Alex chose O’Neill Online because she wanted to continue working full time and wanted to remain in Los Angeles. Alex first completed the nonprofit certificate program and then realized how close she was to fulfilling the MPA requirements, so she added an extra year and a half to finish the degree.
Alex's favorite part of the degree was the flexibility. Alex explains, “I was able to change jobs, and move to a new city in the middle of a school term and not have my education disrupted. In a sense your worlds are a bit separated, so you do have to make an effort to blend career and/or family with school, but the effort is well worth it. Distance learning gives you a level of autonomy that a traditional classroom environment does not afford.”
Alex's advice to current and prospective students is, “Know what kind of learner you are and be okay with that. Distance learning isn't for everyone, but if you are a self-starter then distance learning is something you should consider. Also, chat with your classmates, and if there is someone in your area, get coffee with them! It is nice to have someone you can chat with about the challenges of distance learning, and balancing a career or family.”