A call to action…

March 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

I am writing this post today in response to a call to action from some alumni of my Master’s program.  I hope that those of you looking into online programs will give Pepperdine a look, and those of you who know people looking to get a Master’s Degree will pass this on.

I graduated from Pepperdine University’s Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology in the summer of 2003.   I decided to look into because, at the time, the Master’s programs at other universities I’d looked at consisted of a curriculum degree with maybe one or two technology classes thrown in.

The program at Pepperdine stood out to me for a couple of reasons.  First the superficial ones:

  1. It’s Pepperdine, for God’s sake!
  2. It was online, which meant that I didn’t have to go anywhere.
  3. It was only 13 months, meaning I’d be done sooner, rather than later.
  4. I had to go to California to start the program.

And then what I found when I started:

  1. The group of people you go through the program with become like family.
  2. You own your research because it effects your workplace.
  3. You get to make a change.
  4. You truly come to understand the philosophy behind educational technology.
  5. Your coursework will give you the opportunity to explore with some of the greatest minds in the field.

The Online Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET or OMAET as it’s called by students and alumni) changed my entire way of thinking about educational and technology’s role in education.  In this program, you’re challenged in your traditional ways of thinking because you’re not in the program with people just like you.

I was expecting K-12 educators and what I got was a baseball coach, a university registrar, a homeschool advocate, a college tech director, and much, much more.  In addition to all of those job fields, your classmates are from all over the country and world.

Perhaps the best part of OMET is the fact that it’s not entirely online.  Before you even start the program, you go through a week-long, very intense “virtcamp” in Los Angeles, where you meet your cadre and some of your professors face to face.  This face to face meeting, I feel, is the thing that makes this program unique.  Because you meet your classmates and professors, and spend a week of 8 hour days getting to know them, you become invested in the program.  You look forward to the mid-program meeting and reconnecting with those same people face to face again.

You go through every course with this same group of people and their thoughts and ideas influence your research and arguments in ways you never thought possible.  It shapes your practice of what you do and how you do it.  Five years later, I still reflect on every move I make and every new product we try.  I make sure I have my arguments for or against something before I go into a meeting, and I make sure I have evidence to back things up.

Being a graduate of OMET is like being part of a big family.  Even though I may not know every person from every cadre that came before or after Bu5Alive, we all have a special bond.

Now we are hearing that OMET enrollment is dropping and that there may not be a cadre 11.  I can only hope that in the sea of copycats that have come along, people will take a hard look at Pepperdine when considering a Master’s program, and especially an online one.

There are several online programs to choose from, but in my opinion, Pepperdine offers one of the premier online Master’s programs out there.  Please check it out.  I think you’ll be surprised by what you learn and how fun this program is.

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§ 2 Responses to A call to action…

  • Jackie says:

    Scott,
    It is very enlightening to hear your view of OMET as a past student. I am a current Cadre X member and am nearing the end of my experience. It is incredible how, 5 years later, my views of OMET are so similar to yours. It is also encouraging to me that you have such a passionate opinion of your OMET experience 5 years after you have finished it. It is not just a degree..it is life changing. Great to hear from a past OMET survivor!

    Take care,
    Jackie

  • Maria says:

    Hi Scott,
    Hooray there is a cadre 11! I just finised VirtCamp about three weeks ago now. Wow, what an experience. I am still having a hard time explaining to people exactly what I did. I feel like it is kind of like and inside joke where you just “had to be there” to fully understand the experience. I’m trying to get my website up and googled OMET for ideas from former students. I happened to see this blog of yours and am so glad! I completely agree with you on all of your points for applying to this program. Three weeks in and I couldn’t be happier. It is “hard fun” but I am enjoying the ride so far. Thank you for your blog and comments, it gives me even more to look forward too.

    Thank you,
    Maria

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