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OPWL testimonial: Sonja Frazier, class of 2004

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).

Sonja Frazier
Sonja Frazier

Instructional and Performance Consultant at U.S. Navy

The major contributing factor for selecting the IPT program was the Navy’s strategic focus on implementing Human Performance (HP) and the Science of Learning throughout the Navy Enterprise to improve War fighting performance. At the time, this new direction for the Navy was being discussed, I was a newly hired Civil Servant, brought in by the Chief of Naval Education and Training Command (CNET) as an Education and Training Specialist, that was hired and cultivated with the hopes to be the future replacement for the aging leadership. I identified this new emphasis on HP as an opportunity to set myself apart from my counterparts in a career field that the Navy was quickly shifting to, but that no one within the organization had any experience, educational background, etc. I began to search out academic institutions that offered this program and found Boise State and San Diego State. Of course, Boise State was my selection because the online offering would allow me to complete my degree by the time the Navy would establish its Human Performance Center.

Since receiving my degree, I have been promoted 4 times from a GS-7 to a GS-13. I have worked as the Director of Human Performance with the Center for Naval Aviation and Technical Training in Pensacola, FL. And I have led and coached numerous HP improvement projects that have yielded the Navy Enterprise tangible and intangible benefits from improved performance, cost savings, and cost avoidance. One of the greatest opportunities afforded me is with Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Department of Education and Development where I am an Adjunct Faculty member.

In closing, most students go to school to increase their knowledge and skills in hopes of increasing pay as well. At the time I graduated in 2004, my salary was $40,454. Today, my salary has more than doubled, I make a little over $95,000. This would not have happened had I not recognized the opportunity and enrolled in the IPT program!