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Meet OPWL student Sharnice Christine Yates

Sharnice Christine Yates

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!

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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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