Tracy Arner, a current student in the M. Ed. Learning Design and Technology program, has gradually evolved in her profession from an accountant to someone who provides training for local and state governments on all of the aspects of financial management that they would need to know about. This is a pretty typical process that people go through as they go from being fresh in their career path to becoming seniors and experts. Somewhere along the way, the ability to teach others is picked up. But, Tracy decided she wanted formalized training as an educator.
Tracy graduated from the University of West Florida in Accounting and became a CPA after this. She’s been working in governmental accounting when she graduated from college, having spent 21 years in Georgia. She worked for a library system and served as its Chief Financial Officer for around six years. Therefore, she specializes in financial accounting for libraries. She began doing some consulting and governmental accounting educating for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, which functions under the University of Georgia, around 2005. “Basically in 2005,” Tracy says, “I transitioned from being a practitioner to a teacher.” In 2010, Tracy came on full time as the program manager. She decided soon, as she created a certification program for library business managers and for charter schools, that she wanted to gain a formal education in educating, which is most of what she now does.
Besides the tuition assistance that Tracy received for being a UGA employee, she picked the UGA online program because it worked out logistically for her the best. She chose the degree because it matches exactly what she’s doing in her job. “I’m an educator, and I’ve never had any formalized training in education,” Tracy says. “My department at Carl Vinson is trying to offer our students access to our content in multiple ways, and I thought participating in an online degree program would equip me to do this better.” Through her experience with these online classes, she’s learning what good delivery of online content looks like. She’s learning theory, how to use the software, and also how her instructors are doing the delivery online. “It’s almost like they’re modeling for me. It’s one of the things I really want to get out of the program,” says Tracy.