“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” – John Cotton Dana

In a quickly changing world where technology, knowledge and ideas are always evolving, I have adopted the above quote as my motto as a teacher. Throughout my first six years of teaching, I have been constantly introduced to new ideas, different ways of teaching and best practices. I am a firm believer that as teachers, we must be willing to adapt based on world around us.  

One of the best decisions I have made is to go back to school and continue my education. Becoming a student has increased my knowledge in a structured and beneficial way and broadened my horizons as an educator.  

When I made the decision to go back to school to get my online Master of Instructional Leadership degree so that I can become a well-rounded administrator, I found myself looking through many different universities. I wanted to find the one that best fit my needs as not only an educator, but as a human being who is active in the community and often stretched thin financially. No matter which schools I looked at, I kept being drawn back to the University of West Alabama online because it met so many of my needs.  

So, why did I always end up circling back to UWA? Three big things really stuck out to me as a potential student – and they continue to impress me as a current student going through the program. Those three things are: the price, the people and the convenience. 

The Price – Throughout my search for a graduate school, UWA was priced more affordably than every single school I found.  Over and over again, the price at UWA was much less than similar universities.  

The Convenience – Teachers are busy! I spend lots of time and energy making each day fun and engaging for my students, and I love it. They are my number one priority, so when I was searching for the perfect school to get my master’s degree, convenience was incredibly important. The program at UWA is completely online, and I can access every single aspect of the program through an incredibly well-organized website. I have also found that each course I have taken gives me flexibility to complete assignments at convenient times for me, and I’ve been able to move at a quicker pace if I want to. This is great for when busy times pop up at work, so I don’t have the added stress of graduate school. 

The People – Every single employee, professor and advisor I have come across at UWA has been incredibly helpful. My positive experience began when I met my admissions advisor immediately after I submitted my initial application. The advisor answered all my questions and eased my mind about being both a teacher and a student.  My advisors have gone out of their way to answer any crazy question I have had. My professors have also been readily available during each class I’ve taken. They’ve quickly responded to my questions and have always been incredibly helpful. Lastly, I have really enjoyed connecting with other teachers/students during my classes. Connecting with other teachers, who are in the same situation as I am, has been incredibly empowering and uplifting.  


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When it came down to it, the University of West Alabama online was a no-brainer for me. As a busy teacher who hopes to become a well-rounded administrator, I needed a university with a great history of producing excellent instructional leaders. Not only is UWA’s reputation amazing, but the price, convenience and incredibly friendly people that work there made my decision so, so easy. UWA is a great university that I highly recommend to anyone looking to go into any educational field.

This guest post was written by @adventuresofmssmith_. Katie Smith is a 5th grade teacher in Alabama, as well as a student at University of West Alabama Online.