This section of my Online Portfolio will chronicle the courses I have taken, important work I have produced, and self reflections on my learning.

Spring 2002
     EAD 872-Legal Issues in Higher Education

In the spring of 2002, I took EAD 872,  my first course in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University as a sophomore undergraduate.  At the time, I was interested in pursuing law school and was becoming interested in issues of higher education.  The class was challenging as my classmates were more experienced, but I enjoyed and thrived in the class.  I realized I was capable of graduate level work and that my interests in higher education were stronger than I first realized.  For the rest of my undergraduate career, I worked as a student assistant at the Honors College and was highly involved in student recruitment.  While this class does not count towards my HALE MA program, it was a significant learning event in my life.  Unfortunately, I do not have any of my work from this class.

Spring 2007

     EAD 870-Foundations of Postsecondary Education

After graduation from Michigan State University in Spring 2004, I returned to MSU as the Admissions Counselor for the Honors College in Fall 2004.  After a few years of adjusting to the job, I decided I wanted to explore the Department of Educational Administration for a Masters Degree.  I was unsure of how I would balance work and school, how it would be to return to the classroom after a few years away, and which degree I wanted to pursue.  Bess German, my supervisor, was a HALE Ph.D. student and encouraged me to take a class to help answer my questions.  I chose EAD 870 taught by Dr. Reitu Mabokela and enrolled as a Lifelong Graduate student.  This was a wonderful choice as it provided me with a solid understanding of the history of higher education and many of the social, political and economic issues surrounding higher education.  I was particularly excited to write a research paper on the history of "honors" in higher education with a special focus on MSU. 

Spring 2008

     EAD 860-Concepts of a Learning Society

As Spring 2008 rolled around, I had decided to officially apply to the HALE Masters Program.  When it came time to select a class, I decided to take something outside my comfort zone.  I had never taken an online class and knew I should prepare myself as they would be an integral part of the HALE Masters Program.  I selected EAD 860 taught by Dr. Steve Weiland and enrolled as a Lifelong Graduate student.  This class was completely self-paced and had no student-to-student interaction.  It enabled me to work when I had time and at my own pace.  I greatly enjoyed this class and was challenged to think about issues of technology in higher education.  My final two reflection papers provide a good idea of my learning journey in this course.

Fall 2008

     EAD 868-Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education Pro-Seminar

In Fall 2008 I took my first course as an official HALE Masters student, EAD 868 with Dr. MaryLee Davis.  One of the greatest aspects of this class was learning from the students who make up my cohort of first year HALE Masters students.  They bring a diverse set of educational, professional and life experience to our conversations in class and online.  One of our first assignments was a Critical Book Review.  I focused on state-run merit-aid programs.  Next we had a group project focused on transformative intercultural experiences.  For that project, I wrote an article summary and collaborated with my group on our paper.  Finally, I wrote a research paper addressing university motivation in admission and scholarship decisions. 

Spring 2009
     EAD 801-Leadership & Organizational Development

Spring 2009 marked the first semester where I enrolled in two courses at the same time.  While this may not sound abnormal, it was a challenge that I had been very nervous about facing.  As a professional with a full-time job that often required more than forty hours a week, two classes at the same time seemed daunting.  Thankfully, I had supportive supervisors, coworkers, classmates, family and friends.  I found a way to balance multiple courses for Spring 2009, Summer 2009 and Fall 2009.  In EAD 801, I seriously encountered ideas on Organizational Leadership.  This allowed me to reflect on leaders I observed and worked with at Michigan State University as well as my own leadership experiences and goals.  A theme of my experience in the HALE MA program is my desire to explore the history and contemporary issues of MSU.  Therefore, I spent time researching John Hannah, famed president and MSU's experience with Proposal 2 of 2006.

        ED 800 - Concepts of Educational Inquiry

ED 800 is only the second required course of the HALE MA program.  This course served as an intensive exposure to research and inquiry.  Through the online format of this course, I encountered ideas of epistemology and methodology.  In this course, I was able to reflect on my personal pursuit of knowledge, which centered on questioning authority.   Additionally, I wrote an article critique, which has been another reoccurring feature of my coursework in the HALE MA program.  Finally, we were asked to complete an in-depth research project that demonstrated our knowledge of inquiry.  I focused on the motivations of people enrolling in graduate programs.

Summer 2009
     EAD 867 - Case Studies in Educational Leadership

EAD 867 allowed me to extend my study of leadership that had begun in Spring 2009 with EAD 801.  EAD 867 was an online course that called for extensive group collaboration.  The course consisted of three case studies.  We were assigned to work with a different set of classmates for each case study.  After each case study, we wrote an analysis as well as a learning reflection.  I am including one of each.  Finally, the course concluded with an educational leadership philosophy.  This was an excellent exercise as I was able to reflect on the progression of my understanding of leadership from the previous semester and EAD 801. 

     EAD 991b - Comparative Higher Education

EAD 991b was a unique educational experience in a number of ways.  First, this course met from 9am to 5pm for five days in a row.  Second, the only product for the course was a lengthy research project on a topic of my choosing due a month after the class met.  I greatly appreciated learning about comparative higher education but the long days were a challenge.  I chose to explore the funding and tuition issues of higher education in the United Kingdom and the United States.  While it may not have been the goal of the course, I appreciated learning about comparative higher education because it helped me better understand the American higher education system. 

Fall 2009
     EAD 805 - Administration of Higher Education

This was the first fall semester where I took two courses at once.  Again, this may not seem like a significant issue for most graduate students, but for me, it represented a major challenge.  In the fall, I travel for my job most of September and October, mainly out-of-state.  To balance this course in person, as well as EAD 861 online, was a struggle.  I often left EAD 805 after class, around 7pm, and drove to my recruiting destination for the week: Ohio, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania.  One project from this class that I am particularly proud of, is my Organizational Problem Analysis.  I looked at the issue of the recruitment, admission, and scholarship awarding of out-of-state students at a public university, utilizing two of Bolman and Deal's frames.  This course also included significant group work including a paper and class presentation.  The group work was a challenge which proved rewarding and successful in analyzing the organizational structure of a university department. 

     EAD 861 - Adult Learning

When I first saw the syllabus for this class, I became extremely nervous.  It featured extensive online group collaboration, requiring frequent posting and strong commitment to group members.  In the end, this course represented the best group work I have ever done.  My group included three other people from diverse backgrounds.  What made us successful was that each member took responsibility for their own part and respected all other members by not missing deadlines.  Additionally, one of our members set up an online workspace that proved to be very helpful.  A remarkable display of teamwork was shown when the mother of one of our group members died.  The team pulled together to complete the project and let the group member be with her family for the week.  Our final group paper is a good example of the work we did together.  I also completed a take-home final exam that covered most of my learning in the class, of which I am very proud.  The subject matter of the course was particularly interesting to me as a means to better understand myself as an adult learner.  At the beginning of this MA program, I might not have considered myself an adult learner.  I certainly do now!

Spring 2010
     EAD 882 - College Student Cultures

I am currently enrolled in this class.  As it is the last class in my MA program, I was motivated to take a class from a professor I had not studied with before.  Taking this class with Kris Renn has been a great experience.  This is another class where Student Affairs MA students outnumber the HALE MA students in the course.  I have greatly enjoyed taking multiple classes with the Student Affairs students.  They bring strong real life experience to the classroom.  So far, I have completed a book review and analysis of Rebekah Nathan's My Freshman Year.  Learning about students cultures is extremely useful for my interactions with Honors College students.