Chris Moore is a Penn State World Campus student and shares his experiences with taking courses and managing his personal life.
Major: Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations
Courses taken per term: 1
Hours spent on program per week: 8–10 hours
Current home town: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
Distance from University Park: 1,118 miles
As a Penn State World Campus student, what does a typical school day look like for you?
As parents of three young boys, my partner, Kate, and I are up at 6:00 a.m. as we tackle the impossible: getting the kids out of bed, dressed with “clean” clothes, fed, and ready for school. Once this daily milestone is achieved, off to work I go as the supervisor of Administration and Human Resources for the Municipality of the County of Kings. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., my day is a blur of working on strategic initiatives, supporting my team, problem solving with our local union and management, and putting out fires. After work, it’s back home and time to play with the kids, eat supper, put the kids to bed, and start thinking about my course.
Thank goodness Kate is a teacher, because at 8:00 p.m. we both spend the next hour and a half working — her on marking/prep for the next day and me on my course. At 9:30 p.m., we usually unwind for an hour in front of Netflix, and then at 10:30 p.m. I open up the laptop again for another 30 minutes to wrap up my studies. My goal during the week is to complete all discussion forums, quizzes, and submit any weekly essay or group work by Friday evening. Saturday is always an off day when I hide the laptop and do not even think about school work — this is family day. On Sunday I spend a few hours, whenever I can, to complete the readings for the upcoming week and start to outline and plan for any essays or group work. For me, this schedule is perfect because I don’t have to rush to complete any work on the weekend, and it doesn’t interfere with my family life.
Where do you complete your course work?
We had an office built years ago, but that was to hide all of Kate’s school work. Teachers accumulate a lot of material! So for me, it’s the kitchen table, which is also conveniently located next to all the snacks.
What do you like most about Penn State World Campus?
I like the flexibility that the program offers. Although there is structure in terms of what work has to be completed in the upcoming week, there is flexibility as to how I achieve the deliverables. I decide when I want to study and for how long. Also, I have found that the curriculum and its outcomes are relevant to today’s HR issues and trends. This is critical for me, as the programs I bring back to my employer for implementation should not only follow best practices and current HR frameworks, but should also be industry leading. I have full confidence that I am receiving this through Penn State World Campus.
Why did you choose Penn State World Campus?
Brand recognition. When I decided to pursue my master’s degree, I realized that the program would have to be online due to my work schedule and busy family life. When I started to look at programs, I realized that I didn’t recognize a lot of the schools. As an HR professional myself, it is imperative that the degree come from a reputable university. When I learned of the Penn State World Campus Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations and reviewed the cost structure, the search was over. What I also liked about the degree program is that it is provided in partnership with Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations. Also, I knew that having Penn State on my résumé would enhance my own brand and help me separate myself from other HR professionals.
What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling in a Penn State World Campus program?
Do it — you won’t regret it! The pride I have as a Penn Stater and the quality of the education I have received have far exceeded my expectations.