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May 2023 graduate Caleb Hartman utilizes online masters program to pivot career

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) student Caleb Hartman took a chance during the COVID-19 pandemic to make a career shift he didn’t see coming.

In January 2020, Hartman was teaching English in San Francisco, California. Two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many normal operations, including his school. Theses closures forced teachers to innovate and figure out how to deliver education with limited resources.

“I began to design tutorials, lessons and supplementary materials that were visually appealing, intuitive and instructive,” Hartman said. “Through that process, I began thinking about my future aspirations and discovered I relished the analysis, design and development of instruction.”

While the work was rewarding, it required him to do more with less. At a crossroads, he found himself having to make the tough decision to stick with his passion for teaching, or to find a career where he could leverage that passion but also be well-compensated for it. This led him to the OPWL graduate program.

He began his graduate studies in August of 2020 and has focused on expanding his knowledge and skills in instructional design, e-learning development and data analysis. Since Hartman began the program, he has been offered three different job roles, ultimately tripling his 2020 earnings. Hartman found the return on investment he hoped for and was well equipped to innovate his teaching and delivery methods, while also being able to assist students making the transition from classroom to online learning.

“The curriculum of the OPWL program aligns directly with my desire to become an expert in the facets of education that I really enjoy,” Hartman said. “The program gave me skill sets that will allow me to progress as a professional in public education, as well as a portfolio I can utilize to join the private sector.”

Hartman will officially graduate from the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning program with his master’s degree in May of 2023, moving closer to accomplishing his career goals, some of which he started to record only a year into his graduate study.

OPWL faculty and staff are ready to assist students with accomplishing their future professional aspirations as an instructional designer. Graduates of the OPWL program, like Hartman, see a significant return on their investment. Learn more about OPWL by emailing or call 208-426-5921.

by Jamie Fink