Graduate: BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
"When you go to lectures in person, you can miss things or just be there physically rather than mentally. Online gives you the capacity to go back and listen to lectures a second time or go back over a specific point in the lecture to fully understand it."
December 19, 2015 is a date Beverly Wade is unlikely to forget. A long ten years of hard work came to fruition on that day, when she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas.
Wade was on track to graduate with three majors in May 2017 when she learned about the online Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies program offered through J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the U of A. The program allows students to choose three thematically linked minors and incorporate them into one degree. It was a perfect match. Wade was able to move up her graduation date by more than a year through the online program, after working with her academic adviser, Robert Brady, who is also the Communications Department chair.
“I was ecstatic,” said Wade. “I actually cried, I was so relieved.”
Wade noted that the option to study online was paramount to earning her degree.
“I like taking online classes because I’m a working adult,” she said. “I work at least 40 hours per week, and it’s really hard to carve out time to go to lecture and still have to turn around and do your projects, write papers and all of that.”
The option to view a recorded lecture online was particularly beneficial to Wade, compared to attending an in-person lecture.
“When you go to lectures in person, you can miss things or just be there physically rather than mentally,” said Wade. “Online gives you the capacity to go back and listen to lectures a second time or go back over a specific point in the lecture to fully understand it.”
Wade said she was impressed by her online professors’ availability.
“[Clinical assistant professor] Tamara Snyder is so responsive,” said Wade. “I could email her at any time, and she would respond.”
The projects assigned by her online instructors were another aspect of the program Wade said she enjoyed.
“[Instructor] Misti Harper gave us some great assignments,” Wade said. “We made a pamphlet, recorded a video diary – she made the assignments interesting so we weren’t just always writing papers.”
Wade also said she appreciated the course content and style of instruction.
“[Instructor Misti Harper] really challenged me to think about things and connect things in new ways,” said Wade. “I appreciated that significantly, being able to look at a historical event or document through new eyes.”
Overall, Wade was satisfied with her experience and plans to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree next.
“Ideally, I would want to do an online program again,” she said.