Dr. Josephine Davis is a world traveler who has had a wide range of experiences with the Wonders of the World. From walking the Great Wall of China, exploring the inner chambers of the pyramids, to exploring the rain forests of Victoria Falls. She has ascended the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, had close encounters with elephants in the wild, and taken African safaris by foot,  sea, and Land Rover. 

Dr. Davis is a longtime eCore online instructor and the Interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Fort Valley State University, one of eight eCore affiliate institutions in the University System of Georgia. 

Dr. Davis says eCore has given her and her students the opportunity to interact with other students from diverse institutions with very diverse backgrounds, interests and needs. Teaching eCore classes has given Dr. Davis round-the-clock access to her students and she noted: "With this communication capability, I am able to interact with students at a more personal and immediate level."

 "I particularly enjoy the transition that I witness in students who initially believe that math is a subject for computing and not writing. As the course progresses, the students are surprised at how adept they have become in expressing themselves in writing using appropriate mathematical language. They arrive at understanding that mathematics is more about cultivating habits of mind, ways of perceiving reality than just doing the computation to get an answer to a problem".

She has found it insightful to have students share their motivational poems, stories or life lessons. After midterm, she knows that some students' spirits are low because their performance does not meet their expectations. So she has used blogging to encourage students to share anonymously with each other what motivates them through life's challenges. She has also found that students are very innovative and resourceful in finding websites that add value to our classroom topics of discussions. Dr. Davis incorporates a variety of technological resources available to enliven the eCore classroom experience for her students. Using diverse technologies to engage students using a variety of media resources.

What's next on Dr. Davis' list? "I have visited China on three previous occasions and have a trip planned within a couple of weeks. This trip is interesting because I will share my enthusiasm for China travel with my four granddaughters. This fulfills a promise that I made to them of taking them abroad when they become teenagers - for them it will be the opportunity for them to come of age on the global stage,"she said.

by Carlos Schweinfurth

Have you wondered what it might be like to be an Emergency Nurse? How about a Computer Programmer?  If you believe that you are gleaning all of your knowledge of a Crime Scene Investigator from watching CBS’s CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) you may encounter a rude awakening when you go for your education and actually get your job.

Informational Interviewing is another foundational step within career exploration.  While you are in your own investigative place as a student you would be wise to conduct informational interviews of people within the potential careers/jobs that you think you might enjoy.  The informational interview communicates the first hand experiences and impressions of someone in the occupation, and is directed by your questions.  Steps to conducting an interview of this type consist of locating a person that is currently employed within the field and calling to request a visit with them while they are on the job.  The amount of time together is negotiable.  You could spend an hour or you could plan to spend a day.  Please be respectful of the professional’s time when making your request.  Determine on your initial phone call if you might like your visit to include a departmental tour or perhaps a day long “job shadow” appointment.  These may be items that your contact person can arrange.  Also, regard the time together as a business appointment.  Dress should be "business casual" and be sure to have a planned set of questions to ask. 

Questions can vary based on what you wish to glean.  Sample questions include: “What are the best and worst things about this career? Why might somebody leave this career? What are the things that it really takes to be great in this career? What is the smartest way to get trained?” Additional questions can be found HERE. Plan to take notes while with your interviewer being careful not to detract from the conversation. After your appointment, create an outline of themes from your questions asked. This can then carry you forward into next steps with your career exploration.

Feel free to connect with me with specific questions. Some information referenced can be fully located by visiting About.com/Informational Interviewing

Karen M Lingrell, M.Ed, Assistant Director of Collaborative Programs

What is your occupation? I am an IT professional for Valdosta State University.

What is your college major? Finance & Office Administration and Technology.

Why did you choose this major? I chose this major because of my interest level in the Financial Field, which has been instilled since I was a teen. The technology part I started working on for Valdosta State 2 years ago and the experience has been purely golden. I love computers now.

What career path do you want to take upon graduation? Project Management, Financial Analyst or Software design.

Why eMajor? eMajor is convenient to double majors, and it gives the student the option take another class while working. It also gives students such flexible times the student can take those classes that are not offered at night or around their work schedule.

Who is the biggest inspiration for your education? My 6th grade math teacher Mr.Brown.

What is something cool you've learned this semester in eMajor? My peers are all over the States and that is truly amazing!

What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors? instructor, understanding, equal

Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA? New York, New York

What kind of mood are you in right now, and why? Energetic, Because I am working on scholarship entries.

Your favorite study spot? Bathroom!

What is something your online classmates don't know about you? I listen to classical music.
What is your occupation? I am a professional baseball player. 

What is your college major? Currently undecided but leaning towards journalism or communications. 

Why eCore? As much as I travel for my job, eCore is great. I don't have to be confined to a classroom. I can still play baseball and work toward my degree. 

Who is the biggest inspiration for your education? I always promised my parents that I'd go back after or while pursuing my career of professional baseball. My dad was a college professor, so education was something I had instilled in me from an early age. 

What is something cool you've learned this semester in eCore? I'm amazed at how many different types of people are in my classes. It's such a diverse classroom setting. It's great!

What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors? Smart, Understanding, & Personable 

Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA? Maui, Hawaii

What kind of mood are you in right now, and why? Happy, because I'm watching playoff baseball. There's nothing better!

Your favorite study spot? I love Starbucks!

What is something your online classmates don't know about you? I'm 6'8 and very goofy!

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself? I really appreciate this opportunity.

