Online education gives students flexibility, especially when the unexpected happens
Balancing a family and career is never easy. So, when Dayle Warren decided to get her Master of Mathematics (MM), she knew it would be challenging. Little did she know an unexpected event in her first semester would make the process even more difficult. However, her determination and the support of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville professors, and online community helped her persevere.
Warren understood the significance of selecting the right MM program. Her schedule was hectic as a high school mathematics teacher, athlete, wife, and mother. Recognizing the need for flexibility, she opted for an online program, ultimately finding the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a perfect fit.
“I researched many universities and their distance education programs. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was one of the few programs that checked all my boxes. The Master of Mathematics program was exactly what I was looking for in a master’s program. The live lectures and weekly office hours appealed to me.”
— Dayle Warren, online student, Master of Mathematics
Around a month into her MM program, Warren discovered she was pregnant, leading to concerns about balancing her studies, health, career, and family responsibilities. Fortunately, her professors invested in her success and were willing to provide guidance. Warren’s instructors went above and beyond to assist her, offering extended time, recording lectures, scheduling office hours to suit her needs, and allowing her to take midterms early when they coincided with her due date. Professors frequently checked on her and her family, even after her daughter’s birth. “Anytime I had trouble with an assignment or needed extra guidance, my professors set up a virtual meeting that worked around my schedule. I felt supported in that way,” she said.
The online MM program’s strength lies in its curriculum, faculty, and advisors. Clear communication and a genuine desire to expand students’ knowledge are hallmarks of the program. Warren emphasized the importance of effort. “The more you put in, the more you will be successful and proud of what you accomplished,” she said. Through the program, Warren experienced significant development of her critical thinking, problem-solving, and mathematical skills. She enjoyed connecting with peers across the country who shared their unique experiences pursuing mathematical excellence.
Warren gave birth to her second child in 2022. She graduated from UT in August 2023 and plans to pursue a career teaching mathematics at the community college or university level.