Heather Hollandsworth

Heather Hollandsworth Ed. D. student
Ed.D. Student

What made you choose Marymount University for the pursuit of your Doctorate?

Part of the reason that I chose Marymount is because it is a private institution in Virginia. I received my bachelor's degree and my master's degree from other private institutions. I felt comfortable with selecting another private institution for my doctorate program.  

Another reason that I chose Marymount is due to the curriculum. I've worked in higher education for over 20 years, so I knew that educational leadership was something that I wanted to pursue. In looking at the curriculum and the program itself, I felt it was the right fit for me.  

The people are in constant contact with students. If you've got questions, any faculty or staff are there to help. They check in periodically. Your faculty members that are teaching your courses each semester are very personable. They want you to do well. They want to be that support system. I really think that [the people] stand out with Marymount versus a lot of other larger online institutions.


What is the biggest highlight of your experience? 

The students in my cohort are the most supportive, loving, caring people that I have ever met in my entire life. They want the whole group to do well. They are always out there supporting and cheering everybody on. We've got this, and you could not ask for better people in this program.  


What do you hope to accomplish by earning an Ed.D. degree? 

I want to move further ahead in my career. Right now, I work in finance, but I really want to be at a vice president or potentially even a president level at some point in my career. I think that this program can get me to that point.  

I have already taken a lot of what I've learned and put it into practice in my own career and professional life right now. A lot of people have seen some changes in the way that I interpret things or the way that I approach things due to what I've learned in this program about leadership and the kind of leader that I really want to be with everyone else.  

Tell us more about your online experience. 

It is different than a classroom environment where you are asking questions and have that one-on-one feedback instantaneously. Being in an online program was different, but I've found that I enjoy it because you still have that interaction. 

It may not be instantaneous, like being in a classroom, but there are still so many more ideas that can be thought of and just getting those creative questions out and having an outlet in the faculty to answer questions. Sometimes it is difficult to balance full-time work and full-time school, but I have gotten used to both.  

Any advice for someone considering the program?  

I would say that it is okay to take your time. It's okay to know that it is going to be difficult at times, especially when you have critical assignments one on top of another. 

Reach out to people — your faculty, cohort and staff. They are going to put you on the right path and that's what makes Marymount stand out. 


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