"I love that I have been able to use my education to help students and faculty."
Alyson Ballew’s desire to use what she learns led her to the Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development degree program at the University of Arkansas.
“I love that I have been able to use my education to help students and faculty,” said Ballew, a program specialist with the College of Engineering at the U of A. “I can see myself using my degree to continue on this path and growing within the University of Arkansas.”
Ballew’s love of school was one deciding reason why she returned to college for both a master’s degree and a doctorate in her late 30s. Since Ballew started the program, she has taken six hours each semester while working full time.
“That my program is online has made it so much easier to work effectively,” Ballew said. “My faculty are wonderful, and I am learning things that are applicable to a wide variety of careers. The faculty in Human Resource and Workforce Development have a wide range of experiences and bring so much outside knowledge to their classes. I was able to get my M.Ed. in two years and then determine that I wanted to continue for my Ed.D. The fact that I can make my own schedule has let to me keep a 3.9 GPA over the course of my studies.”
Ballew chose to study online because it fit best with her life. Taking classes online means that Ballew can do homework on her lunch break or while waiting for her child to finish with after-school activities, she said.
“The other reason that I returned to school is my daughter,” Ballew said. “I’m a single parent to a wonderful 11-year-old. When I told her that I was going back to school, she was excited about being able to do homework with me. We have had some great evenings with me on Collaborate sessions and her doing homework next to me.”
Ballew is one of 23 people to receive the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship for online U of A students for the 2020-2021 academic year.
“I actually wouldn’t be in the job I am in right now if it weren’t for the knowledge and skills I learned from my classes,” Ballew said. “My kid will be a teenager when I graduate, and I will get to show her that you can achieve things even when life throws you curveballs.”