Samantha O’Leary: Elementary School Teacher, Football Fan, Online Graduate Student

EKU Online > Samantha O’Leary: Elementary School Teacher, Football Fan, Online Graduate Student

If it’s football season, Samantha O’Leary is in the stands. Her brother plays for a college team, and she’s his biggest fan. If it’s not game day, she and her husband are planning their next trip or spending time with friends.

“There is always something going on between sporting events, birthdays, weddings, holidays and new babies,” said Samantha, who is from Bowling Green, Ky. She loves the flexibility of the EKU Online master’s degree program in education.

EKU Online student Samantha O'Leary

“With EKU Online, there is no requirement to log on at a certain time, which leaves me able to schedule my week on my terms. I can complete my coursework when needed and still be involved in all the things my family enjoys doing,” she said.

EKU Online students simply complete assignments by their instructors’ weekly deadlines to stay on track.

Samantha is an elementary school teacher. She wanted to broaden her career options with a graduate degree, so she chose Eastern Kentucky University’s online master’s degree program in special education with a teacher leader core. She’s focusing on students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The EKU Online advising team has assisted her with everything from the application process to determining which courses to take.

“Starting a new program can be intimidating, and my advisor has been key in making me feel comfortable and confident in my decisions,” she explained.

Samantha also appreciates the collaborative learning environment created by her instructors for EKU Online students. “My professors have been very proactive in making sure that the students in their classes understand and feel comfortable with the coursework. Questions are encouraged,” she added.

Everyone she has worked with at EKU has made her feel, in ways large and small, that she is part of the university’s 100-year history of preparing teachers to be their best. “I have always felt that my education was a priority. I had never taken an online class before this program, and I could not have asked for a better experience,” she said.

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