I started at Antioch because I needed to complete my Bachelor’s degree after retiring from the Air force. My experience at Antioch was such a great fit that I decided to continue on, and get my Master’s degree from them.
The Management and Leading Change (MLC) program has been challenging because the online experience is completely new to me. However, I think I’ve adapted pretty well. And I do have to say that the instructors have been completely helpful in continuing to send out resources through email, Sakai, and on the conference calls. They are always offering assistance in trying to assure that we, as students, have what’s expected of us, as well as the technical support needed to get online. They’ve also been extremely helpful with different requirements needed for writing research papers. In my undergrad, I had to use MLA format, and now we’re using APA. But the professors provide all the resources you need to be successful and give you periodic updates. I would recommend this program as a premier education experience. Between the course content, the knowledge and ability to bring you through the content that the instructors provide, and their overall genuine caring for your success, you will get through this program. With most adult learners, life gets in the way. And the professors are constantly reminding us of that reality of being an adult learner. I’ve seen how committed they are to our success. That can’t be overstated, and it’s impossible to miss. I’ve already included some of what I’ve learned in the MLC program into my everyday life. In addition, I interpret it as a very high credential that I’m including on my resume, which I think will be the catalyst to attaining my next division.
My experience in the program has been more life changing than I expected. I thought I would just learn a bunch of facts and theories, which I have, but along with that I have been guided into a way of deeper thought.
I attended Antioch in my undergrad, so when I looked for a graduate program that best fit me, I chose the Antioch’s Management and Leading Change program (MLC) because I like the way Antioch teaches their students. I like their style. I guess I should say the Antioch model in undergrad made me discover who I was, and I figured the grad program would only enhance it. The MLC program was instrumental in obtaining my current position as the Human Resources Officer for Montgomery County’s Environmental Services Division. They really wanted to find people who were of a certain mindset in the interview process. My skills, abilities and an education that would help foster a culture of transformational learning was important to the organization. The deputy director has a PhD in Strategic Leadership, and sits with every employee that comes under his guidance, and speaks of the importance of transformational leadership. Antioch helped differentiate me from others. And, everything I’m learning ties into the job I have now. I’m able to apply the techniques I have learned in the program to my professional life and my personal life.
I have also found that the professors in the Conflict & Leading Change Programs are really supportive. They realize that we all work. Most of the people that I’ve met at Antioch have been over-achievers, meaning we probably take on a lot more than what we probably should. I think the professors have been able to help us balance that out. I’m not saying that things are easy, by no means, have the classes been easy. But, if you need an extension they understand. They’re not pushovers though. They expect a lot, but I feel like they’ve been supportive as well as encouraging. I feel like Antioch tends to meet their students where they’re at and help elevate them to the next level. They understand that life happens, which I don’t think I would have found at any other program I could have chosen. In my personal experience, In my first quarter, I lost both my mother and brother within a short period of time. I received so much support from my professors and the Antioch staff. I felt like they cared. You know, they cried with me, they sat with me, and they encouraged me. I know I would not have returned when I had to take a leave of absence. But they with their support I did returned within two quarters. The other students that I’ve meet in the program have also changed me. I’ve found that my cohort has been one in which we actually are friends. It’s not just, oh well I’m taking classes with these people, and that’s it. What I really like about the residencies is the opportunity to bond with other students. From the very first residency I made friends. People that I know that will be life-long friends. At other universities that offer online opportunities, lot of the times you don’t know who’s on the other end of that computer, so it’s hard for you to build a bond. I feel like with Antioch, not only have I bonded with my cohort, other cohorts as well. I think that’s the difference between Antioch and other online programs. I believe the residencies give you time to talk to people, and get their numbers, and call them up, and you’re working together to get through the program. You have people with whom you can celebrate and commiserate!
These programs to take patience. Be forewarned that there are challenges! But those challenges help you transform who you are. Get to know your fellow students, because that’s what gets you through. I think it’s more difficult if you try to be somebody that works alone. Therefore, you have to get to know the other students and interact with them. And don’t be ashamed to reach out to people because that’s what’s really going to get you to the other side. And then learn! Use the techniques. When you learn the techniques, practice them. I think that’s what makes you successful. It’s not just learning the book work, but also applying the techniques and principles you have been taught.