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Learning Center Experience
By Dr. Laura Hilkemann, School of Education
name is Dr. Laura Hilkemann. I currently teach online higher education courses in Kaplan University’s graduate psychology
department, and I love my job!
workplace is an office in my home, and I begin my day answering students’
emails and encouraging thoughtful discussions in the online classroom. I then
grade everything submitted since the previous day, praising the excellent components
and offering ideas on how to further improve. Some days I have online meetings
with other faculty and staff members, and occasionally I have phone calls with
favorite task is designing curriculum and seminars, because this is my
opportunity to think creatively about ways to meaningfully engage students so
that our time together is both productive and fun. During the evening seminars,
what I enjoy most is having intellectual discussions with my graduate students.
They come from a variety of backgrounds and contribute significantly to the
overall learning experience.
are not the only ones who take advantage of the flexibility inherent in online
education. During the day, I can often be found reading to my 3-old-daughter
and volunteering. Recently, a student told me that she wrote her paper while
her little girl sat on her lap. I replied that I graded her
paper while my little girl sat on mine!
My job is incredibly rewarding. It makes me
happy to have even a small part in helping others achieve their dreams. There
is the misperception that teaching online does not allow one to really know the
students and positively impact their lives. However, my students have taught me
otherwise, and I love hearing from them. For example, one of my students wrote,
“I will not forget what you have
contributed to my confidence that I might be a good psychologist after all,”
and another wrote “I now instruct a
course . . .I have you to thank for that!” In summary, I am fortunate
enough to have the opportunity to teach with flexibility in the field I find
most fascinating, and to know that my students are one step closer to achieving
their educational goals.
Take a look at our “What I Actually Do: Educator” video to
learn how much more there is to the work that educators do than you might
Dr. Laura Hilkemann is a faculty member at Kaplan
University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author
and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.
is important to note that, while earning a master’s degree in psychology may
qualify you to work in the helping professions, a doctorate degree is required
to become a psychologist and a medical degree is required to become a psychiatrist.
Licensure exams may also be required. Students
should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek
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