Rebecca Hunt began her career in education teaching English in Las Vegas more than two decades ago. She enjoyed success and satisfaction in the classroom, but always felt that she needed to earn her master’s degree. Year after year, she told herself she would get around to it “next year.” But as time went on, she continued to procrastinate—largely because she felt that earning her degree was too expensive and too hard to fit into her schedule.
Years later, while many of her colleagues were fleeing the Clark County School District, Rebecca thought that things were starting to fall flat in the classroom and she felt she needed “a shot in the arm” to help jumpstart her teaching career.
At this same time, her personal life changed drastically after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rebecca fought a difficult and courageous battle. She overcame the disease and is completely cancer free! With a clean bill of health, she decided right then and there that, after 24 years of thinking about it, now was the time to take action and finally earn her master’s degree.
She began researching opportunities, fearing that the degree was too far out of reach. After researching several universities, Rebecca was frustrated. Then she discovered WGU and found that a flexible and affordable master’s degree was more attainable than she had once thought.
“All of the programs I looked at were either too expensive or took too long to complete,” she said. “WGU gave me hope and that's what education does for people--it gives them hope for the future.”
Rebecca found WGU’s competency-based approach fascinating because she was able to advance once she demonstrated mastery of the subject matter. Her coursework was relevant to her work in the classroom and her students immediately benefitted when she used techniques and ideas she learned in the degree program.
Her experience at WGU inspired her students in another way: She said, “My students benefited greatly from watching me on my educational journey. I’m a big believer in lifelong learning. My learning inspires me and so it inspires my students. I teach them that when things are the darkest, invest in your education; education is the light to lead you out of the darkness.”
This important concept was what drew Rebecca to education in the first place. During her junior year of high school Rebecca was struggling to discover her voice and break free of the abuse she had suffered throughout her childhood.
“It was a teacher who believed in my talents and who taught me to believe in myself,” she said. “My English teacher read my brief personal narrative and told me that she loved my stories and that I needed to share them to inspire others.”
The new energy and passion she gained at WGU was the shot in the arm she needed and Rebecca stood out in her school and district. Many colleagues inquired about Rebecca’s new found outlook and she introduced many of them to WGU.
And this lifelong learner is not done yet. She’s currently pursuing her PhD from Northcentral University in Education Curriculum and Learning. “I can't imagine ever leaving the classroom because I derive such personal joy and satisfaction out of teaching.”