Tritia Moneypenny '16
Youth Development Master's
Tritia Moneypenny has always been interested in teaching, but her passion for educating adolescents came later. Her decision to pursue a master's degree in youth development came during an 11-year stint working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.
Moneypenny ended up at Kansas State University Global Campus after looking specifically for graduate-level youth development programs. Often one of the only students in her classes in the Pacific time zone, Moneypenny needed an online program that emphasized flexibility, which made K-State Global Campus a perfect fit.
Youth Development Master's Student Experience
Were there any faculty members who went above and beyond to help you?
"Most of the reason I chose Kansas State University out of all the other seven universities in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance was because of Elaine Johannes. I'd taken a couple of classes with her (as an Iowa State student through Great Plains IDEA), and she seemed really responsive. I knew I had to work under her and have her as my mentor. As a distance student, you need someone who is responsive and has time to help you. It's important to have that connection."
What are your plans to use the degree going forward?
"I actually have two positions lined up. One's just a short term, with a program called Pacific Leadership Institute through Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern. I'll be doing a service learning program for high school students at Berkeley for three weeks. And then after that, the school that I did my capstone project with really wants to keep me around. So I'll do two part-time jobs to start and go from there."
What was the focus of your capstone project?
"The school had been doing service learning, but had never done surveys of how it was going or impacting the students. So I did a survey of all the ninth through 12th graders, and I got a 91 percent response rate. And based on that and scholarly literature, I was able to suggest recommendations. They're going to implement some major structural shifts over the next several years."
What was the most convenient aspect about earning your degree through the online program?
"One, I could do the work anytime. If my best time to work happened to be midnight, I could do it then. And it was all asynchronous, so I didn't have to be on at any time. That's a consideration being out of the time zone. It's nice not to have to be synchronized at any particular time.
"Since all of the interactions are digital, being able to break through and have a human connection beyond the computer has to happen. That's the experience I've had with all of the coordinators and professors at K State."