Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Jennifer Field ’10

Jennifer Field

Jennifer Field ’10
High School Teacher
New York Department of Education

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
I chose Empire for many reasons. Firstly, as a working single mother I needed a way to study that would fit with my heavy work schedule. Secondly, I knew that I had extensive work experience for which I could get credit, thus helping me graduate sooner. Finally, the fees were more affordable than other schools, since it was a SUNY.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
I worked closely with the art mentor who was able to guide me through the process of getting credit for my art glass business and was also able to see what other credits I might get from other work experience. I felt that she helped me get so much from my lifetime experiences in the workplace and apply it to my degree.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
I applied for and got in to a selective education program at Teachers College at Columbia University. There were only 20 candidates chosen from a vast pool of applicants and I was one of them. I also received a generous stipend to do so. I attained my Masters through that University and went on to easily secure a job as a high school teacher, working with students with disabilities. In this career I use my art skills every day to help my students. I feel I now have a career that is truly a vocation and not simply a job.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
Enjoy the process and trust that this degree can open doors for you that you may have once felt were closed. But while on that journey, enjoy it. I got so much more than my degree at Empire; I went on an amazing journey of learning that expanded my knowledge and interests that stay with me to this day.

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
I remember about ten years ago standing with tears in my eyes, certain that I would never manage to get my degree. It felt so far beyond my reach. But Empire helped me use all my prior learning credits and my work experience and helped me make this once crushed dream a reality. When I stood at Columbia University to receive my Masters diploma, I thought back to Empire and how they helped me get so much further than I ever imagined possible. I have since recommended many people attend Empire including my own son.