Lisa Barron graduated from Champlain College Online in 2019 with her bachelor's degree in business management and master's degree in human relations & organization development.
Why did you decide to pursue your degree, and ultimately what led you to choose Champlain College?
Right after I graduated from high school, I went to college at The University of Vermont (UVM) and ended up dropping out in the first semester. I went into the workforce after that but became sick of working dead-end jobs. Ultimately, I decided to go back to school for self-improvement and to start building a career for myself.
Champlain College is local to me - I recall being aware of it since I was in high school. I reviewed Champlain's course offerings and found a program I wanted to pursue and started in 2013. About a year into my program, I started working at UVM Home Health & Hospice, not knowing that my employer had a partnership with Champlain through their truED program.
So here I am, going to class, working at my new job as an HR Generalist, and someone from HR (and a fellow classmate) says to me, "Isn't that truED program helpful?" I had no idea what she was talking about. She was shocked that I was paying full price when I could be saving so much money through the truED alliance.
She signed me up for the program and I ended up saving so much money that I decided it would be great to pursue my master's degree after I got my bachelor's. Paying each month was completely affordable - I wouldn't change a thing. I'm still paying off the loans I signed for before I joined the truED program, but they are minimal. I'm never going to regret going back to college and expanding my learning and my horizon.
Tell us about your experience with your advisor, instructors, and/or classmates.
My experience was wonderful! My instructors and advisor were all supportive, helpful, and also tough. I enjoyed meeting people from all over the country and some from other countries. There were many opinions and ideas put forth in our discussions that would not have occurred to me otherwise and I appreciated the new thoughts I was exposed to, both from the instructors and my classmates.
What, if any, immediate impact have your courses had on your professional work? For instance, have you applied any of your learning to daily activities, projects, etc?
My master's gave me the background and courage to join UVM's Diversity Committee, interact with the leadership team, and take on more responsibilities. I now manage one person and am (hopefully) on my way to moving up a level, to HR Business Partner. I also used my learnings to participate in our OD plans and transitioning our HRIS.
What impact do you see these degrees having on your long-term career path?
A huge impact! I didn't even have a degree before I started at Champlain and in less than six years I have a bachelor's and a master's degree. This looks great on my resume and helps me immensely. My communication, both verbally and written, has improved to a level where I feel comfortable conversing, participating in a meeting, writing a memo or email, or summarizing a project and know that it's as good or better than anything else someone could have done.
What, in your opinion, makes Champlain unique?
Champlain has fully embraced online learning and it's really working. I feel that me and my classmates built a little community, learning together and helping each other. There are a lot of colleges that try to do the same thing but they can't quite get there. Champlain is a real success!
What advice would you give to someone considering going back to school at Champlain?
Do it! How can anyone regret going back to school? With the truEd program especially, it's a chance to increase your opportunities and learn something new.
Are you curious about Champlain’s truED program? Our online college degrees are designed in partnership with workforce development professionals and talent and recruitment experts, with a laser focus on skills gaps, workforce trends, and market demand. truED offers affordable, career-focused learning that enables employees to flourish and organizations to grow. truED students can earn an accredited college degree from a nonprofit college committed to helping them achieve their career goals quickly. Expect more, pay less with truED and Champlain College Online. Learn more.
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