How University of St. Thomas Made the Program Convenient for Full-Time Teachers
By Lindsey Brillantes
As a full-time working teacher, I was concerned about adding the University of St. Thomas master’s program to my already busy schedule. Fortunately, the university has created a great online program that makes completing the coursework easy and convenient. I could log on anywhere, anytime and complete my coursework. When I went on vacation for spring break or over Thanksgiving, I was still able to complete my assignments as needed. All the course content is housed in an online portal, and each course is broken into modules containing the PowerPoint presentations, handouts, lectures, and folders to submit work. When you are on the go, there is an app to use as well. I just plugged in my headphones on the go so I could maximize my time while waiting at the doctor’s office, etc. One of my favorite aspects of an online program is there is no paper to lose or worry about handing in. The digital format makes it easy to progress through the course all on your personal laptop. A typical study session could include listening to a lecture, researching in an online journal, typing a paper, and submitting your work—all at your own pace at home.
In addition, the online portal made it very easy for me to log on to the website at the beginning of the semester and see all the assignments and the due dates. This enabled me to plan my entire semester schedule and work ahead on assignments as needed. This is essential for busy professionals. I also was able to go back to lectures and handouts repeatedly to master the content before the test or final project. Some professors also provided additional vocabulary handouts or graphic organizers to utilize as we progressed through the program. The notes and handouts are available to save on your desktop, email to yourself, or print. Before I took the certification test at the conclusion of the program, I went back to many of the notes I had saved on my desktop.
Another great feature of the online program is you take the classes with the same cohort of people each semester. The university has made it easy to connect with others in your class. Within the online portal, there is a tab where you can email your professor or others in the class. When we were working on projects, I could easily select the names of people in my group and communicate with them on our progress.
Finally, the digital format allows you to save your work for your educational portfolio that you complete at the end of the program. The final project, or “thesis” of the program, was an educational portfolio website. This was very easy to complete because all the assignments had already been put into an online format. Several projects, such as brochures, were also useful during my current teaching job, and I was able to email them to administrators. Overall, the University of St. Thomas online program made learning convenient and easy for working professionals like myself.