March 4, 2012

Everything Is Coming into Focus

Well, I am home today. I was planning on going to church, but ended up staying home due to a bout of intestinal disorder. I am not sure whether this is related to the migraine headache I had on Friday-Saturday or not. Suffice it to say, I am not feeling my best, and so I am sitting here typing while I wait for my son to finish up performing at church.

I spent the majority of the morning working on my graduate plans for advanced studies at the University of Phoenix. I know that I have blogged about the various opportunities I have considered, but this path seems to return to me, and it is the only one where I feel peace. Weird -- because I do feel a sense of peace about Regent University, but I believe that at this time, I am meant to attend UOPX for my PhD and not Regent.

In consideration of the path I am on, and the fact that the Lord has been telling me to "remain" where I am for the past couple weeks, I have decided that I need to stick to what I know, and wait for Him to tell me otherwise. What this means to me is a clear and focused plan of study that will lead to the completion of an advanced degree (His Will). This is my plan so far, which is open to His leading:
  • Complete my last course at Mercy College: Humanism in Renaissance Texts this May; submit my thesis on the topic of the "Feminine Divine in Medieval Writings; and graduate with my Masters degree.
  • Enroll at the University of Phoenix for one summer online course in Introduction to Statistics. This class is something I have never taken, and I believe it will benefit me for my advanced studies. I can take it for free thanks to my tuition reimbursement from my employer. Tentative dates are June-July, 2012.
  • Register at Western International University (an Apollo Group subsidary) for RES 600: Graduate Research Methods, an 8-week online course necessary to satisfy the remaining requirement for my doctoral application. Tentative dates September-October, 2012.
  • Register for the Doctoral Success Orientation workshop at some point prior to starting my first class.
  • Register for COM 705, the pre-requisite course for all doctoral students starting in November, 2012.
  • Once I complete Com 705, I can then be fully admitted to the doctoral program and start my coursework towards completing this degree.
The entire process spans the Summer-early Fall, but will make sure that I have everything I need to be successful in advanced studies.

With my educational path settled, I am considering my options for career advancement. Right now, I have been in Enrollment Services for 7 months. I am in the process of completing my Senior Advisor requirements so that I will be eligible for a promotion on my 1st year anniversary. This path will require that I complete 45 tutorials on various topics preparing me for greater roles and more responsibility. I wasn't pleased with this progression, and I felt that the entire sequence was wickedly oppressive -- I mean -- all this in addition to completing graduate school. But, then I considered the course work, and realized that if my goal is to eventually work as a Director of Academic Affairs or Programs, etc., I need to be prepared for interpersonal communication and organizational management. These courses are generic but they cover practical and useable topics. Yes, it is a lot of work, and yes, I have to do them on my lunch hour (well, I can do them during the day, but that cuts into my numbers and talk time -- and that is the bottom line for success in my job). I am planning on spending 3-4 days a week completing a tutorial. This will allow me to complete the entire course in about 4 months. I should be ready to be promoted by then, and hopefully my numbers will prove I am worthy of being a Senior Advisor.

My goal then is as follows:
  • Complete the Sr. Advisor tutorials between now and my anniversary, July 2012
  • Hopefully obtain a promotion to Sr. Enrollment Advisor
  • Begin my Executive Advisor tutorials and complete as many as possible between July 2012 and July 2013 (year minimum for promotion)
  • Between January 2013 and July 2013, look for opportunities to move from Enrollment over to Academic Affairs. Roles I would be interested in applying for include Faculty Program Manager in the College of Humanities.
  • Once I can move into AA and then into a solid academic role, I will focus on learning as much as I can in management and organization project skill as possible.
  • Complete my PhD and continue to work progressing up through Associate Director to Director of Academic Affairs by 2021.
My plan would be to stay with UOPX, but at the point when I am considering Director positions, I would entertain any option even if it were at another school. It really will depend on my relationship and abilities for forward movement.

So for now, that is my plan of action. It encompasses the two aspects of the Lord's expressed will for my life:
  1. Complete my advanced studies degree by 2017
  2. Work in a managerial level role over people, programs or resources
It is up to the Lord to move me, so all I can do is the tasks associated with each item, making sure I focus and complete everything to His Satisfaction. He is responsible for the rest. He moves me, He empowers me, He grows me, He changes me, He employs me, and He calls me to do His Expressed Will. I am content and I am at rest in His Mighty and Most Majestic Will.

Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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