I have something to share. Something I wasn’t going to talk about beyond just a handful of people I felt needed to know, but a conversation convinced me that I needed to shout out my news. Here it goes: I started an executive Ed.D. program earlier this month and am part of a cohort that is paced for graduation in 2023.
It has been nearly 20 years since I’ve been in a classroom and, over the past month, I’ve really felt my age as I’ve had to navigate two decades of technology upgrades and classroom innovations. I was a fish out of water 27 years ago when I started my undergraduate degree and had to figure out the registration process, time management and basic how-to-go information. And here I am, nearly three decades later, with a whole bunch of gray hair and that same feeling.
But here’s why I’m sharing this news—one of my colleagues mentioned they weren’t telling others because they worried they weren’t going to stick with the program. I wondered if I wasn’t telling people because I, too, was afraid I wasn’t cut out for my classes or if my silence was because I was ashamed I hadn’t yet earned a terminal degree. I realized it was a bit of both and I shouldn’t be ashamed of either.
I’m not ashamed to say I worked and went to school full time while I pursued my undergraduate degree. I’m thankful for the tuition remission credits I used when I was employed by the University of Colorado to earn my master’s degree. And I am proud to lead TVP Communications as I work toward my doctorate. I’ve fought for my degrees and am banking on my scrappiness to get me through to my next degree.
All of this means that my future writings are going to have a mix of perspectives intertwined: higher education communications professional, parent of an undergraduate student and current student in a program focused on higher education. I know this will make me better in each role and each perspective is worth sharing. No, all three are worthy of being shouted.
I’d love to hear from anyone else who has news to share or is also finding their footing in the classroom after a long break. We can do this! And—as importantly—we can do this together.