Like anyone who lives in or around a major city in Texas, Karolyn Williams experiences the frustrations of driving around town. The slog of traffic, the constant screech of brakes and worst of all, feeling the time spent in the car was a waste. But, thanks to SHSU Online, Williams found a way to turn those hours on the move into a master’s degree.
While working for the state of Texas in the Office of Court Administration, Williams finished her Master’s in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management through SHSU Online. During that time, Williams’ job required plenty of driving as she provided resources and information to make the judicial branch of Texas run smoothly.
“While studying for my master’s, about 75 percent of my week was spent traveling, because I had 29 county courts along the Gulf Coast that I provided assistance to,” Williams said. “So, my days were very structured and planned out in advance and most of my work involved me going out to a county and coming all the way back on the same day.”
At first, Williams wasn’t sure she could handle the balance of work and school. She explained that with the demands of her job restricting her schedule, the last thing she would want to do was to drive to campus for an in-person class.
“Thanks to the technology of SHSU Online I was able to listen to my lectures while driving in the car,” Williams said. “I did a lot of studying on the weekends and at night. Driving to class, sitting in the classroom, driving home again just would not have worked for me."
"The convenience of SHSU Online really helped me to go at my own pace."
— Karolyn Williams
"I remember listening to lectures, and if I did not understand something, I could go back, listen to it again, and let it soak in. For me, the biggest hurdle with completing my degree would have been being forced to be confined to a classroom,” Williams said.
Five months after graduation, Williams was hired as a business development manager for a private law firm in Houston. She now serves on the Alumni Association Board for SHSU and was a founding member of the SHSU Black Alumni Club.
“All of my experience with my previous employment and my master’s have propelled me forward in my career,” Williams said.