Being part of UNKs Masters in History program has been truly life changing. The program was flexible and challenging so much so I was able to write a thesis- a life long goal of mine. All of the courses I took had an immediate impact and have made me a better teacher. Most importantly, I feel that I have a new family in Nebraska because of the friendships developed in the program with my professors and classmates.
People go to graduate school for various reasons, but my goal was clear from the start. I wanted to teach in the community college system here in West Virginia. This was part of a career change for me, so like any career change it was a gamble.
The program at UNK was varied enough to be able to meet the teaching needs at my institution. I am now adjunct faculty in the Department of History at West Virginia University at Parkersburg in my second year teaching for them. I teach survey courses as well as upper division, and have taught both in the classroom and online.
My experience at UNK was at all times positive, but never easy. This challenged me to become a better student, but also the online environment modeled exercises that I use in my own classroom today to challenge my own students. The best part of UNK is that professors are friendly and helpful, but also well versed in their own areas of research. The courses are diverse and interesting focusing on the current schools of thought and research, which keeps them relevant. Additionally, students are encouraged to attend conferences to present their own research and fully supported while doing so.
Although there is an online university in my home state to which I could have gone, UNK was by far the better value. However, it was not just the money that attracted me. They were able to explain to me how their program would fit my needs and what I could expect to gain from their program. The other schools I contacted were not able to articulate this well enough to convince me to attend there, so UNK became my top choice. It was absolutely the right decision for me.