My name is Sharnice Yates and I currently live in Southern Maryland. I’ve lived all over but hope to put down roots in this area. I am a former special education teacher and I chose the OPWL program to help me with a career pivot to the field of learning and development. I was just offered and accepted my first instructional design job!
I chose the OPWL program because it offered a lot of flexibility. I could complete as many courses as I wanted each semester with the vast majority of participation asynchronous. This was important for me because while I had time to dedicate to my studies, it was not during typical working hours.
I looked at several other programs but the Boise State OPWL faculty and staff were so accommodating and helpful from the very beginning. I could tell this program wanted me to succeed and wanted to help me reach my goals. I also chose the OPWL program because it had project-based courses. Hands-on learning was important for me. Through the OPWL program I was able to dip my feet in the water with a safety net. I was able to participate in service-learning programs that actually helped nonprofits. I was able to connect with other students and learn from them.
The biggest way OPWL helped me land my first job was giving me the tools to create a working instructional design portfolio. After each semester, I added my coursework to a personal website with reflections and blog posts. This portfolio gave me a big advantage during the hiring process. I was able to share my experiences with the interview panel. Each time I was asked a behavioral question, I was able to think back to an OPWL course and respond using the knowledge and interactions I gained throughout the program.
I am in my new instructional designer role and am on track to graduate in December 2021!
About the OPWL Program
The Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) program helps prepare students for careers in the areas of instructional design, training and development, e-learning, workplace performance improvement, organizational development, program evaluation and performance consulting.
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