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How I Was Able to Finish My Masters After Becoming a Parent

April 29, 2022

Alumni Profile: Kortney Kling

Alumni Profile: Kortney Kling

In this profile, Kortney Kling shares her experiences as an online student and parent. Kling earned her online Master of Education in Higher Education Administration, while working full time as a teacher. She is currently exploring new career opportunities and is excited to put her new skills into action. Read further to discover her journey to become a 'mastered mom' and her advice for prospective or current students.


Where do you currently work and what is your role?

Jefferson Parish Public School System; Inclusion Teacher


What program did you complete?

Master of Higher Education Administration at LSU A&M


What was your motivation to pursue your degree?

I wanted to open more career opportunities for myself in my field and pave a way for a better life for my family. I also wanted to complete my master’s program while my children were still young so I could be present for them when they are older.


Which specific factor made your program the best fit for you?

Originally, I was an on-campus student. When I gave birth to my twins, I had to step away from coursework. I was fortunate that LSU offered an online format for my degree and I was able to easily switch over into that program when I was ready to continue my master’s coursework. I also liked the eight-week structure of the modules. They allowed me to stay on pace as a full-time student while also maintaining the same level of rigor a full term course would have offered.


What would you say to someone debating getting their degree online?

Do it for yourself and don’t give up on your goals even if your circumstances have changed. Your story can be someone else’s inspiration. If you’re on the fence, take the leap! You can never go wrong on investing in yourself, and education is invaluable.


How did your degree help you achieve success or career advancement?

Obtaining my degree opened opportunities for me to enter my desired career field. I am presently in the interviewing phase of the job search and am optimistic about job prospects!


How has earning your degree changed your life?

My life changed when I had my boys in so many ways. After dropping out of my program, I wasn’t sure when or if I would be able to complete my master’s program. Taking the steps to do so changed my life in affirming that MY life didn’t end when I became a mom. I just had learn to navigate my new conditions, manage my time, and to be persistent. Being a “mastered mom” has made me both a better mother and professional. I have to thank LSU Online for allowing me the flexibility to navigate my life and coursework at a time and pace suitable for my circumstances.


What was your favorite aspect of your program?

Covid has changed what “traditional” college looks like and I never thought I would be an online student but, everyone was at some point in the past two years. I chose to embrace it and found that I loved the format and flexibility of the coursework.


What is your best advice on balancing school and other obligations?

When balancing school, family, work, and your own TLC, you have to be intentional and realistic. On most days, I was working on coursework during my lunch break or between the end of my work day and picking up my kids. It was challenging but, once I had my syllabus for the course, I would map out my next eight weeks, create a schedule (both chronological and high priority), and then stuck to the plan. It made balancing all of my responsibilities so much easier and I always left days open for leisure and rest.


What other advice would you give current online students?

You would be amazed by how quickly the coursework goes by. Get the most out of your curriculum and don’t be in such a rush to get it all behind you. Also, be gracious with yourself. Give yourself a break when you need it.


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Charlotte Bencaz
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cbencaz@lsu.edu

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