Kevin Doupe, a student at Penn State World Campus, shares his thoughts on what being a Penn Stater means to him.
Courses taken per term: 2
Hours spent on program per week:
My adviser at Penn State provided me with a list of suggested course pairings based on feedback from previous students. It has worked very well for me and my busy schedule.
I have been living in Vestal, New York, which is near Binghamton, an hour south of Syracuse. I will be moving to Towanda, Pennsylvania.
Distance from University Park:
From Vestal, New York, University Park is 165.2 miles or 3 hours and 3 minutes. From Towanda, Pennsylvania, University Park is 121.9 miles or 2 hours and 17 minutes.
As a Penn State World Campus student, what does a typical school day look like for you?
I am a single father of two children, Isaac, 18, and Kourtney, 20. Kourtney is going to SUNY Cortland for her bachelor’s degree and Isaac is a senior at Vestal High School. I am engaged to Kim who lives an hour away in Towanda, Pennsylvania. Some days begin in Vestal and some begin in Towanda. I am an accountant at a staffing firm in Binghamton, New York, and my day runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. I like to utilize my lunch breaks with doing my weekly readings and taking any quizzes I may have for that week. I do them right from my computer at work, which makes it easy for me. I play soccer Monday and Friday evenings so a lot of times I don’t do a whole lot of work those evenings. I am also at Kim’s on Wednesday evenings so I try to not do much then either. Tuesday and Thursday evenings I try to get as much group project work and individual assignments done as I try to not use the weekends for school work. I teach at a local business school on Saturdays. I have worked out a system where I usually keep Saturday evenings and Sundays “schoolwork free” for the most part.
That is the typical day-to-day schedule in my life. However, I am the Coaching and Player Development Committee Chair for the Towanda Area Youth Soccer Association, which has monthly board meetings and work that I must do outside of those meetings. Once soccer season begins in August, I’ll be more active in the training and development of the coaches and preparing for players.
To me, volunteering is an essential part of who we are. I have been a volunteer EMT for the past eight years, and I have put that on the back burner so that I can volunteer for other, more career-related programs. I am on the Penn State World Campus Student Advisory Board, on the Academic Affairs Committee, where we have two meetings a month, and again, there is work that must be done outside of these meetings. Looking forward to my future, I may get involved in area politics where I have recently begun the steps to become a member of the Towanda Borough Council, and once I move there, I will also be an active board member. As with each of the other boards, there is time involved outside of the board meetings. Lastly, I make sure to spend time with my kids (when they are around; they are busy young adults!), my beautiful fiancé, and her two handsome boys, and for myself to just relax!
Where do you complete your course work?
About half of my course work is completed at my desk at work during my lunch hour and the other half is split between my couch and Kim’s couch. My laptop is my portal to the Penn State world!
What do you like most about Penn State World Campus?
I have always been very independent. I enjoy the ability to know what is due and when, but utilizing my time, my way. I think in today’s workforce, now more than ever, it’s increasingly important to be able to (A) understand and meet internal and external deadlines, (B) be able to work virtually with varied people from around the area, country, and world, and (C) balance work with your personal life. Ultimately, it comes down to good time management, and Penn State World Campus allows me to do that the best way that works for me as an individual.
Why did you choose Penn State World Campus?
The name, Penn State. I had applied to three colleges for my graduate degree and was accepted to two. I chose Penn State because of the program and because of the recognition that my résumé will receive when a potential employer sees that I was accepted to, attended, and graduated from The Pennsylvania State University. This will set me apart from another candidate for the same position. The reason I selected the World Campus is that I knew that my busy life would not allow for attending classes on a campus, so the flexibility of the World Campus allowed me to gain my education in my own way.
What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling in a Penn State World Campus program?
Go for it! The ability to utilize your time your way, to cater it to your own life in the best way YOU see fit is a benefit all in its own.