Naureen Rashid completed her online Ed.D. in Diversity and Equity in Education (EPOL) while being a new mom and working as a university administrator. The support, encouragement, and continuous guidance from College of Education at Illinois faculty made it possible.
What did you enjoy most about your online degree program experience at Illinois?
"I had an incredibly positive experience in my Diversity & Equity in Education doctoral program. I was honestly surprised by the level of engagement, support, and community that I encountered along the way. The courses I took were relevant and engaging. There were many opportunities to collaborate with peers and build relationships. Most importantly, the faculty in this program were phenomenal! Not only were they great teachers but also were great mentors. As a university administrator and new mom, I could not have made it through the major program milestones (e.g., qualifying exams, preliminary defense, dissertation) without the continuous guidance, support, and encouragement from the faculty."
What were you doing before your online degree program at UIUC?
"Prior to starting my doctorate at UIUC, I was working in higher education strategy. Specifically, I assessed quantitative and qualitative data and worked with university leaders to promote impactful, data-driven decision making on key strategic challenges."
Why did you choose your program and Education at Illinois?
"I was so excited when I came across this program because the Diversity & Equity in Education concentration aligned perfectly with my career interests. The program also offered the flexibility that I was looking for as I balanced doctoral studies with work and family commitments."
What are you doing now, and how has your online degree experience helped you?
"I work as a program manager and senior data analyst in higher education. I manage and evaluate university programs to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty in the health sciences. The knowledge and skills I’ve learned in my Ed.D. program are directly applicable to my everyday work and have influenced how I view, evaluate, and try to improve our programs. I believe my Ed.D. will better position me for leadership roles in diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and allow me to have an even greater impact on the lives of faculty, students, and staff."