Victoria P. Deaton was working full time at Durham Technical Community College when she enrolled in the online Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS) program to fulfill an educational requirement for her job. She was surprised she acquired knowledge on day one of her coursework as an NC State Online and Distance Education (ODE) student that had an immediate positive impact on her career.
“I was interested in an online option, and I was pleased that the LPS degree fit perfectly with my career goals. It was an optimal combination for me which enabled me to handle a work and travel schedule. Those were the pragmatic reasons. Within the first few weeks of my first semester, I knew I was in a program that was going to have a major impact in my life — beyond just the educational attainment I needed for my job,” explains Deaton.
She states her degree is the reason she advanced from her role as a paralegal/program specialist in the Durham Technical Community College’s Office of Equity and Inclusion to her new position as an equity compliance officer/title IX coordinator which bears significant responsibility and requires leadership skills that Deaton says she acquired as an LPS student.
Deaton’s supervisor, Angela D. Davis, vice president, chief talent and equity officer, recognized the transformative effects of her LPS studies and was tremendously supportive of her in her educational journey. Her family was supportive during her educational pursuit. However, even with all this reassurance, she feels that she would not have reached her goals without the option to be an ODE student.
“I was able to balance work and family while carving out time to concentrate on my studies. It takes a lot of discipline, and there were a lot of long nights. But each professor has a very clear syllabus and schedule, so there are no surprises which makes it easy to plan ahead. Once I got into a rhythm, I really found my groove. I looked forward to the ‘me time’ of diving into my reading and coursework. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also immensely enjoyable to do a deep dive into fascinating material,” says Deaton.
She highly recommends the NC State Online program because of the flexibility and easy access to various formats of course content. Deaton always felt like she was “part of the Wolfpack” and enjoyed access to NC State’s Libraries’ electronic resources along with the online tools that allowed her to revisit any material for which she needed clarification. And, she felt the faculty members helped her to grow as a person and as a professional.
“I’d like to acknowledge my Program Advisor LaShica Davis Waters, Ph.D. Her professionalism, know-how and kindness pulled me across the finish line! Her support enabled me to get back into the swing of things after a health crisis. In addition, Assistant Teaching Professor Daniel Bolger made an enormous impact on me. Under his guidance, I became a much better researcher and writer and his classes ignited a keen interest in history. Because of Dan and Professor Nancy Mitchell‘s classes, I’ve started devouring Cold War history books as fast as I could find them. Lecturer Sherry DeLeon, Internship Director Tracy Appling and Teaching Assistant Professor Amanda Edwards were also supportive and responsive. They seemed to really understand the dynamic of the material being immediately applicable in my current career,” acknowledges Deaton.
She plans to attend the in-person commencement ceremony but claims that this is a milestone, not an ending. Because of her impactful experience at NC State, she’s determined to continue her educational growth by becoming a graduate student.
This post was originally published in DELTA News.