distance learning When it comes to distance learning, there are two important qualities that stand out. One is innovative technology that provides a challenging, but quality education. The other is a sense of community. As technology evolves, it becomes even more important for the individual faces behind the screen to shine through the electronic communication.

With leaders in online education, like Grantham University Associate Provost and Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 2017 Rising Star Award winner Dr. Niccole Kopit, who places a sense of community high on the priority list, the future of this field is looking good.

Motivation to Make a Positive Impact

For Kopit, her source of motivation doesn’t come from what she can accomplish for herself, it comes from what she can do to help others accomplish their goals.

“My motivation lies in making others better and making sure that impact lasts in my absence, and that is true as a wife, a mom, a colleague, working with students … I want to leave the world a little better than when I found it,” she said.

As associate provost at Grantham, Kopit helps obtain and maintain accreditations and academic policies, and she oversees programmatic deans, assessment, strategic plans, and operating procedures, including faculty and curriculum development.

She dedicates her work to improving distance learning through Grantham’s curriculum, making sure it’s high quality and can transform current students into competitive job candidates for the workforce.

Helping Others Through Distance Learning

When it comes to helping others, Kopit focuses on the power of education.

“Grantham University prepares students in all degree programs to be effective communicators, critical thinkers, and to uphold professional and ethical responsibilities,” she said. “The facts are that a college graduate is statistically more likely to have a higher salary than someone who doesn’t [have a degree] and is also more likely to have more job and promotion opportunities.”

But for some people, a traditional education from a brick-and-mortar institution is not in the cards. And that’s when distance learning comes into play.

“It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it,” Kopit said. “I think it’s important to keep in mind if it was easy, everyone would do it. However, it’s not! You are doing something extraordinary, so take your time and get to know the academic environment. Possibly, start on a part-time basis rather than jumping in full-time. Finally, be prepared.”

A Grantham degree provides students more than an opportunity to earn their college degree in a flexible and affordable manner, while maintaining academic integrity. It allows students from all over the world to be exposed to a diverse set of viewpoints and perspectives, like the ones Kopit regularly shares.

Entering into a positive, encouraging community can be just the push some people need to reach their goals. This is the motivator for Kopit and so many other leaders in distance learning.

Receiving the 2017 DEAC Rising Star Award

While her biggest accomplishments are being a wife and mom, as well as a leader in online education, Kopit has made waves as Grantham’s associate provost.

“Although, I hope and pray there are more accomplishments [coming] my way,” Kopit said. “It reminds of me of what Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.’ She wrote, ‘I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open. And I hope that you – yes, you – have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world. Because the world needs you to change it.’”

Kopit’s passion and ambition to make a difference through her career is a big part of what made her stand out as the ideal choice for the DEAC’s Rising Star Award.

In its nomination of Kopit for this award, Grantham wrote, “Dr. Kopit has elevated both Grantham University and distance learning with her devotion to higher education, innovation and improving the education each student receives under her watch. Her results are a byproduct of her passion for students – especially the adult and military learner. And she has proven herself to be a valuable asset to not only Grantham University, but to all of higher education.”

For Kopit, it’s not about gaining eligibility for prestigious awards that inspires her. It’s about “being able to get up every day and help change someone's life for the better,” she said.

Encouraging Students to Find What Motivates Them

When it comes to distance learning, self-motivation and confidence is important. But the reward, an accredited degree, is worth the academic journey.

“Know your learning style and don’t just be okay with being you. Be proud!” Kopit said. “Like Dr. Seuss says, ‘Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.’”

At Grantham University, you can take control of your education and your career at your own pace.

With experienced professionals like Dr. Niccole Kopit helping and encouraging you along the way, you’ll be able to reach your goals and create new ones. You can challenge yourself every day and grow in your education, in your career and as a person.

Ready to join our community? Contact us today to get started.

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