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      Living and working more than an hour away from any university kept earning a

graduate degree on the list of those things that “might have been nice to accomplish.”

After having a conversation with colleagues who were graduate students working

toward their principalship certification and completing some of their coursework online, I

began exploring the possibility of enrolling in graduate school myself. I discovered that

the Instructional Technology master’s degree program at University of Houston – Clear

Lake (UHCL) provided an opportunity to complete the entire degree online. With that, I

made up my mind that I would work toward this degree.

      One of the very positive aspects of the program at UHCL is that attending class

was as easy as logging on to a computer. The fact that all of the coursework was online

made it possible for me to work and travel during the semester without being “absent”

from class. Not being locked into a set class schedule allowed me to work around my

family’s daily routine. I simply logged on to retrieve or submit assignments whenever

and wherever it fit my schedule.

      A second aspect which I very much appreciate is the opportunity to choose the

way in which I would complete the degree. My strong suit is not writing and I would not

have chosen to enter the master’s degree program if submitting a thesis had been the

only option for completion. The practical experience of an internship was much more


      The only negative experience I can recall is the difficulty I had, at times,

understanding exactly what the expectations were from certain professors. The fact

that students are, for the most part, relying with written words on a page to provide them
with all of the guidelines and expectations for any given assignment, makes it difficult to

be sure that one is performing at the desired level.

       As an intern, I was given the opportunity to work side by side with individuals who

are usually my supervisors. As a building Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS) my

communication with them is typically limited to weekly email messages and monthly

meetings. During this experience, I gained insight into how the Educational Technology

Department functions at the district level. This experience has greatly affected how I

plan to work with my staff during the upcoming school year. I have a better

understanding of what is truly meant by “seamless technology integration across


       Because of the relationships that I built during my internship, I have been invited

to assist in writing upcoming trainings, have been consulted on new assessment tools

for use with district middle schools in the area of technology integration, and will be

training teachers who have been hired to begin working in the district. I am sure there

are more doors waiting to open for me as my campus has been chosen to pilot a Gifted

and Talented Academy for middle school students. All of these opportunities for

professional growth have been made possible as a result of the education and

experience I was given through the Instructional Technology master’s degree program

at UHCL.

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