Gerod Washington—Human Services Graduate Working in Resident Childcare Shares His Online Learning Experience at Kaplan University
Gerod Washington enjoys his job as a resident childcare assistant for a local children’s home, and he has been there for nearly 10 years. He is responsible for covering treatment plans with residents, completing paperwork, arranging medical needs, addressing behavior issues, and de-escalating situations.
However, Gerod couldn’t progress in his career unless he had a college degree. With a new wife and four children to support, he wanted to build on his experience and increase his opportunities for advancement, and also to serve as a good role model for his family.
Gerod was nervous about the prospect of going back to school after so many years, but his wife and children were his biggest cheerleaders and he caught on quickly. “I was worried about the logistics of taking online classes. Would I be able to figure out how to log in? Would I get to the classes on time? It felt like a foreign world,” Gerod said. His other fear was if the classes would be challenging for someone like himself, who has been in the industry for a long time. His concerns were quickly put to rest.
“Sooner than I thought, I got the hang of going to school online. I had a few glitches in the beginning, but once I got comfortable and settled into a routine, everything then went smoothly.” Gerod found the bachelor’s degree in human services curriculum to be very stimulating and particularly enjoyed the live seminars. “I didn’t know what I didn’t know! I put my newfound knowledge to use at my job from day one. I especially enjoyed working on the papers. I was really motivated to do the work and to get good grades.”
“Each professor was so unique,” Gerod added. “In my previous college experience, I never spoke up. At Kaplan University, I never felt like anyone was judging me. I felt comfortable asking questions online, and I was able to take the time to write down my questions and think them through. I felt like I really had a voice.”
Gerod also felt like he was able to get to know his Kaplan University professors and found it easy to connect with them. “My instructors were always available and quickly responded with thoughtful, thorough answers and suggestions.” Gerod liked their creativity and the fact that they worked in the real world. “They talked about their own experiences to keep the class interesting and engaging. Textbooks sure can’t do that!”
Gerod was surprised at how much he enjoyed the interactivity of the online classroom. “It was great networking, and I enjoyed learning about my classmates’ experiences. I wasn’t afraid to speak up and talk about my experiences either. I loved the informal conversations we had in the chat rooms before the professor started class.”
As a result of recently earning his degree, Gerod feels much more confident that he will be able to progress in his career in human services. “Kaplan University helped me to improve what I am doing and extend my knowledge about different areas in the field. Now I have the ability to be in the administrative area in the future!”