Name: Ken Marten
Graduation Year: 2014
Program: Master of Public Administration degree
Location(s): Dearborn, MI, East Lansing, MI, & Southfield, MI
Why did you choose Central Michigan University's Global Campus and your specific program of study?
Public administration has been a career interest of mine since my days as a journalist covering local public affairs. Choosing CMU's Global Campus was a logical choice because of the way the courses were scheduled – Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and afternoons. I was able to work during the weekdays and devote weekends to the classroom. Studying aside, the Global Campus schedule allowed for minimal intrusion into my personal and professional life.
Please describe your overall experience at CMU's Global Campus.
I had an extremely positive learning experience. Most professors were accessible and knowledgeable.
Most assignments were educational and enlightening.
My most profound experience involved the study abroad program. I spent a week in Rome, taking part in a United Nations simulation course run in partnership with CMU and the University of Rome.
What CMU resources did you find helpful?
My advisor was accessible and provided insight when needed. The center staff was always friendly and helpful. Global Campus Library Services was crucial to my research, providing me with otherwise inaccessible scholarly journal articles and a few books, the latter of which were mailed to my house at no cost to me.
How do you expect your CMU degree to help you achieve your career goals?
My MPA degree will help me advance my career within my chosen arena of local government. In fact, less than a year after graduation, it has helped already. I landed a local government position with a suburban Detroit community eight months after earning my degree.
What advice would you give to other working professionals interested in completing a degree or certificate program with CMU's Global Campus?
Going back to school may not seem possible with an already hectic calendar, but the weekend classes enable students to fit higher learning into their schedule. Also, some classes can be taken online.
What were some perceptions about going back to school that you were wrong about?
I'm in my late 40s, and I thought I'd be the awkward dinosaur of the classroom. I wasn't. There were plenty of colleagues my age or older, all pursuing the same goals. It allowed for a great chemistry that added to many classes' overall enjoyment.
Frankly, grad school wasn't as difficult as I originally thought it'd be. I think this is partly because older students are more mature and more serious about their goals. They may draw on their collegial and professional experience, making tests and papers less daunting. Moreover, CMU's professors routinely encouraged and valued their students' efforts at relating their experiences to assignments and classroom discussions.
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