Meet Ahlam Hassan from Orland Park, Illinois, who has several irons in the fire and is pursuing her online Ed.D. in EPOL's Global Studies in Education program. She says so far, her online program has exceeded her expectations—which is high praise, coming from this capable and accomplished individual.
What have you enjoyed most about your online degree program experience at Illinois, so far?
"I love that I really have all the support I need to be successful. The professors have all been wonderful to learn from and extremely helpful with questions. I also have enjoyed working with my adviser so far. Although I am a student from afar, I feel very connected to the university."
What were you doing prior to starting your online degree program?
"I was and still am a full-time educator. Currently, I am teaching middle school working with multilingual students."
Why did you choose the College of Education at Illinois’ online GSE program for your doctorate degree?
"I chose UIUC because it had the concentrations I was interested in. I wanted to be a part of a university that values its online students. I heard great reviews before entering the program, and so far it has exceeded my expectations.
"I am still in the program and I can say it's very organized for those who are working professionals. I am also a mother of three. Because the university's program is well-thought out and organized, it allows me to feel successful and encourages me to grow in the field of education. I never thought it was possible to complete a doctorate while being a full-time professional and a full-time mother. However, I really believe in myself and my professors so far believe in me as well. I look forward to graduating one day!"
What are you doing now, and how has your online degree experience helped you?
"I am currently working full-time as an educator, but what I am learning allows me to be a better educator for my students. I am learning more about the historical aspect of education and how it can affect my students. The program already helps me tackle any biases I may have had in the past that I didn't know I had. It's been very eye-opening. I look forward to continuing to grow as an educator and as a human."