Student Comments

Students share their experiences

We are extremely proud of our students’ achievements in the program and in their ability to apply the skills learned in their coursework to workplace practices. During their studies in the RWDMS program at Northern Arizona University, students have many opportunities to explore new concepts, try out new approaches, and show their understanding of how they have grown in specific courses and throughout the program. Their feedback encourages us to continue and constantly improve what we do to provide the best program for the diverse needs of our students. Below are a few comments from our graduates.

IkeaHThe M.A. program in Rhetoric, Writing and Digital Media Studies presented a solid learning foundation, paving the way for me to earn a position as an English Adjunct instructor at York Technical College. I applied to the program to strengthen my knowledge and understanding of rhetoric, to explore approaches to teaching first-year composition, and to discover new ways of integrating technology and multimedia into classroom lessons. The RWDMS program helped me in achieving these goals by making me a well-rounded researcher as each course consistently allowed me to engage with previously conducted research to develop my own theories of writing and conduct my own primary research. Additionally, being in the online program makes me feel more confident to facilitate my own hybrid courses. I have had various major takeaways from the program, but the most significant was being introduced to teacher action research, as I know that being equipped with this vital skill will ensure that I remain an effective instructor. — Ikea Haynesworth

JohnCThe RWDMS Program is a well-designed program that is academically rigorous with courses offered by instructors who are experts in their fields. It is rigorous, but not rigid. Of course, when I was a student in the program, I completed the core courses one would expect any blooming rhetorician to master. But there was wonderful flexibility in the electives that were available to me. I was able to tailor a program that met my needs and kept me interested and motivated. My instructors cared. They were patient and encouraging. My student associates were thought-provoking. I now have the job I wanted, a full-time tenure-track position in the California Community College system. I have a real, valuable degree in English and academic colleagues whom I respect from Northern Arizona University. — John Clarkson, MA, JD

HeidiHansenPhotoThe rigorous curriculum and student-centered approach to learning allowed me to grow as a scholar and professional by tailoring course projects to my own goals and presenting work that started in the classroom at regional conferences. Additionally, the online nature of the M.A. program allowed me to gain teaching experience as an adjunct instructor while still in school. Within a year of graduating, I have earned a tenure-track Instructor of English position at my first-choice institution. My coursework at NAU, including courses in writing studies and digital media studies, helped me stand out among applicants in a national search, while the professional skills I developed helped me succeed in the interview process. — Heidi Hansen, Instructor of English, Northwest College

RheaMI applied for the MA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies at NAU because the program is dynamic and constantly being improved and updated.  The instructors deliver well-organized instruction which both challenged me and extended my communication abilities, creativity, and personal growth.  Clear guidelines, rigorous assignment loads with ample access to global academic resources, and warm personal encouragement were standard as I worked my way through my graduate studies program.  Not only did I develop close and meaningful relationships with professors, I have a group of alumni friends from various parts of the globe with whom I confer on a regular basis. I am now employed at an excellent university as an English Instructor/Assistant Professor in my desired location on the SE coast of South Korea, at the University of Ulsan.  For me, the NAU graduate program was key to attaining my position, and to give me the confidence and skills to begin a new career path as an educator and as a writer. — Rhea Metituk

WilliamMI jumped, in my mid-fifties, from leading a religious community to teaching first-generation students at a public liberal arts college. When I needed help, NAU was there—online. The English faculty guided me, encouraged me, and shaped my vision for my new mission. This was my fourth master’s degree—and my most difficult. But this degree “paid off” –taking me from an Adjunct, to a Visiting Instructor, to a Lecturer in the Writing Program. I now direct the Honors Program at Fort Lewis College. Thank you NAU! — Dr. William L. Mangrum, Coordinator, John F. Reed Honors Program

This program influenced how I perceive my future classroom and the students within the class that I’m teaching. Being better able to relate to their understanding of language or their understanding of themselves, or the lack thereof, helps me conceptualize better how to teach them the information that they need. I think I want to teach a class based on identity to help them better understand and express themselves through their writing.