The online Family and Community Services Program is teaching me to observe, evaluate, and assist families using a strengths-based approach. In my previous role as alumni advisor, one of my responsibilities was speaking with parents from various backgrounds to prepare them for their scholar's graduation and matriculation. Using what I learned in Resilience in Families and Family Resource Management I was able to highlight families' assets and internal resources to help them help their scholar succeed, in addition to providing them with new information and external resources. All of my courses have contributed in some way to how I now approach my work and interact with those close to me. I am a better employee, sister, daughter, friend, and mentor because of the online Family and Community Services program!
As a full-time high school Ag teacher, FFA Advisor, and two-sport coach, I excelled in the flexibility and structure of the Great Plains IDEA program. This program has allowed me to balance my school workload with my profession and responsibilities at the school. I have also benefited from the ability to apply what I am learning to my classroom and have shared my teaching experiences with classmates to create an integrated, immersive learning experience for others and myself.
Having an integrated financial strategy for families has become increasingly important for families to stabilize their finances, especially during the pandemic. Acquiring professional knowledge on how to well manage family wealth has motivated me to pursue a master’s degree program in family financial planning and become a professional financial planner. The Great Plains IDEA program offers me a great path to this academic field and to gain the skills to help people protect financial resources.
The Great Plains IDEA program has granted me opportunities through online learning that would never be possible in a traditional setting. As a military family, we are required to move frequently and sometimes unexpectedly. There were times when I lived in three different states in a matter of one year. The Great Plains IDEA program allows me to receive an outstanding education regardless of my home state. I have access to classes and universities throughout the United States to provide a comprehensive array of knowledge in my field. The Great Plains IDEA program has proven to be an excellent fit for myself and for my family.
The Great Plains IDEA Youth Development Program has offered me the opportunity to further my education while strengthening the program I work in. Working with older youth in foster care and homeless teens presents challenges in engagement and assisting them in success. I have learned useful and powerful strategies in working with older youth and highly recommend it for people pursuing work with these populations. The flexibility of online learning has allowed me to balance a full-time job, a family, and school. The diversity of my fellow students has expanded my understanding of youth services and how we intersect.
The flexibility and affordable tuition rates were what first enticed me to apply to the Great Plains IDEA Community Development program, but finding real solutions to the issues I’m passionate about is what has made this program so rewarding! In my opinion, the best aspect of this program is the diversity among students and faculty. My peers, who live all over the country and in various places around the globe, have challenged me to develop a broader and more diverse understanding of ‘community’ and how common problems affect each unique community. I’m not just learning how to address similar issues in similar locations but am learning to be creative and adapt development methods to create solutions based on each community’s unique culture and needs.
Coming from a culinary background, I was unsure of how to make a career for myself until I discovered the FCS Master’s program through GP IDEA. Now that I am a full-time Family and Consumer Science teacher at a local high school, I am still able to balance my school workload with my new professional career. They work hand in hand by combining lesson plans and learning theories. I love being able to apply my school work into my own classroom; it has developed into an amazing learning experience.
Getting a master's degree is an opportunity I never thought I would take part in since I lost 65% of my vision in the fall of 2017. I spent over 2 years in occupational therapy to ensure that I could continue working in the transit industry that I love. The chance to attend graduate school and work towards a degree is what I needed to begin feeling “alive” again.
Starting graduate school in the middle of the pandemic, with my husband having lost his employment due to the pandemic, and with the various health issues I have regarding my vision, I found the GP IDEA experience to be what I mentally needed to motivate me not only in my career but also in my personal life. It gave me a challenge and a purpose during the dark pandemic, and this type of motivation is what I needed to feel constructive again.
In addition to professional development and advancement, this program challenges and promotes my personal growth as I gain skills and understanding applicable to my own life and relationships. I look forward to using the lessons from each class in every segment of my life.
I needed something flexible that would allow me to "attend" classes in the middle of the night, on the weekends, while at home with my newborn son, or whenever I could spare a minute. The Great Plains IDEA program allowed me to do just that. I was able to continue my life while advancing my career. Even before I graduated I had job offers lined up that I had only dreamed about before pursuing my master's degree in gerontology.
The Great Plains IDEA community development program has helped me become a better leader as a park ranger for the National Park Service. The skills I have gained empower me to bring colleagues and community members together toward positive change.
Great Plains IDEA has contributed immensely to my academic success. Earning my bachelor’s degree spanned seven years due to medical setbacks, but my journey in graduate school stands in stark contrast. I maintained a 4.0 GPA because I was given the opportunity to succeed despite my health conditions. The online courses allowed me to learn in a more comfortable environment without the need for special accommodations in the classroom or navigation of a campus.
In addition to the flexible learning environment and knowledgeable faculty, another benefit that’s been a pleasant and unexpected surprise are the meaningful connections I have made with other students from all over the country. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn from their distinct experiences and individual perspectives related to development, but there are classmates that I now consider to be friends and have even had the privilege of meeting in person.
I've been fortunate enough to network with a diverse population of professionals with different backgrounds and learned about their roles within small and large organizations alike. This has expanded my understanding of other industries and helps me feel more confident as I move forward in my career.
The Great Plains IDEA program was a perfect fit for my schedule as it allowed me to work, travel, and learn on the go. The nature of the program fosters a flexible learning environment, and as a student, you have access to all the tools you need with any online portal. With multiple universities contributing to the course roster, there are numerous offerings that provide students with plenty of options to build their skillset.
I have loved every minute of this program! The teachers are wonderful, the coursework is challenging and engaging, and I have been able to do it while also working full time and taking care of my three children. During the day, I run a home daycare and I am able to use the techniques and ideas that I have learned in my classes to enhance the learning experience in my home. This degree program has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as an individual, as a mom, and as a teacher.