This blog post contains testimonials from students of Boise State University’s online Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), class of 2015.
Julianne Gill, Class of 2015
Epic Training Manager
Tampa General Hospital
I’d been working as a leader in the field of healthcare training for over 10 years, when I made the decision to return to school to obtain my master’s degree. And I had some fairly stringent criteria – the program had to be evidence-based, outcomes driven, professionally focused, and be taught by faculty who had done more than just teach about the field of human performance technology (HPT). After speaking with many schools, I realized that Boise State’s IPT (now OPWL) program met all these criteria and had already been doing online education for 10 years. This assured me that they weren’t just jumping on the latest technology bandwagon, and had already worked through any issues related to online education.
Once enrolled, I was impressed that our class projects were actual projects with real clients that were focused on outcomes. It wasn’t just a hypothetical exercise to get a good grade – our clients needed results. And when I worked with my own company on two projects, my Director was quite impressed by the quality of work he received back.
Three years later, my entire approach to my work has changed and my organization has noticed. My training team has been expanded threefold, and will likely be expanded again. Why? We provide more effective results that are valued by the leaders of those departments. We facilitate outcomes vs. document how many staff we’ve trained.
So, would I recommend Boise State’s OPWL program? Yes, absolutely – take the plunge! It will be a lot of work, but the Boise State University faculty and department staff are extremely supportive and truly care about your success. I have never regretted the time that I’ve put in (or the sleep I’ve lost!), and I truly value the students & faculty that I’ve met and learned from and with.
Lorece Beidel, Class of 2015
In 2010, I stumbled into instructional design and e-learning while working on a short-term federal contract. By the end of the contract, I knew that I wanted to do design and training in some capacity so I searched for a program that would give me the skills I needed. The OPWL program was the perfect solution.
In addition to an online delivery format that allowed me to work full-time while still pursuing a degree, the curriculum provided opportunities for me to solve real-world performance problems using the solid theoretical concepts learned in class. As a practitioner looking to build and demonstrate my expertise, this was a HUGE selling point for the program.
More importantly, OPWL offered a great network of advisors, faculty, staff and colleagues who were invested in my success. The challenging coursework and consistently great feedback from professors and teammates prepared me for the portfolio defense. In fact, my defense experience was quite pleasant because it felt more like a rigorous discussion between colleagues than a Socratic question session.
Completing the OPWL program helped me expand my view of effective performance management. From a career standpoint, I am finally working in a federal position that allows me to design training and other solutions to address workplace issues. I am so thankful for the opportunities the OPWL program provided and I would highly recommend it for any students who are interested in organizational learning.
Tiffany Carter, Class of 2015
Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General
Practically speaking, the Boise State OPWL Master’s Degree program provides students the processes, language, and confidence to tackle tough organizational challenges, effectively lead change and deliver results that matter!
Personally speaking, this course of study also provides students the opportunity to re-brand themselves, earn a substantive credential, and get the tools they need to soar and carve out their own path! Once a low-level administrative professional and, now, a Training Specialist for a major Federal agency, I can truly say that Boise State University’s OPWL was a “game-changing” decision that changed my career trajectory for the better! Go Broncos!