Learning about myself in online discussion posts with others in advanced degree course work

Henry Frederick, internet publisher / Headline SurferBy HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer
People Places & Things

SANFORD, Fla. -- I have learned a lot more about who I am through my coursework online in pursuit of a Master of Arts idegree in New Media / Journalism from Full Sail University.

I never dreamed I'd be back in school pursuing an advanced degree 33 years after receiving my BA in Political Science with Specialization in Public Administration with a concentration in Writing from Central Connecticut State University. But here I am today doing just that since March with nine more months to go.

Deadlines for submission of assigned work is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and the same time on Sunday with a live virtual class at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays (or to watch on an archive later). I prefer the live session because I can ask questions of the instructor. Sounds easy enough, right? Not really. The clock seems to always tick faster and so being organized by setting priorities is half the battle.

I am different from most of my classmates in that I have a lot of real-world experience in journalism -- both in traditional- and new-media.

Having worked for 20-plus years as a cops & courts reporter in print for two metros and as a city editor for a small daily newspaper, and for nearly a decade now as an internet news reporter and online publisher, I believe earning this advanced degree will certainly open new doors to opportunity and a better income. The reality is I am now 55 and feeling stagnant in career growth and earnings potential. This is important, especially after life-saving surgery 15 months ago for a massive ascending aorta aneaurysm.

Although I enjoy the reasearch and writing, I find the class interaction in online posts to be the most interesting because I am learning a lot about who I am through such interactions.

I find that my suggestions in feedback worksheets are well received and that what I offer in the way of constructive criticism and feedback is well received. As such, I realize I have a lot to offer and that I can teach the craft of journalism and the ever-changing components of 21st-century digital media. But regardless of the medium, there is no substitute for good writing. And that appears to be my biggest strength throughout my career and education. 

I have found that making suggestions to improve writing with my fellow grad school mates is far more effective rather than just saying something they have submitted is wrong or subpar. The idea is to gain respect and appreciation by offering alternative ways to illustrate their work. And their feedback, in turn, has helped me make adjustments, too.

Enrolled in Full Sail MA new media/journalism / Headline SurferAlthough I enjoy the reasearch and writing, I find the class interaction in online posts to be the most interesting because I am learning a lot about who I am through such interactions.

I find that my suggestions in feedback worksheets are well received and that what I offer in the way of constructive criticism and feedback is well received. As such, I realize I have a lot to offer and that I can teach the craft of journalism and the ever-changing components of 21st-century digital media. But regardless of the medium, there is no substitute for good writing. And that appears to be my biggest strength throughout my career and education. 

I have found that making suggestions to improve writing with my fellow grad school mates is far more effective rather than just saying something they have submitted is wrong or subpar. The idea is to gain respect and appreciation by offering alternative ways to illustrate their work. And their feedback, in turn, has helped me make adjustments, too.

With one-fourth of the coursework done, this advanced degree program is only going to become more difficult, but I am more than holding my own, mere percentage points from a 4.0 grade point average with a B in the opening course and an A in each of the next two with the fourth course starting next week.

The more I can serve as a mentor, the better the situation for my classmates and for myself in terms of the grades I receive. And ultimately, mastering the program when all is said and done early next year with the reward of that advanced degree proudly in my hands.

 

 

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.