Sgt. First Class Jason Davidson is in charge of the day-to-day operations and training of nearly 40 paratroopers at Fort Bragg. Before joining the Army and becoming a platoon sergeant, Davidson was a student at NC State.
During his time at NC State, Davidson was in the process of earning a degree in computer engineering. But life led Davidson on a different path, a path of service.
“One of my biggest regrets was not finishing my education, so a few years ago my wife encouraged me to look into returning to college to complete my education,” Davidson said.
Working full-time for the U.S. Army, Davidson needed a degree program that would allow him the flexibility to continue working full-time. He also wanted his degree to come from a world-class institution.
“I began searching NC State’s DELTA website to see what was offered in terms of online courses, and to my surprise, I found that not only did NC State offer an online [undergraduate] degree program, but it aligned with the work I was doing in the Army,” Davidson said.
He enrolled in the Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS) Bachelor’s Degree completion program in 2013. The LPS program was specifically designed to provide military and non-traditional students with the skills to be effective leaders at the local, state and federal level as well as non-profit organizations.
Soon after enrolling, Davidson found himself in Kosovo for a peacekeeping mission. Davidson said the flexibility provided by NC State Online and Distance Education courses allowed him to complete his first two courses while on his mission.
“Online courses are challenging in the sense that you really have to manage your time and maintain focus throughout the semester. Paying attention to deadlines, thoroughly understanding the syllabus, and maintaining contact with your professors is critical to be successful,” Davidson said.
In order to complete his degree, Davidson has taken about two classes a semester, one of those classes, LPS 302, Diversity and Leadership in the Public Sector, was taught by Dr. Amanda Edwards. Davidson said that class, as well as his Introduction to Shakespeare class taught by Dr. William Shaw stood out to him due to the quality of the material and the professors who taught them.
“Dr. Shaw and Dr. Edwards both have an uncanny ability to engage students and are passionate about the material they teach which makes the learning experience all the more memorable. In general, I think the same could be said for most of the courses I have taken, our professors at NC State are really some of the best in the world,” Davidson said.
Davidson aspires to transition out of active duty one day.
“Ultimately, I would like to work as a lawyer in the non-profit sector, focusing on civil rights,” Davidson said.
“It has been a rewarding journey and I am so thankful that NC State provided me the opportunity to finish my degree while maintaining my career,” Davidson said. Both the financial aid and academic advisors have gone out of their way to make sure I stayed on track and was able to pay for my degree.”
Davidson will graduate in December 2016 with honors.
“I was skeptical that an online program would provide me with the caliber of education I desired, but NC State and DELTA have gone to great lengths to ensure that DE (Online and Distance Education) students receive the same quality of education and opportunities as traditional students,” Davidson added.