Ready to Lead
Peoria Journal star article
By Jennifer Towery
Liz Danner of Eureka majored in elementary education in college. But something always told her teaching might not be her thing, and she left school without a degree.
"I got married. Had a family. Thirteen or 14 years later. . . . I decided this was as good a time as any" to finally get that degree, she said.
The timing was not only good, it was eerily good. Eureka College had just announced it was starting a new organization leadership bachelor's program targeted to non-traditional students who'd never finished degrees.
The major intrigued her. The college is two minutes from her home. She'd been dreading driving to Illinois State University or another college.
Oh, and she couldn't get interested in online courses.
"I'm a people person," she said.
Last week, she finished her degree in organizational leadership at Eureka.
Unlike Danner, most of the students in the cohort program already are working. The classes meet on Friday nights and all day Saturday, every other weekend. It seems to work for jobs and families, said Jeff Bailey, organizational leadership program coordinator. Students hail from Peoria, Congerville, Danvers, Bloomington, Morton, Hudson and elsewhere.
Because a hefty part of the program is practicums, both individual and group, the students' employers benefit from the program as well.
Danner sees a difference in herself, and the way she interacts with people. She's even better at communicating with her own family, she said.
"The courses themselves have changed me as a person," she said. "My reactions are different, and so is the way I interact with people who have different styles of learning and communicating.
Another student in Cohort 1 was Kat Arnold, whose husband, J. David Arnold, is president of Eureka College. Even she was surprised by the difference the education made in her confidence level.
"I never knew there was so much out there. We can literally do anything," she said.