Allyson was teaching English in Turkey for the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools when she began researching online schools to get her master's degree in children's literature. She saw how stories about friendship, compassion, courage, or honesty could transform a bored student into a motivated reader, and she wanted to find a program to help her gain additional skills to work with young people.
Once she started exploring the World Campus Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Children's Literature, Allyson said, "I discovered that the professors were among the best scholars in the world in the field of children's literature. The program was online, reputable, and flexible." And although the GRE test was not available where she was working, Allyson was able to enter the master's program with the help of the World Campus faculty. "They went the extra mile for me, and there was no question in my mind that World Campus and the master's in children's literature was right for me," she said.
Even after receiving her master's degree, Allyson still keeps in touch with her faculty, a close-knit group that encourages student success and support, and she believes the connections that she made with both faculty and students will last a lifetime. When consulting recently with Dr. Hade, one of her professors, a comment of his echoed a sentiment that most World Campus graduates have: "Once a Penn Stater, always a Penn Stater!"
Now Allyson is working to fulfill another dream — becoming a published author. She has already completed her first manuscript and is hoping that, using the tools and network that she developed in her World Campus program, she can walk into a bookstore one day and see her own book for sale. But her dream is really much more about helping young people to discover the joys of reading. "The knowledge that I gained and the passion that was fostered in the children's literature program is contagious; there is nothing like coming together with your middle and high school students over literature," she said. "The fact that I am able to inspire my students to read and to fall in love with reading is more than I could have ever hoped for. I am able to leave a legacy that will impact my students for the rest of their lives."