Michael Schlact is not only a professional baseball player, but also a prolific writer. You can read more about his life and his passion for baseball at his blog The Schlact Stories.
The University System of Georgia has developed an innovative, online program for Georgians (and others) seeking to earn career-oriented degrees from reputable, public institutions.

eMajor provides undergraduate degrees at traditional colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia. Our approach allows students to earn credits for prior learning and reduce the time to graduation. Currently, students can enroll through Valdosta State University for the 2012 fall semester and the 2013 spring semester. The program is ideal not only for traditional students who wish to take advantage of online course delivery but also for working professionals, military members, transfer students and others seeking alternative routes to degree completion. 

eMajor presently offers:
  • Public Service Administration
  • Office Administration and Technology
  • Legal Office Administration
  • Law Enforcement Leadership
  • Spanish for Professionals for ESOL Instruction
Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice (starting Spring 2013)

Get started today. It's never too late or too early to start your future. Visit us at emajor.usg.edu/

Karen M Lingrell, M.Ed,
Assistant Director of Collaborative Programs

Are you stuck in the crossroads of switching your major? Are you finding yourself enrolled in classes but having no clear direction of where you might be heading after graduation? Has a significant other inquired with the dreaded question: “What are you gonna do with your life?”

If you had a head nod to any of these questions then I hope to offer some quick advice on career planning to get you stepping in the right direction. For 6 years I worked as an Assistant Director of Career Services of a Georgia higher education institution. I have many memories of students who would come to my office the Monday after graduation and remark “Hey, Mrs. Karen, I need a job!”  Some of those students had never taken advantage of the fine services we offered previously. At the conclusion of many an appointment I can recall that most, if not all, of the visitors emphatically declared, “Man – why did I not come here SOONER??!”

As an eMajor student, I know that you are super busy. You are juggling coursework, maybe a part time or full time job, family obligations… just LIFE!  However, are your putting 2 and 2 together that the whole purpose for your education is to find out what you might want to do with that LIFE? So, it is crucial that you spend some energy and time to do some exploring. Taking the time to investigate and decipher your strengths/skills along with possible career fields and actual jobs is foundational. Many students think this can be done pell-mell. In reality it deserves significant time and focus. 

I wish I could say that there is ONE pathway to take but the truth is there are many fabulous ways to glean knowledge. I would be remiss if I did not direct you first and foremost to a most logical spot.  Valdosta’s office of Career Services is where I found this direct link to virtual career related concepts.  There are practical steps including putting together a resume and preparing for a job interview. It is also wise to take a look at the steps outlined for Career Planning including a handy outline of what to pursue during different intervals of your post-secondary experience.

If you are the one who has no earthly idea what you might like to do “when you grow up” I will suggest that you begin with some fundamental questions as put forth by Debra Davenport (Executive Professional Mentor, Licensed Career Counselor & Employment Agent). What do I really feel passionate about? What do I love to do so much that I would do it for free?"  Answering those questions will help drive your search. She goes on to state that “Your career should be a natural extension of who you are as a human being.”

Another career expert, Marty Nemko, Ph.D. (Contributing Editor, Careers, U.S. News & World Report) asks different yet just as compelling questions. “What do you think you would prefer in your ideal job? Working with data? Working with people? Working with words? Or working with concrete objects?” Are these tough questions? Take a moment now to explore the resources offered in this article.

This article was designed to get you thinking about how to begin career exploration steps. Feel free to connect with me at klingrel@westga.edu to discuss your unique situation. And be sure to look for more concrete ideas in the near future!

1. What is your occupation? I am currently helping my father run his floor covering business. I do all of the bookkeeping and assist residential retail customers in choosing the best flooring for their homes.

2. What is your college major? My college major is Legal Assistant Studies.

3. How did you come about choosing this major? It has been a dream of mine since middle school to attend law school one day. During my first 2 years at VSU I had a different major, after trying out a few classes in that major I decided that I needed to change. While taking my first Legal Assisting class, I knew this was the major for me! I love the professors in this major and the classes prepare you for the work you will be doing in law school. A few of my textbooks are even currently being used in law schools.

4. What career path do you want to take upon graduation? I graduate Summer of 2013 and plan to begin law school in the Fall of 2013.

5. Why eMajor? I chose to take eMajor classes in conjunction with in-class lectures because I don’t like to sit in class ALL day, EVERY day. With eMajor you can work on your classes on your own time and at your own pace. eMajor allows me to get ahead on my school work if I know I am going to be busy a certain week and will not have much time for my class work!

6. Who is the biggest inspiration for your education? My biggest inspiration for my education is my boyfriend! Before I started dating my boyfriend I was discouraged about law school, in fact I had decided to no longer pursue it. After we had been dating a while, he encouraged me to give it one last shot, do my best in my classes, and take the LSAT. Ever since that day I have made straight A’s, taken the LSAT, and set up some law school tours to attend!

7. What is something cool you've learned this semester in eMajor? This semester I am taking 3 eMajor courses and so far I have learned so many new things. Through my Criminal Justice eMajor course I have learned a lot from the student interactional posts about crimes on college campuses.

8. What three words would you use to describe one of your online instructors? Three words to describe one of my eMajor instructors would be: Helpful, Accommodating, and Intelligent.

9. Where is your favorite place to visit in the USA? My favorite place to visit in the USA is New York. Such a common answer, but never-the-less true! The shopping and Broadway shows are AMAZING!

10. What kind of mood are you in right now, and why? Anxious! Why? Because I receive my LSAT scores, the “make it” or “break it” of law school admission, in 20 days to be exact!

11. Your favorite study spot? Those that know me, know I do most of my big thinking late at night; so, I would have to say my favorite study spot is in my bed! It seems like the time my brain should be shutting down, it decides to be rebellious and THINK

12. What is something your online classmates don't know about you? The one thing my online classmates probably don’t know about me is that one day I WILL be an attorney!