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First-generation student Nahari Leija grows with graduate degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning

Nahari Leija
Nahari Leija

Nahari Leija earned a bachelor’s degree in bilingual education in 2020 and was hired to teach third grade as a bilingual teacher for the 2020-2021 school year. It was a challenging year of teaching in a hybrid setting due to COVID-19, and Leija realized she needed to learn more about hybrid and online learning. After looking at different graduate programs, she started Boise State University’s Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning in fall 2021.

Research, Lab and Internship Experiences

“Although I considered many universities, I chose Boise State because the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning courses focus on adult learning and completing real workplace projects for real clients,” Leija said. “I was offered a research assistantship in my first year, which I was really excited to accept in my very first semester of study!”

From the summer of 2022 to March 2023, Leija held an instructional design internship with Minitab, a statistical software company. During her time there, she applied the knowledge and skills she learned in the program and gained valuable experience in the workplace.

For the 2022-2023 school year, Leija was offered a full-time graduate assistantship with the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning program and served as a graduate assistant for Assistant Professor Seth-Aaron Martinez. She also worked on research projects in the Learning Strategy Lab where she supported Martinez’s research on servant leadership. In March 2023, Leija presented the full manuscript at the annual conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Graduation and a New Job

Leija resides in the U.S. border town of Brownsville, Texas, and is one of eight children — four reside in Brownsville and four reside in Mexico.

“All my life, I have been crossing back and forth and I did not speak English fluently until the fourth grade,” she said. “The opportunity to grow and stretch in the program has been so valuable to my success today and tomorrow. I am so proud to be part of the 5% of Latinos with a graduate degree!”

Following graduation in May 2023, Leija accepted a full-time position as an instructional designer for Metcor/LSI.

Learn More About Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning

The Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning is a fully online degree that prepares you for a career in instructional design, e-learning, training, learning and development, human resources development, performance improvement or consulting.

The program also offers graduate certificates in workplace instructional design, workplace e-learning design and development and workplace performance improvement that can be added to a master’s degree or completed independently.

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