Bethany Myers

bethany-myers

Managing your time like it is a budget – you have to stick to it.

School

Capella University

Degree

Master of Business Administration in Human Resources Management, American Continental University (2007), Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Washington State University (2003)

Discipline

PhD in Organizational Management

Specialization

Human Resources Management

Institution

Why did you decide to attend Capella University to get your doctorate degree in Organizational Management?

I chose Capella University’s PhD program in organizational management over other online programs because this program had more of what I needed to learn in order to move into a human resources executive role. My specific organizational management program offers specialization in HR. It will teach me exactly what I need to become a subject matter expert in those areas.

What are your school’s biggest strengths?

One of Capella’s major strengths is the quality of instruction. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and they really care about your learning. One thing I have noticed about each of my professors is that they are always willing to help me whenever there is something I need to work on.

Another thing I like about Capella is that they charge tuition by the semester, not by the credit or class. That means you can take as many or as few credits as you are comfortable with and your tuition isn’t affected. It is a good option for people like me who are working while they get their degree.

Do you view Capella University as a community?

I feel like we are not just a community, but a family. I have met some of my classmates in the colloquiums that I have attended and we are all very close. We still keep in touch and we encourage each other. It is definitely a familial environment, which is different from even a traditional school.

Cost

How are you paying for college?

I am paying my PhD program by taking out federal student loans through the government. Other than tuition, the only initial cost imposed on me by the university was the registration fee. My financial aid comes with a book allowance, so I didn’t have to pay for books either. I also decided to purchase a new laptop because I only had a desktop at the time and I wanted to be able to do my work wherever I was.

How helpful was your school in assisting your financial aid process?

I didn’t ask anyone at Capella for help with financial aid since I went through the government. But whenever I have had to contact the school about anything, they have been very helpful. I am sure if I had asked, they would have pointed me toward some resources.

Do you feel like your overall cost of education is more or less than the cost of a degree at a traditional institution?

I don’t know which option would be less expensive because I only looked at online graduate schools. I didn’t compare the cost to a traditional university because it wasn’t an option for me since I have kids and I still work full time.

Admissions Requirements

Can you describe the admissions process from start to finish?

The admissions process for my PhD program in organizational management was relatively easy to go through. After I researched the school, I submitted an inquiry request. In doing so, I spoke with an admissions representative and they told me what I needed to do in order to apply. I then submitted my undergraduate and graduate school transcripts, and I had to pay a registration fee.

There were a few prerequisites to be a part of this program, too. Capella’s administration wanted to make sure that whoever applied to their program would be capable of handling it, so you had to have an MBA and a GPA above 3.0 in order to apply.

How many letters of recommendation did you submit in your application?

Capella asked for 3 letters of recommendation. I asked 1 of my mentors in my undergraduate program to write a letter for me since she knew my character and my strengths. I also had 2 of my previous supervisors write letters for me.

During the admissions process, did you interact with an admissions advisor?

Yes, I talked with admissions representatives on a regular basis, and they were very helpful to me. Their role was to provide clarification for any questions that I had about the program, including coursework and financial aid inquiries. After talking with them, I felt confident about Capella and its ability to teach me once I enrolled.

Classroom Experience

How is class material presented?

In my PhD program in organizational management, we are usually assigned reading and then we post our responses to the material on discussion boards. When we log in to the discussion board, we can see the discussion topic for the week. I post my thoughts and so do my classmates, and then everyone responds to each other. There is a system that shows how frequently each student logs in, how many posts we have done, and how often we have responded to our classmates to show how engaged we are with the class.

My courses do not require me to be online at a specific time. Once a class starts, I can view the required coursework for the entire quarter, so I know what work I have to do and when my papers will be due. I just have to turn in my assignments by 11:00 p.m. on certain days in order to make the deadline.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of this style of presentation?

The way class is presented means I don’t have to log on at any specific time, so I appreciate that I am still able to have a full-time job and spend time with my children. It is very convenient to be able to work school around my life versus having to work my life around someone else’s schedule.

Are you able to stay engaged in your online coursework?

I do stay engaged. I have noticed that the further I get into my program, the more engaged the students and professors are with each other. In the discussion boards, your classmates and teachers critically question your writing, so you are constantly thinking about what you are doing.

Do your professors encourage class participation?

Participation is part of our grade. Our professors look at the class discussion boards to see how frequently we log in and participate in discussions. And of course they track our assignments as we turn them in.

