From education to career success to published work, the experience of the faculty plays an important role in how satisfied you are with your education.
Before you enroll, spend time getting to know the faculty to determine if an online master’s program is right for you.
First explore what the “university says” about their faculty. Then, consider what “they say” about themselves and what “others say” about them. And remember that what “you say” is also important.
1. What the University Says.
Learn about the faculty of an online master’s program by browsing the university’s website. There, you should find information about faculty members’ education and practical work experience, as well as research conducted or articles/books published.
As you browse programs, look for answers to these questions:
- What academic qualifications are required for faculty?
- Does faculty have experience working in their industry?
- Is the faculty advancing the field through their research or publications?
2. What They Say.
Social media offers a direct path to learn more about how faculty members want others to see them.
On LinkedIn, you will typically find their professional biography, which gives you an additional way to learn about the faculty member’s education and career experience. If personal values are more important to you, open Facebook profiles can offer you extra insight into faculty members’ personalities.
As you review faculty online, keep in mind these questions:
- Does their personal profile demonstrate success within their field?
- Does the content they share convey active involvement in the field?
- Do you feel you can connect with them based on likes, comments, and shares?
3. What Others Say.
Leverage your personal network to find current and past students of the universities you’re considering. As their insights come from direct experience with the program, they can help you understand the expectations of faculty members and their approach to coursework.
Use LinkedIn Communities or Groups like the Capella University Open Forum to join conversations and observe what others have to say about their experience. In addition to open forums on LinkedIn, some universities provide a way for you to directly connect with students. For example, you can pose questions to current student ambassadors on Capella’s Facebook page.
When you connect directly with students, consider asking these questions about the faculty:
- How do they facilitate classes, review coursework, and provide feedback?
- Are they available for questions and one-on-one coaching if necessary?
- How do they help mentor students in terms of achieving career goals?
4. What You Say.
For many people, a ten minute conversation with faculty can reveal as much as hours of research. Connecting directly with a faculty member can help further your understanding of their experience and approach to teaching.
If a personal conversation or email interview will help you feel more confident in your decision, consider reaching out directly to the university.
As you speak with faculty members, ask these questions:
- What suggestions do you have for incoming students to be successful?
- How did your career experience lead you to work in higher education?
- Where do you see this field in the next five years?
Faculty in an online master’s program at Capella University must have a relevant terminal degree from an accredited institution and at least three years of related field experience.