Alisha Cunningham — Academic Assistant Principal
Alisha Cunningham earned her M.Ed. in Administration from Lamar University online. She works as the Academic Assistant Principal for Arlington ISD in Texas.
"Go for it. The time commitment is not an easy one, but staying focused and organized is the key to success."
Job Title and School District:
Academic Assistant Principal, Arlington ISD
How has this degree affected your professional outlook? What about personally?
My degree program was a great balance of textbook and real world applications that prepared me for my role as an Assistant Principal. The format of the degree program (online and face-to-face) emphasized the importance of team work and collaboration to work toward a common goal.
What was your single biggest takeaway from the program?
The importance of prioritizing and scheduling, and the power of a team and collaboration.
How much time per week did you spend on your studies?
8 to 10 hours a week.
Describe how having an online option made a degree more accessible for you.
I did not start my degree until I had two small children. The online option worked into my hectic life and allowed me to study and work after my boys went to bed.
How did you hear about the online degree programs at Lamar University?
My former district, Cypress Fairbanks ISD.
Why did you choose to earn your advanced degree from Lamar University?
The flexibility of the online option, and it was financially within my budget at the time.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is considering this program?
Go for it. The time commitment is not an easy one, but staying focused and organized is the key to success. As with any online type learning, you are going to get out of it what you put into it. So, ask lots of questions and truly commit to the discussion boards and collaborative opportunities that will be part of the program.
What was one of the biggest challenges during the program, and how did you overcome it?
During the time I was in my program, we lost our home to Hurricane Ike and the flexibility helped me to stay focused on my degree during a time in my life that many things seemed out of control. Regardless of the condition of my home/belongings, I was able to log in and everything seemed to be "normal" again.
What helped you get through the program the most? What helped you make it to the finish line?
I think I remember that there were very clear timelines and calendars within the program. These were invaluable to me.
Describe your family's thoughts and feelings about you earning your degree.
I am the first college graduate in my family, so getting an advanced degree was a HUGE accomplishment and is something that I am very proud of, and my family was equally proud as well.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would not have waited so long to dive in.