Before she and her family moved to North Carolina in 2015, Zerifa was living in Jamaica (where she’s originally from) and working as a teacher. After her move and a few years teaching in an elementary school in Cumberland County, she started looking for programs to help her further her own education. We got the chance to hear from Zerifa about her experience in American College of Education’s M.Ed. program in Instructional Design and Technology, and her current role at Torchlight Academy!
Though she checked out multiple schools, it was ultimately a friend who introduced her to the one that was a right fit for her.
“I was searching for an affordable but reputable institution to further my education. After looking at several institutions, a friend of mine who was studying with American College of Education at the time told me about their program. I then did some research and thought it was a great fit for me.”
But there was still another thing to figure out — how to pay for the program.
“As affordable as American College of Education was, I was unable to pay all my tuition out of pocket. So, the same person that introduced me to ACE also introduced me to Climb. The loan process with climb was so easy, Climb provided affordable and flexible payment options which worked great for my budget.”
And for Zerifa, it wasn’t just about getting a certification to boost her career. It was about learning new skills and finding new passions.
“Wow!! Where to start… I learned so many valuable lessons from studying at ACE, but if I were to narrow it down it would be that I gained more experience on my organizational skills. I became more organized and a little more tech-savvy.
“One standout experience was that I developed a love for graphic designing through completing my program and ACE. Prior to ACE I had no experience with designing, but though virtual, the program was so hands-on and fun that I developed a passion for this, and I now do designs locally for my church and school family.”
Now, not only is she using these skills to help out in her community, but in her career as well...
“I was even more confident during my job hunting process knowing that I now have an M.Ed from ACE. It was interestingly a smooth process.
“I was offered a position as the site-coordinator for my school’s newly developed STEM Project and Partnership with NASA STEM for our Aftercare Program. This position offered was based solely on my credentials, which is my M.Ed in Instructional Design & Technology.”
...Even with something as unexpected as a pandemic.
“With the restraints that come with the Covid-19 pandemic, teaching and learning shifted to 100% Virtual Learning, though teachers are natural adapters. I think what I have learned and practiced during my tenure at ACE was for a moment like this. I must say that though it is not an easy process or transition, my time at ACE completing my studies in Instructional Design & Technology has made it a little less challenging for me.”
Looking back on her experiences with ACE and Climb, there’s only one piece of advice she would give herself.
“The advice that I would give myself would be ‘Zerifa you should have done this sooner’ (that goes for both), but hey… nothing happens before the time. I have encouraged several persons in my circle; I have 2 friends that graduated this year, a friend who is currently a doctoral student (I also introduced her to Climb), and several others who are thinking about attending and using Climb.”
Zerifa is a client of Climb’s. However, she was not paid or otherwise compensated for this testimonial. This testimonial reflects the real-life experiences and opinions of Zerifa; however, it should not be assumed that all users will have the same experiences. Individual results may vary.
The quoted statements appear verbatim as given by the user, except for the correction of grammar and typing errors. Some testimonials may have been shortened or rearranged for the sake of clarity.