Jablonski Offers Tips to Earning LSU’s Online Higher Education & Administration Master’s

I am creative. Jennifer Jablonski, LSU Online master's studentJennifer Jablonski, from Christiansburg, Virginia and a student in the School of Education Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration Program, co-presented at the National Association of Schools of Music Conference in Washington, D.C. Jablonski is currently the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management in the School of Music at the University of South Carolina. She presented along with Fred Peterbark, Director of Music Admission at Ithaca College. The presentation was titled “Recruitment and Retention: Establishing Pipelines, Managing the Cohort, Stemming Enrollment Decline,” and it was delivered at the National Association of Schools of Music’s 95th Annual Meeting in November 2018. The presentation was standing-room only, with an audience of at least 250 members. Following the presentation, Jennifer and Fred received hundreds of requests for her presentation.

Jablonski chose to come to LSU for the online master’s program. Her work required a lot of travel, and her institution, the University of South Carolina, did not offer an online format for the degree she wanted. After doing some research, Jablonski found that LSU’s program was a perfect fit.

“I have enjoyed the coursework, strong faculty, and inspirational peers that we get to interact with regularly in our classes,” said Jablonski. “The price point was attractive, too; it’s a great value for the experience we’re getting.”

My LSU Experience

Jablonski credits LSU with helping her become a creative problem solver professionally and as a student. When it came to time management, Jablonski had to get creative in order to pursue her degree. With her current job, starting an all-female, alumni sax quartet, and traveling to recruit for U of SC, she had to strategically think about how she would find the time to finish the course work required. She learned that investing in the American Airlines Admirals Club membership allowed her to finish tasks in various airports during travel.

“With my travel schedule with work, it would have been very difficult to pursue a traditional master’s degree,” Jablonski said. “The online Higher Ed degree at LSU is perfect for working professionals like me.”

Before starting the program, Jablonski had doubts of the effectiveness of an online education. However, upon starting the degree she was impressed with how well online education works. She loves that the program requires all students to interact in forums. In comparison to a traditional classroom where it is easier for students to be tempted to disengage. But online forums are a more balanced presentation of all the students’ viewpoints, which Jablonski liked a lot. 

“Now that I am well into the degree, I have found myself becoming a proponent of online education and have talked with my dean about the need for us to start our own online master’s degree in Music.”

The Impact of LSU Faculty

During her time at LSU, Dr. Dana Hart is a faculty member that stood out to Jablonski. Hart served as a professor and mentor to Jablonski. She admires the way that Hart is able to humanize the online learning process and express genuine care for all of his students. Hart’s course structure is impressive and well-conceived; he is always able to give quick, thoughtful responses when Jablonski needs help. When asked about what makes online teaching work well, Jablonski thinks of Dr. Hart’s exceptional teaching and facilitating skills. Thanks to him, she engaged in research about the fascinating history of the University of South Carolina during Reconstruction.

An Ideal Career

Jablonski is grateful to be in a job she considers ideal. Her position as the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management in the School of Music at the University of South Carolina combines her love of students, music, higher education, and marketing. She has worked more than 21 years in higher education, in positions with Radford University, Virginia Tech, and University of South Carolina.

“While I have a lot of practical experience in higher education, I had been lacking the theoretical background and understanding that I have observed in those I respect and admire most in higher education,” Jablonski said. “I’m three classes into my degree at LSU and already I feel I have better perspective that allows me to be a more effective administrator and leader.”

About SOE

The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership and Research, and Counseling, including two completely online master’s programs. SOE offers a range of professional and academic degree programs that focus on preparing students for careers in education, research, policy formation and implementation, as well as program oversight. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners, and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. SOE is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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