Switching jobs can be a stressful processes, especially when you’re trying to learn all the facets of a new field. Derek Murphy, a 2011 EDP alumnus, felt that his degree in criminal justice and background in law enforcement didn’t wholly prepare him for a new career at a social work nonprofit.
“Being a full-time employed individual and having a family of my own … I found myself in a position where I needed to go back to school for a degree,” Derek said.
After Derek’s first semester in the Community College of Vermont system, his CCV and future EDP advisor, Kelly Strunk, recommended they work out a plan to finish his degree at Johnson State. Not only did he feel like he met his goals with EDP, he went beyond them.
“It’s easy as an adult learner to fall into a pratfall of just taking exactly what I need and not really challenging myself,” Derek said. “My advisor challenged me to take courses that were at the top of my abilities.”
Derek was able to build his own curriculum in the Professional Studies program, taking advantage of both online classes and locally taught EDP classes at the CCV location in St. Johnsbury. The mix of convenience and a traditional learning environment suited his learning style well, as it does for many EDP students.
“It really keeps the learner active and engaged and involved,” Derek said. “I personally can’t see how any learner in the system can say they don’t have the ability to get their needs met, because they have such a vast arena to draw from.”
After graduating, Derek now manages AL’TA Counseling, a drug and alcohol counseling center in Tacoma, Washington, in his native Pacific Northwest.
“With my degree, it gave me that latitude to go to wherever direction I needed to go,” Derek said. “EDP got me to that next point in my life where I was able to make my own decisions on where to go and what to do next.”
His advice for future EDP students? Just dive in.
“The only barrier is just your own hesitancy to get started in the process,” Derek said. “Come on in, the water’s fine.”