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OPWL testimonial: Class of 2011 testimonials

Prior to 2013, Boise State University’s online Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) was known as the Master of Science in Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT). This blog post contains testimonials from the class of 2011.


deann allenDeAnn Allen, Class of 2011

My goal for attaining a Master’s Degree was to make a career change once I realized an IPT-related field was where I wanted to make a difference. I researched many programs before choosing IPT at Boise State, and I could not be happier with my decision. What drew me to the program the most was the breadth of the curriculum. Before the program, I was familiar with training and development and instructional design. However, being introduced to Human Performance Technology (HPT), which encompasses these aspects of the field, opened so many new doors and piqued my career interests in new ways. I also did not understand the importance of the other HPT focuses, including change management, sustainability, evaluation, etc. Now after three short years, I feel ready to go out and tackle a career.

I started the program online and completed my last full year on campus as a Graduate Assistant. I also had the opportunity, through the program, to intern at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center’s Boise campus as an Instructional Designer for a semester. Whether online or on campus, I thoroughly enjoyed the environment, the classes and the problem-based learning approaches offered. Being able to work individually, collaboratively, and directly with clients to produce project work was invaluable to me upon graduation. I’ve been able to use my accomplishments and my portfolio during job interviews to display practical experience. The results have been incredibly positive with many accolades given to the IPT program and my resulting abilities and experiences from each course. Not only do I feel like I’m approaching a new career with a comprehensive skill-set, I know that I have an ever-lasting support network and community of practice that will continue to grow with me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, BSU’s IPT program will complete your personal Behavioral Engineering Model (BEM)!


Outstanding Graduate 2011

Publications and Presentations


July 2011

Evaluating a University Residential Living-Learning Community

May 2010

Strategic Help for Hounds

November 2009

Reducing Service Department Profit Loss Using the Behavioral Engineering Model


pat ferrellPat Ferrell, Class of 2011

Manager, Talent and Organizational Performance/Learning and Collaboration
Accenture Consulting

Today’s professionals must have a strong working knowledge of all the various aspects of Performance Improvement—from needs assessments to instructional design to change management. All of these topics, which are part of the comprehensive IPT curriculum, have given me an invaluable foundation of knowledge for my career. When my clients look to me for guidance on how to improve their workforces, I have to know all of the possible causes—and solutions—in order to give the best advice.

I completed the entire program online, and it was a great way to prepare for today’s “virtual work-world”. Learning to collaborate with others from around the country helped prepare me to communicate with my colleagues around the globe. The way the courses are structured, especially the team projects, allowed me to work on real problems for real clients—much more effective than textbook learning! It wasn’t easy completing the program while working full time (and traveling!), but it was well worth it.


jade kazmierskiJade Kazmierski, Class of 2011

Northwestern Mutual
Training Development Consultant

I chose Boise’s online IPT program for two reasons: its curriculum and its proven results.

First, the curriculum is strongly geared toward the corporate workplace, with skills centered on solving real on-the-job problems. Everything I learned was immediately applicable. Secondly, I saw firsthand the depth of knowledge and quality of skills the degree provided. My manager was a recent Boise State graduate and she transformed our tools, processes, and results using what she learned in the IPT program.

The IPT program definitely met my expectations. Each class was interesting and worthwhile, with opportunities to practice what I was learning. I gained invaluable experience through group projects for real clients. Not only did the projects mirror expectations that I face on the job, but they also helped me form lasting relationships with my classmates.

I didn’t have an instructional design role when I began my degree. By the time I graduated, I did—designing e-learning courses, creating performance support aids, writing classroom materials, and supporting online communities. I love the work I do now. The IPT program gave me the skills to do my job well and prepared me to continue growing in the field.


Kazmierski, J., Kohlmann, D., & Rose, J. (2009, September). Merrill’s first principles applied to learning interviewing skills. PerformanceXpress Newsletter, September, ’09 issue.


leslie harperLeslie Harper, Class of 2011

Performance Improvement Engineer
EchoStar Technologies, L.L.C.

Last year I attended my first ISPI international conference. I was a bit afraid, having no idea what the conference would be like. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my IPT education helped me fit in perfectly; in fact, I was even able to cite an article for people to read when a particular topic came up during one session!

At this year’s conference, during the opening events, they asked those of us who had published to stand—because my IPT professors had encouraged publishing articles, I could proudly stand up amongst some amazing people in our field. We also had two BSU IPT alumni become ISPI directors, and one keynote speaker referenced work by one of our professors, Dr. Marker—I was proud to wear my big blue IPT button!

I moved to a new department (~150 people) at work soon after I started in the IPT program, and was able to immediately apply what I was learning to my job. A friend asked me recently if I was actually using my master’s degree; I told him I still do every day, even a year after graduating! I have several of the tools I learned, as well as the ISPI Standards and Code of Ethics, posted up on my walls as reminders. Because of what I’ve been able to apply from my IPT education, I just received our group’s annual Outstanding Contributor award!


Outstanding Graduate 2011


pam fulwiderPam Fulwider, Class of 2011

Climate Sector Learning Management
Ingersoll Rand

As a L&D professional in the corporate realm, I was not getting what I needed to make a difference for my organization in another school’s Master of Ed program. That all changed when I transferred to Boise’s IPT program. The real life projects we delivered as part of each course completely immersed me in application of theories and models that can make a difference. As a result of the project focused program, I developed what I hope will be life-long relationships with several of my peers. Since completing the program I have found instances where I can share just a tidbit from one model or another and change someone’s paradigm about performance. There is no greater feeling than knowing I’m making a difference.