Jackie Klatt (MEd 2021)
“I love working in higher education. Helping students achieve their goals gives me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.”
New Hampshire native Jacqueline Klatt earned a BS in Psychology with a minor in Theatre from UNH and an online master’s degree in Educational Studies (MEd) from UNH, graduating in 2021.
During a 6-month honors program at University College Utrecht in The Netherlands, Jackie attended classes with international students in a global context that widened her lens of cultural appreciation and set the stage for her career trajectory. Studying and backpacking abroad was Klatt’s first opportunity for independent living. “It’s a miracle I made it there and back in one piece!”
Starting her career in undergraduate work-study with the university, Jackie put her people skills to use in multiple roles across campus, including advising students at the UNH Global Education Center for study abroad opportunities and an internship at the UNH Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory. Jackie eloquently describes her current, post-graduate role as Senior Student Success Coach and Data Specialist with UNH Online.
“My job encompasses two vastly different areas of interest. On the one hand, student success speaks to my long-standing passion for supporting students on their path to a degree. On the other hand, data work reflects my more recent and, frankly, surprising interest in analytics. I studied hard to pass the certification exam for Salesforce, a powerful tool for creating data workflows in support of our online education marketing and recruitment strategies. For me, this job is the best of two worlds.”
Asynchronous courses in the online MEd program were convenient for scheduling Jackie’s study times and group projects offered opportunities for collaboration and networking with people from a wide range of experiences. The program’s four customizable elective courses opened new avenues of exploration and discovery.
“Working full-time while carrying a full course load, I parsed out my days in units, accessing the syllabus in advance to calendarize time segments for assignments and readings. Scheduling my time kept me on track academically but with the flexibility to accommodate unexpected changes. My advice to online students is to be kind to themselves. Sometimes life gets in the way of your best intentions but good mental health must always be your top priority. Talk to your family, your employer, and your instructors to build the support system you need to create success.”
Klatt’s excitement builds when talking about broad-reaching access to audiences that have historically struggled to complete an on-campus degree, such as working parents, rural residents, active military, and members of the disabled community. Mindful of the pandemic’s unforeseen impact, she acknowledges that, although some students complain of a negative instructional experience from faculty unprepared for the “emergency online learning” event, many others relished the incredible convenience and flexibility that distance learning provides.
Despite the advantages of remote learning, Jackie laments a lingering perception of online programs as a “lesser” learning experience and is quick to point out that today’s education models offer top-quality faculty, robust course content, and technologies with up-to-date communication pathways. After graduating from the online MEd program, a prior graduate sent a message welcoming her to the “online MEd alumni group.” Klatt believes this simple phrase speaks volumes about the pride and potential in this higher education demographic.
But the passion that lights the fire each day in Jackie’s world is her ability to create a positive lifetime impact on people’s lives. Advising a hopeful applicant with a low GPA, Klatt maintained close contact as the student-built a new academic record and successfully re-applied to an online UNH degree program. During orientation, this student publicly offered her personal thanks: “I would not be standing here today without Jackie’s help.”
For this dedicated Senior Student Success Coach, those words are beautiful music.
Written by Gwendolyn Goguelet