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Back to School While Working for One

Finding Distance Doctoral Programs

Lori Berquam wanted to find a Ph.D. program that would allow her to be a scholarly practitioner and continue working while earning her degree. When she began to research her options to earn her doctorate at a distance, Lori found that there were few offered, especially from a well-known institution like Colorado State University. After finding the College and University Leadership Ph.D. program at CSU, she began to learn more about the "fantastic program" offered at a distance.

Lori, the Dean of Students for University of Wisconsin – Madison, is now completing her first complete year in the distance Ph.D. program in College and University Leadership (CUL).  When asked what she values most in the program, Lori identified the:

  • Comprehensive curriculum
  • Insight, wisdom, and support from faculty
  • Direct applicability to her job
  • Ability to have contact with other higher education professionals across the United States from different institutions, both public and private

Finding Flexibility & Connection

Lori appreciates that she can have a face-to-face connection with the other students in her cohort for a few days each year during the on-campus portion of her program and then return home to complete the majority of her course work. The program allows students to bring their experiences as higher education professionals to the table for everyone to learn from.

In addition to the personal connections she has made with other leaders in higher education, Lori has found the program to be "an opportunity for practitioners to participate while being scholars." She enjoys the flexibility of doing the course work from home, where she can engage in her courses while she�s sitting at her home desk or eating dinner. Like many other working professionals, Lori needs a flexible distance degree format that allows her to earn a degree while maintaining a busy and active career.

Advice from a Current Student

Lori's extensive knowledge of the education industry and her own personal experience with distance learning has helped her develop tips for other current distance students or individuals interested in distance learning:

  1. Keep up with the reading – it is interesting, appealing, and applicable. She also suggested getting a portable, electronic book reader.
  2. Persevere – just keep up your hard work!
  3. Apply what you learn to your job. For projects, find something that can be mutually beneficial for work and school.

Lori believes that this degree program has made her a better administrator and a better person. Even with her busy schedule, she has found that the hard work and time she dedicates to the program is well worth the short-term and the long-term benefits.

The Division of Continuing Education at Colorado State University develops and delivers graduate and undergraduate degrees; professional development training; certificate programs; online credit and noncredit courses; and industry specific training in Loveland, Brighton, Denver, and wherever students are located through online and distance delivery modes.

For more information, visit http://www.learn.colostate.edu/ degrees or call (970) 491-5288 or (877) 491-4336.


Colorado State University

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