Graduate Student Experience

February 5, 2019

Monica D. Olivarez, Current M.Ed. Student

Monica Olivarez, Current Master's StudentIt is with a commitment to service that Monica D. Olivarez works as a St. Anthony Catholic High School teacher and coach by day and a UIW Student Services in Higher Education master’s student by night.

Working full-time and attending graduate school part-time is no easy feat, yet Mrs. Olivarez’s commitment to education—both teaching and learning—motivates her to continually advance. She works with teenagers currently, but one day plans to transition to the college environment where she will work with adult learners of all ages and assist them with their academic success.

Thus far, her favorite class has been Leadership and Administration in Higher Education. She plans to use knowledge, skills, and abilities learned in her graduate program to pursue a career in Student Conduct or Academic Advising. In those capacities, she hopes to educate students on best practices and walk them through the many institutional policies so they can graduate and achieve their goals.

So what advice does Monica want to share with future students? “Come! Be sure to attend the writing workshops hosted by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies on Saturdays and prepare in advance for the Practicum course. Identify a site and supervisor before the class starts to save time. Also, build relationships with your faculty. The professors understand I have a full-time job and they utilize different learning styles in class, so it helps with comprehending and recalling the material.”

Why did you choose to attend UIW for graduate study?

Working for St. Anthony Catholic High School, I have the opportunity to take classes at UIW. After two years working at St. Anthony, I decided to further my education in Student Services in Higher Education.

How did you learn about UIW’s graduate programs?

I received an email about an information meeting for Student Services in Higher Education. The information meeting really transformed my outlook and desire to work with adult students.

What has been your favorite class at UIW thus far?

My favorite class at UIW is Leadership and Administration in Student Affairs.

What do you like most about UIW?

Professors who understand I have a full time job and utilize different learning styles within class lectures.

What do you plan to do after graduating?

After Spring 2020, I hope to apply my masters’ degree working in Student Conduct or Academic Counseling.

How has the SSHE program prepared you for the field?

Student Services continues to prepare me to be a Servant Leader. What is your advice for prospective SSHE students? Attend the Saturday Graduate Writing Workshops.