhood, work, and college. I would complete readings or a portion of my assignments on my lunch break at work. I would also read the assigned readings for the week or post to the discussion board through the Canvas mobile application, while I took the train to and from work. By the weekend, I would only have a portion of the assignments left to complete, and because I work Monday-Friday, I had the weekends open to complete the remainder of the assignments. However, working on the assignments on my downtime during the week, minimized the work I was left to complete on the weekend, so that I could enjoy some free time also.
NECB: What’s your biggest takeaway from attending NECB?
Desireé: My biggest takeaway from attending NECB is that there is always a way to overcome limitations, if you’re determined to reach your goals. I was able to obtain my bachelor’s degree through full-time enrollment, while being a full-time, working mother. I have already advanced in my career and will continue to do so. I feel that I can achieve any goal that I set for myself.
NECB: What’s next for you?
Desireé: Now that I have obtained my bachelor’s degree, I am more career focused. I have updated my resume and I am weighing my options for career advancement. I feel confident in my ability to appeal to many hiring organizations, including my current employer. Moving up the ladder within my career is now a major focus of mine.