Some of the most innovative and relevant American schools of higher education fuse education with practice, that is, requiring enrolled students to apply what they learn, in the workplace.  When South Carolina-born Krista Scott chose University of Florida’s Student Personnel in Higher Education masters program, she clearly mapped out her career route.  With academic coursework and experiential learning, Scott gained an insider’s view of her intended profession while going for her graduate degree.

Learning by doing gives students an edge, and Scott is no exception. Working in the University’s admissions office, she learned about workflow, team, and management skills. Scott says she was “fortunate to have extremely supportive colleagues” while completing her degree.  By design, the program provides assistance to students; all begin and finish as part of a group that the University specifically cultivates as a community.  Classmates, faculty, advisors and employers help each student learn how to deploy the knowledge and experience they gain during the school year.

Like many colleges and universities across the nation, the University of Florida offers part-time online learning for those professionals who are already in the field, and seeking to increase their skill-base and advance in their careers as they continue to work.

Scott moved from UF into a job at one of Ohio State University’s regional campuses, where she is, remarkably, the Director of Admissions and First Year Experience.  Will she reach back to those practical lessons she had every day as a working learner at the University of Florida in her new capacity at Ohio State?  To Scott, who is busy acclimating to her new surroundings and figuring out how to meet her obligations, the answer is already apparent.   She says she’s still “learning things every day.”