Alumni: 87,000   Students: 17,000

Michele Cooper ’15

Michele Cooper

Michele Cooper ’15
Adjunct Faculty and Academic Learning Coach
SUNY Empire State College

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
I chose ESC because it offered me the opportunity to design a unique degree that matched my interests and my goals. Two features of ESC stand out as being most valuable — the ability to receive college-level credit for the knowledge I gained from life experiences and having a mentor who guided and advised me throughout my bachelors program and masters program.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
ESC enabled me to achieve my personal goal of finally getting that degree I never finished as a young woman. That sense of accomplishment is indescribable, but the word “joy” comes close! Professionally, I wanted to pursue a profession that was meaningful and satisfying and that built on my previous career as a professional writer and editor. I also wanted this new career to fit in with my retirement plans. I had already been working at the college as an Academic Learning Coach for a few years, and still do so; however, immediately after graduating with my masters, the college hired me to teach writing course as a part-time Adjunct. Goals accomplished!

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
Before being hired by ESC to teach, I would have said my proudest career moment was being a nationally published journalist and working as a magazine editor. However, I am even more proud of my new career – teaching at the college level and being able to share my love of writing with ESC students. As if that wasn’t enough, I am thrilled that I am fulfilling my goal to keep learning and growing academically by working with another faculty member on a research study in hopes of publishing a paper. Some days I still can’t believe I’m actually doing all this!

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
The best advice I could give to our current students is to stick close to your Mentor. They are amazing people who have your best interests at heart. Second, become super organized. It’s the only way to manage multiple courses and the amount of reading and writing that is required. Third, never hesitate to ask for help in your studies. Our mentors, instructors, and academic support staff are there for you!

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
As a graduate and as an employee, I give back to ESC because I appreciate the opportunities our college gave me to achieve my academic and career goals.