We love getting to know our students. Your stories—like those featured in our Celebration of Distance Learners—inspire us and remind us that the work we do at StraighterLine helps thousands of hard-working students reach their educational and career goals every day. This Thanksgiving, as you take time to be grateful for your family and friends, we’re taking time to appreciate you!
Here are just a few reasons StraighterLine team members love what they do:
Making an Impact on Student Lives
One of the things we’re most thankful for is the opportunity to make an immediate, lasting impact on thousands of students’ lives. As Kerry Nagle, our Chief Operating Officer, says
You can take a job anywhere. You can do work that has output. But to work somewhere that is literally changing people's lives every day, nationwide is rare. I came to StraighterLine because I was inspired by Burck Smith’s vision of providing more affordable college education that works around people's busy lives. These days, a college education is no longer just a luxury, but is often a necessity--yet most people cannot even begin to think about how to pay for it or fit it in their hectic schedules, StraighterLine provides a solution. What we have built has not been easy - breaking the mold never is - but it provides a sense of purpose every single day that I am at work. This Thanksgiving, I give thanks that I can work at a ground-breaking industry leader like StraighterLine.”
And Kerry’s not the only one--Joe Thibault, StraighterLine’s Director of Academics adds
For me, it's about maximizing our impact as individuals. StraighterLine’s model is an effective way to bring college courses to thousands of students. And every day we're able to improve our courses, which benefits all our students. I don't think there are many institutions in higher education that have been able to provide so much college credit to students at such a low cost. We believe that what we’re doing is different, and that it’s different in a good way. We want to thank you for letting us be an important part of your life. Nothing makes us happier than helping you reach your goals for yourself, for your family, and for your future."
Affordable Access to a College Education
As Joe points out, cost is key! While we’re excited about the scope of the impact our work has, we’re also grateful for the opportunity to make higher education affordable and accessible. Jackie Nicholas, Executive Assistant, recognizes how important it is for anyone who wants to pursue education to have the ability to do so:
I’m a former teacher, so education is very important to me. I think that education should be readily available to anyone who wants to pursue it. That’s why I am proud to work at StraighterLine--I know that the work we are doing here really makes a difference and affords people who may not think they have the time or money to complete their degree the opportunity to do so. I am glad that I get to be a part of a company that is impacting people's lives in a positive and meaningful way and making some much-needed changes in a field that desperately needs them."
In fact, many of us here at StraighterLine have struggled with the cost of higher education ourselves, so we’re happy to be part of a solution to a problem we’ve experienced. Jaime Dalbke, Senior User Experience Engineer, notes that cost of her own education makes her thankful to be able to provide lower-cost education to students:
I was drawn to working at StraighterLine because we are using technology to find new solutions to the rising costs of college education. As someone who had to spend a long time paying off student loans, I am so grateful to be working for a company that is helping students to graduate with less debt. We know how important your education is to you, but we also know that you want a cost-effective way to get real college credit. Maybe you’re working to support kids or parents, or maybe you’re saving up for a down payment on a house. Meeting your educational goals shouldn’t mean compromising other dreams. This holiday season, we’re thankful that we can help you fit education into your life and into your budget."
With Us, It’s Personal
Your success stories touch us more than you know. We love hearing about the family members and friends who have encouraged you to change your life for the better. Our families and friends inspire us too—in fact, some of us have chosen to work at StraighterLine because we’ve seen just how powerful education can be on a personal level. Chad McNeal, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, shares
I am thankful for having a mother who was a wonderful role model growing up. She not only provided for me, but she also showed what can be accomplished through hard work and education. As a single, working mother, she went back to school to become a registered nurse and then earned two master's degrees. Seeing her persevere through studying and working to graduation was all the inspiration I needed when I started my graduate degree while working full-time. I am proud to work for a company that makes it easier for people like my mom to accomplish their educational and life goals."
This Thanksgiving, we hope you know that even if your StraighterLine course doesn’t have a professor, you’re not taking the course alone! The whole StraighterLine team is behind you, cheering you on every step of the way.
Your success is our success—reach out any time to let us know if there’s any way we can help. And let us know when things go well! We’re thankful for the sense of purpose you bring us every day.
About the Author: Anissa Sorokin, Ph.D., is StraighterLine's Senior Manager of Academic Services. As a former Writing Center Director and English professor, she manages all courses that involves writing assessment, and she is responsible for hiring and training StraigherLine's team of highly qualified evaluators. She has almost ten years of university teaching, advising, and program management experience.