NAU Alumni Spotlight: Tonya H. – Criminal Justice
National American University Alumni Spotlight:
Tonya H. – Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Class of 2020
National American University (NAU) alumna Tonya H. earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Tonya is a single-mom of two, who chose online classes so she could take care of her children, and have a degree when she re-enters the workforce. When she started her bachelor’s program, she thought about becoming a corrections officer. However, she loved the online experience so much that she decided to also pursue her master’s degree in hopes of one day teaching online classes for a university.
Why did you choose NAU?
When I first started researching online universities, I looked into National American University because I had family that went through NAU. We are all from South Dakota and knew about the university. The geographic location is what initially drew me to NAU, however once I learned that all the classes would be online, I still felt more confident and comfortable with the format at National American University.
Were you able to develop relationships with the faculty at NAU?
I really, really did. I speak very highly of every single instructor I had at NAU. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my master’s degree at a different university. It really speaks volumes to me, based on my experience. I felt that National American University’s instructors cared. I never had to wait for feedback – it was always very prompt and informational. I always felt my questions were answered.
Were you able to make connections with your classmates?
I did – I have to be honest though, when I first started, I was not a fan of the required discussion board. I used to wonder why we did them, but looking back, you do build relationships and find students who communicate on your academic or experience level. The dynamic is phenomenal. If you put in the effort and embrace it, you do learn a lot from other people. Reflecting back, I have changed my attitude about discussion boards and believe they are an asset to the program.
What advice would you give to students who aren’t sure about online classes?
I would say, TRY IT! You don’t have to start full-time. Take one or two courses, and you may end up like me and really enjoy the online environment so much that you want to be on the other side of it. I think it is especially important with recent developments with COVID-19, I think online courses are the way of the future.
Would you recommend online classes?
Online courses have inspired me to change the trajectory of my life and allows me to work from home and still be available to my kids. It has really improved my quality of life, and I have nothing but great things to say about the online learning experience.
Watch Tonya’s full alumni spotlight interview below!
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