Laura Black: Professional, parent -- and doctoral degree student

May 4, 2017

Doctoral students at Capitol Technology University typically are established in their careers and their goal is to deepen their expertise in order to advance further. Many are also raising families. Online programs such as Capitol’s eliminate the need to travel to another destination in order to achieve their academic goals, thus serving students who might otherwise be hampered by geographical constraints.

“There just aren’t very many doctorates in cyber,” says Laura Black, who is completing her DSc at Capitol. ”And the ones that exist are not near where I currently live. It wasn’t feasible for me to move someplace for three years. I have a house here in the DC area; I have a family -- I can’t just tell everyone ‘ok, let’s go!’”

“I needed to find something that was either DC-based or that I could do while remaining in the DC area. 

Capitol’s DSc program, established in 2012, centers on online classes provided through an Adobe Connect-based, synchronous distance learning platform.  Black says the interactivity of a real-time session adds an extra dimension to the learning experience.

“I’ve really enjoyed the classes that we have the most discussion in. I was surprised to find that the Adobe Connect infrastructure was that versatile in terms of, say, having a group dialogue,” she said. “Some of the professors really focus on getting people to talk, on fostering that discussion and banter and camaraderie, often among people with very different backgrounds.  Because we have students from all over the United States, it’s been really interesting to see how people in say Texas or California look at things.”

Because the class sessions are recorded, she has the opportunity to review and reinforce important material from the lectures and discussions.

 “I like the fact that I can go back and replay segments if I need to – that’s really useful. If the instructor says ‘this is what I want for homework next week,’ I can put down into my notes that he said this, say, eight minutes and twenty seconds into the session. And then later I can go back and scroll through that if I need to,” Black said.

“I still take notes, but it’s good to know that if I missed something – for example, if I had to step away for a few minutes to go put my son to bed -- I can always go back and review it.”

Pictured: Laura Black with son Robbie

Categories: Students, doctorate