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NC State Distance Education Master of Animal Science: A Student’s Perspective

Jennifer Cole is a recent graduate from the NC State Distance Education Master of Animal Science program. She recently gave us some insight into the student’s perspective on the benefits of NC State’s online programs. Read on to learn more about Jennifer’s experience.

What inspired you to pursue a graduate degree in Animal Science?
Being in a leadership position — I teach Equine Studies at Central Wyoming College — I felt that it was important to have a master’s degree to enhance my knowledge as well as the transferability of the courses I teach. A graduate degree in Animal Science was a logical choice as it builds upon the knowledge that I gained through my Associate of Equine Science from Central Wyoming College and my Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Science from the University of Wyoming.

Additionally, Central Wyoming College will be offering an animal science program in the very near future and my graduate degree from NC State makes me qualified to help with this project.

Where did you live while you completed your NC State studies? If different than where you are now, where are you currently located?
I live in Riverton, Wyoming. I never had to leave home to pursue my graduate education.

Has your NC State degree helped you to find a new job or enhance your current position?
I have been employed by Central Wyoming College since 2008. I started out teaching only two classes (Equine Nutrition and Horse Production) as an adjunct instructor, then in the fall of 2009 I became a half-time instructor. In spring 2015, I had only one semester left of my graduate studies and became a full-time instructor! I am now Head of the Equine Department, which I believe was made possible because of my experience and my studies.

Did you consider other programs before choosing NC State’s? Why did you choose NC State’s program?
I considered several other programs but was disappointed with their offerings and lack of an entire degree program online. I chose NC State because I could complete my degree in a timely manner, 100% online. I also was very excited about the high caliber of the educational experience offered and the fact that classes were conveniently offered during the summer.

How often did you interact with professors and fellow students throughout your studies? How did you do so?
The professors were fantastic! I interacted with them mostly through email and I did so often. Interestingly, I felt that I really got to know them and I appreciated their timely responses.  I mainly interacted with fellow students on course discussion forums and sometimes by email.

I thought the online format for the courses was perfect, as I was able to concentrate on my studies without all the distractions provided by the environment of a face-to-face classroom situation, but still was able to participate in the social and collaborative aspects of education through discussion.

What did you find surprising about the NC State program?
I was amazed at how engaging classes can be built entirely online! I was surprised at how there were quizzes embedded in the lecture videos. This was helpful as you could not progress with the lecture if you didn’t understand the concepts that had already been presented, which ensured full material comprehension. I thought this was a great teaching strategy — especially where I struggle with math! Overall, the online delivery of the courses was excellent.

What advice do you have that you think prospective students would find helpful?
Read and live by your syllabus! Log into your classes everyday. Don’t procrastinate! Schedule regular time each week to “go to school” at your computer desk. You must be very disciplined and focused to be successful in the online classroom. Communicate with your professors. They truly do want to support your learning!

The post NC State Distance Education Master of Animal Science: A Student’s Perspective appeared first on Animal Science Online.