Natalie Perez, MEd in Learning Design and Technology Alumna

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Natalie Perez
“… the LTEC program has been the key in my ability to succeed and thrive within my current work.”
Hometown:

‘Ewa Beach, O‘ahu

Department:

Learning Design and Technology

Degree:

MEd in LTEC

Where do you work?
I am currently working as the Distance Education Coordinator at Honolulu Community College.

Briefly describe the path that brought you to the LTEC program.
I was working at UH West O‘ahu and was asked to develop tutoring services online. Having a background in tutoring pedagogy, I felt comfortable with my knowledge of best practices in assisting students through tutoring, but I lacked practical knowledge in online support services. I found out about the LTEC program and decided to apply. It was the perfect fit for my needs. 

How do you apply what you learned in the LTEC program to your current work?
Since being hired as the DE Coordinator at Honolulu Community College, I have applied every aspect of what I learned from the LTEC program into my work. From conducting needs analyses, building online training, enhancing online learning programs and initiatives, and working closely with faculty to infuse instructional design and pedagogy into their online courses, the LTEC program has been the key in my ability to succeed and thrive within my current work.

How would you describe the LTEC program to others?
The LTEC program provides a practical, accessible, and innovative approach to obtaining crucial knowledge and insight into the technological and pedagogical needs of 21st century learners. The program provides students with the opportunity to both understand and identify systems, whether educational or not, distinguish learner and instructional needs, and assess and produce practical and pedagogically-sound projects to be used within workplaces, classrooms, or the community at large.

What was your favorite part of being in an LTEC program?
My favorite part of being in the LTEC program was both the accessibility of attending classes online as well as frequent interactions with my peers and professors. I formed deep and lasting friendships with my cohort, and I enjoyed the LTEC program so much that I decided to continue on and pursue my PhD in LTEC.

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to obtain tenure in my current position, graduate with my PhD in LTEC, and, ideally, become a student-centered professor teaching courses centered on educational technology and instructional design.

What advice would you have for others currently in the LTEC program?
My advice for others in the program is to take advantage of every opportunity you have—whether it’s presenting at a conference, becoming a TA, or collaborating with your peers. The LTEC program parallels, in so many ways, my career experiences, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have completed the LTEC program.

What do you hope to inspire by sharing your education experience?
Joining the LTEC program was one of the best educational decisions I've ever made. I hope others will be inspired to take a chance with LTEC and experience the intellectually stimulating environment, form collegial friendships, and explore vast career-opportunities the program organically fosters for its graduates.