You are a distance education student. Tell me about that experience.

It’s really interesting being a distance education student. There are a lot of group projects, so I get to interact with other students.

Distance education has come a long way over the last few years. I would definitely encourage other students to participate in distance education. You can take one class at a time, which I can fit in with my career. It’s hard to take multiple classes while traveling for work.

Please give me your perspective on the communication between students and professors, especially as a distance education student.

The professors have been very available for help. You can always e-mail and call and they will get back to you. That is really nice because I am sure they have a lot of students.

We have the Centra meetings and they are recorded. Centra is a web conferencing program that provides a virtual classroom using live and recorded sessions. It enables faculty and students to attend class "live" from anywhere they have access to an Internet connection. So, if you do have to miss class because of work, you can still go back and view the whole class and listen to the questions other people asked. We can also use chat and discussion groups. They are not so much real-time, but if you post a question, the professor will answer it. There are not a lot of gaps in the communication.

How has being a Pirate changed you?

With having a teenager, it has made her more interested into going to college one day. That makes me very happy.

I also like the school pride here at ECU. I live four hours away, and I still see the ECU spirit there. I think it’s funny that as a distance-education student to even feel that school pride, but I do.

How do you feel that ECU prepares students for their careers?

Well, I am in a little different situation because I have been in my field for 15 years, but I do feel that the classes offered here at ECU are what the students need. For instance, I am in a project management class now, and that is always relevant. In fact, more companies need project management.

It is also important to continue your education to keep up with the trends that take place in the workforce. A lot of times, people might use buzz words when you are in meetings, but it is important to have the knowledge to go along with that. People might also know about a certain workplace practice but might not be trained specifically for that task. So, the knowledge I have gained through ECU helps and cuts out a lot of training time.

What is something about ECU that you wish everyone could experience?

The opportunity to be proud of yourself. Also, the students here are really good about helping each other, and I like that. There is definitely a sense of community, and even though I am not in Greenville, I still feel that. The Pirate community extends beyond the physical campus.