Graduate Profile

Judy McCowin
M.S. Educational Leadership

Judy McCowin

Judy McCowin is no stranger to education. She worked as a secretary in a special education department for a local school district in northeastern Ohio for 12 years. She started a degree in education immediately after high school, but life soon got in the way and she never finished. “I always thought college was expensive, but as my oldest daughter entered her first year of college, I realized I could get the same financial aid benefits and decided to go back to school,” Judy said. Upon graduating, Judy was offered a position as an Intervention Specialist teaching math and science at a vocational school.

“Before I became a teacher I felt like I wanted to take a career path toward becoming an administrator in people services,” recalled Judy, “but when I landed my job, I had so many interests and felt like I could go in several directions if I got my master’s degree.”

Now with two kids in college, Judy began a year-long search for a master’s degree program that fit her needs. “I found WGU and couldn’t believe that it was so inexpensive and a nonprofit. I asked my peers about it, made phone calls to the state’s education department, researched it thoroughly—I just stumbled into a great program,” said Judy.

As she started the M.S. in Educational Leadership program at WGU, she was met with several challenges, including a full-time job, family obligations, and learning to navigate how to go to school online. “Life demands what you need to do,” said Judy. “I feel like WGU is one of the few universities that takes real people into account. It has been huge to know that I have resources to go to when things aren’t going the greatest. When a crisis comes up, WGU has the flexibility that others don’t. It gives you a chance to be successful.”

Judy feels that with her degree she will have the opportunity to go into a leadership position or continue to work in the classroom—whatever she chooses, her degree will add to the big picture of helping students succeed. “WGU met me where I needed and helped me make the decision to continue on the educational path that I wanted to be on—that made all the difference in the world,” said Judy. Judy plans to graduate by June 2013.