Jeannie L. Crowell
2019 Graduate, Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies
Jeannie Crowell is from Houston, Texas and currently lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband, 14-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter. She and her husband own a successful IT business that services commercial and government sectors. Jeannie enjoys traveling with family, Pilates, photography, and reading about ancient civilizations, architecture and interior design.
Finishing her bachelor's degree was a long-held goal for Jeannie. After high school, she spent many years supporting herself through college, but put her degree on hold when she started a family. But she always knew that she would finish her degree when it was the right time and with the right program.
That time came in Spring 2019 when Jeannie graduated from the fully online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies program. Congratulations, Jeannie!
Why she enrolled in the program:
I have a very busy personal and professional life. I wanted to finish my degree and needed a program that would be flexible with my schedule. I knew attending face-to-face classes wouldn’t work with my hours as a business owner and parent. When I discovered (UTEP Connect) I knew this would be the program that would allow for me to run my business, be the mom I want to be and earn a bachelor’s degree.
Her experience with online learning:
This was my first experience with online learning. I was nervous at first because I had been away from the academic setting for a very long time and wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with the demands or have the current skills to apply to the material. Fortunately, I found that my desire to do well and finish made me a better and more disciplined student than I was in my teens and twenties.
The first thing I wanted to accomplish with this degree is completing the bachelor’s degree I started many years ago. The other was advancing my education as far as I can.
On the support she received as an online student:
Most of the support I needed, I had. I would like to have seen more information on the website or Blackboard that applied specifically to online students. Much of the resources, opportunities and information are for students on-campus. Providing a short digital clinic or some form of communication to give a new online student the basics of online learning would have been tremendously helpful in the learning curve and would have provided me valuable tools upfront instead of me figuring things out as I went along the courses.
Also, providing more online course options would have been appreciated. Perhaps as the program grows this will be an option.
(Note: Our website now boasts a lot of resources in the form of infographics, presentations and links to additional resources that we hope meet this need. And, yes, growing our online roster is a definite goal and one that we are always working on).
What she would say to prospective online students:
My expectations of an online degree were scattered. I didn’t think I would have access to the professors or be able to navigate the material and format with the level of support I thought I needed to be successful. I found this not to be the case. The support was surprisingly readily available. Almost all the instructors I had would respond to my inquiries within 24 hours or in the same day, sometimes sooner. This availability made my transition to online learning much less stressful and helped my success as a student. I also thought I would be missing out on the human aspect of being a student. I thought not being able to have classroom discourse with peers or professors would be an aspect missing in my learning. This wasn’t the case. I found the discussions boards were a good substitute for face-to-face peer interaction.
On whether she would enroll in this program again if she had to do things over:
Yes, I would enroll in this program over and again. I found this format enabled me to maintain my personal and professional life and still be a part of the academic setting to earn a degree. I loved the online setting and the academic setting so much I have been inspired to take my education as far as I can and earn my master’s degree and continue thereafter to earn my doctorate.