Tamla Heminger: Online Master's Student to Claim Diploma on First Visit to Campus
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of spotlights about students who study or studied online at University of Arkansas. The stories are running during National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 10 through 14.
Tamla Heminger, Texarkana, Texas
Master of Education in Educational Technology
College of Education and Health Professions
The first time a student in the master’s program in educational technology sets foot on the University of Arkansas campus, she will be wearing a cap and gown and reaching for a U of A diploma.
Tamla Heminger of Texarkana, Texas, plans to graduate in December 2014 from the educational technology online degree program from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Health Professions. The reason she plans to visit Fayetteville is to participate in commencement exercises.
Heminger, who worked as an occupational therapist for 25 years, accepted a job in 2012 to teach in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Ashdown campus of the Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. Her new position as a program director required that she earn a master’s degree.
“When I took my current position, I was told that I would be developing curriculum, designing instruction and teaching,” Heminger said. “This teaching was to include using a learning management system, using an AV system with students on three Cossatot campuses at the same time, teaching hybrid courses and teaching some courses completely online.
“This was all very new for me,” Heminger said. “When I started searching for a degree that would help me in the education area, I decided that finding one that would help with the technology realm would be helpful as well. This degree seemed perfect for what I needed.”
Earning this degree online was Heminger’s only option because she works full time and has family responsibilities. She is married to Jeff Heminger, who served as a police officer for the city of Texarkana, Texas, before taking a position as a department manager. The couple has two teenaged children.
“Both are active in school, church and varsity athletics,” she said. “We spend most Friday nights at football or soccer games. This makes for a very busy lifestyle. Online was the only way I could do it. I needed to be able to take classes when I wanted, around all of my other activities.”
She chose the master’s degree in educational technology because she felt she could maximize her instructional abilities, which would benefit her students.
“Technology is going to continue to impact all aspects of education, from the way students learn to how instruction is delivered,” she said. “By completing this program, I have the skills that will help my students advance in these areas.”
She is so pleased with her education that she is telling others about the online program, she said.
“I actually discussed my program with another person this past week who is in the same position I was in two years ago,” Heminger said. “I stressed the benefits of the degree, including the online aspects, as well as how the technology classes will benefit our students’ instructional needs.”
Kay Murphy, director of communications
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