College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Leadership
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Cory L. Major photo Alumni Spotlight

Cory L. Major

Director, GEAR UP, Phillips Community College, Arkansas

M.S. Leadership and Policy Studies


Leadership Alumni: Trenia Miles

Dr. Trenia Miles, Director
Retention Services & Program Coordinator, College Study & Survival Skills
Mid-South Community College
Ed.D. in Higher and Adult Education

Why did you choose Higher and Adult Education?

I chose Higher and Adult Education because I was interested in serving adult learners in higher education. I worked with many populations and found that adult students tend to have concerns and issues different from traditional age students. I found a program that was practical and that I could immediately start using on the job.

How did this degree prepare you or improve your preparation for your current role?

An added bonus to the HIAD degree program at the University of Memphis is the opportunity to obtain a Community College Teaching & Leadership Certificate. Three courses, in particular, that have benefited me include the Adult Learning and Leadership, College Teaching, and Community College Administration and Governance classes. In my current position, I serve in dual roles as both an administrator and a teacher/facilitator of adult learners. I apply theoretical concepts from the Adult Learning and Leadership course when presenting workshops to faculty on how to engage students in learning. I use principles such as the Kolb Learning Cycle from the College Teaching course to help students make meaning of course material. Lastly, the Community College Administration and Governance class has helped me to understand how a community college operates, which is in some instances, differs from a four-year institution. My prior years of work experience have been at four-year institutions so the Community College Administration and Governance course prepared me for working at a community college.

What impact has your degree had on your life or career?

I am very proud of myself for earning my doctoral degree. I had a great committee who was very supportive of me and a wonderful chair that gave me gentle, but firm guidance along the way. The road was not always smooth and there were many sacrifices that I had to make. Earning my degree lets me know that my work was not in vain. This degree has certainly provided more career opportunities to me. The rigorous dissertation process has helped me to become more of a critical thinker and problem solver. Now that I’ve accomplished this I feel like I can conquer the world.

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Last Updated: 2/1/12