Now that StraighterLine also offers professor-led online college courses, we thought you might want to know a little more about our professors. We’ve asked each of them to answer a series of questions to help you decide whether you want to enroll in their courses or stick with our more traditional self-paced courses. As with everything else here at StraighterLine, like publishing student course ratings and average pass rates, our goal is to give you the information you need to make the right choices for you.
And with that, it’s time for you to get to know Professor Michelle Prejean:
What excites you about StraighterLine’s Professor Direct?
What I really like about StraighterLine’s Professor Direct is that the program puts me in contact with students that are studying my area of expertise. StraighterLine delivers this service at a reasonable price and at the time the student needs and wants the course. As a Professor, I love having instant access to people that want to learn my field. As a mother with a family on a budget, I love not having to worry about my students breaking the bank to pursue their higher education goals.
What course/s do you teach at StraighterLine and why should students signup for them?
At StraighterLine, I teach Introduction to Nutrition. I think students should sign up for my class because of my years of experience in the nutrition field. It is one thing to gain the knowledge from a book, but with my experience, I can explain difficult concepts by relating them to everyday common experiences. My class will fun and informational.
What do you like about teaching online that you can’t do in a traditional classroom?
I like teaching online because the online environment gives every student a chance to make a contribution while simultaneously allowing the Professor the opportunity to alter the class as needed. At an on-ground campus, an introductory nutrition class might be taught by a graduate student in a large auditorium with 300 or so students. Even if the teacher or professor would like to individualize the class or address multiple questions, the traditional classroom format does not lend itself to greater exploration within the set lesson plan. The online classroom is not limited in what can be explored or discussed. The shy student has as much chance as the star student to interact with the Professor.
Why did you become a professor? What motivated you to become a teacher?
I discovered that I had a knack for teaching while I was working as an outpatient dietitian in
a diabetes education program. I was already working on my PhD at the time I had this job
and so when I completed my doctorate, it seemed like a natural fit to move into academia. I have always enjoyed teaching introduction to nutrition because it is the foundation to all other nutritional pursuits. Whether your interest is sports nutrition or eating disorders, it all starts with learning the basics. I love interacting with students as they uncover the misconceptions they have held regarding nutrition. It’s fun!
What is your favorite way to learn? Do you recommend this to students?
I have to relate what I am learning to my life. I do recommend this method to my students. If you can figure out how a bite of bread becomes body fat or energy, then you can explain to your patients/ clients/ friends - etc - why they need to choose certain foods and not choose other foods. It is that ability to put such a complex scientific process into everyday language that will make you good at your job.
Tell us about your favorite hobby or your favorite way to spend time away from work.
When I am not working, I like to sew, exercise, scrapbook and play taxi driver for my three kids.