What method of communication do you use to keep in touch with your professors?

We primarily use e-mail to communicate with our professors. On the first day of class, our professors let us know when they will be available for office hours and what days they will be participating in the discussion board. If there is a critical announcement, our professor sends out an e-mail and the announcement pops up once you log in to the discussion system.

Professors also give us their cell phone numbers and their e-mail, so that we always have a way to get a hold of them if we need something. Once we had a conference call with 1 of my professors where she attended to our questions or concerns and clarified our assignments and the class structure. It was really helpful. But for the most part, all interaction is online.

Even so, I feel like I get to know my professors fairly well because in the beginning we all had an introduction to let everyone know who we were and what we expect out of the program. We maintain an active dialogue.

Can you rate the faculty on a scale of Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, Extremely Poor, in terms of:

Criteria Rating Reasons
Overall  Excellent  
Qualifications Excellent The professors have all completed a PhD program. Some have gone through online schools and some have gone through traditional brick-and-mortar schools.

 

Knowledgeable Excellent  
Lectures 1) Content: Not applicable

2) Clarity: Not applicable

Lectures were not part of this curriculum.
Assignments 1)Relevance: Excellent

2)Reasonable: Excellent

3)Clarity: Good

4)Assistance Provided: Excellent

5)Feedback Given: Excellent

Assignments are intense. You are challenged to think critically and you walk away from each one knowing much more than when you started.
Grading Good Discussion posts are of high importance because the professors strongly encourage us to interact with our classmates.
Responsiveness  Excellent They always respond to my questions and they have always been very helpful in trying to help me to understand what I need to learn.
Reliability  Excellent  
Interest taken in class as a whole Excellent

 

They make a point to respond to every question.
Interest taken in student as an individual Excellent My professor was constantly challenging me to push myself and to critically think about what I was reading and writing. I felt like she cared about me learning the material and she wanted the best out of me.

 

What resources does Capella University provide to help you succeed in the classroom?

There are a lot of resources available to help students at Capella. One option I really like is the live-chat tutoring services that they offer. The students and their tutors are logged in at the same time so that they can walk students through things in real-time to help them understand.

What advice would you give to students to help them succeed in an online classroom?

I would tell students that you have to be organized and you have to have a schedule. That is the most important key to success in this type of program because the moment you get off track, it is going to be hard to play catch up.

Program

Why did you choose to enroll in your organizational management program?

I decided to pursue a PhD in organizational management because it will expand my career opportunities to be an expert in the human resources sector. The program would teach me what I need to know to move up in a variety of companies.

Does your program include a dissertation?

My PhD program in organizational management does include a dissertation, but I am not at that stage yet. The dissertation process will begin during the third year, but I have to pass my comprehensive exams first.

Does your program have a residency requirement?

Capella offers colloquia, which are similar to a residency requirement. Students in my program are required to be present for 3 colloquia throughout the entire program. I think that what the colloquiums offer students is excellent. With an online university, personal interaction is needed. At Capella, that interaction comes right at the end of the quarter and then it reinforces what we learn, so it helps us to prepare for the next level.

What are your program’s biggest strengths and weaknesses?

My program’s biggest strength is the amount of personal involvement it provides. Capella’s program stands apart from the other online schools because it offers 3 or 4 colloquia where students can meet face to face with professors and other students. The colloquia provide individualized attention to help students develop their dissertation topics and research skills. It is something that wasn’t offered to me in other programs, including the one at American Intercontinental University, where I got my masters degree online.

In terms of weaknesses, I think that a mandatory writing course should have been 1 of the first courses offered to us for the first quarter. It would have really help prepare us for the rest of the program, especially when it comes to writing the dissertation.

If you were to do it again, would you sign up for Capella University’s doctorate program in organizational management?

I definitely would do the same thing again. This is the best option for me in terms of the flexible schedule, the courses that Capella offer in human resources and the amount of face-to-face interaction I get with my professors through the required colloquia.

Closing

What general advice would you give to a student who is considering a doctorate degree in organizational management at Capella University?

The best advice I can give is to make sure that you stay focused and that you are very organized. You have to prioritize your time well because it is a time-consuming program, and if you don’t, it can become overwhelming.

The time management strategy I use most often is to look at the class requirements on the very first day and write out my entire schedule on my calendar. Then I know when I have to do which assignments so it doesn’t seem as overwhelming. Managing your time like it is a budget, You have to stick to it.

Online Phd Programs