NACTEL Student Stories

Karl had been a cable splicer from 2006 to 2010 and was with IBEW Local 89. It was through an IBEW newsletter that he learned about the NACTEL program at Pace University. Karl is very happy he earned his degree because it helped him gain a broader view of his world.

“I thought I knew fiber optics, until I started these classes,” said Karl. “Now I have a much greater understanding of what goes on in my department and other departments.”

He also knew earning his degree would mean better job security. And with a family-a wife and two children-that was important. His wife is also in school and taking online classes. “There were a lot of sleepless nights at times, with a family and trying to stay on task in classes,” he admitted.

“The degree gives me a sense of completion, and now that I’ve started, I don’t want to quit,” he added. “I want to set an example for my kids. They saw the sacrifices we’ve both made, doing homework on the weekends, and hopefully they can do it faster!”

Karl said he got his degree as an insurance policy, as well. “I felt I was at the bottom of the employee pack, and I knew a degree would give me better job security. I also wanted to simply learn more about the telecom industry.”

Karl first took online classes when he got out of the Navy in 2001. “Some of the classes were great, but some were just odd. The drop-out rate was high, because there was no one-on-one with the professor. But Pace got it right.”

“I enjoyed Pace’s version of online better than the classes I took at the community college because the classes were more organized and structured,” he added. “They kept a firm schedule, and that was consistent for each class, which was a lot more like going to a brick-and-mortar school.”

Karl continually encourages his employees to do the NACTEL program because it’s a good insurance policy. His advice to those who want to pursue and online degree is to persevere. “You may have a semester where you have other things going on, and maybe you get a lower grade than you wanted, but just stick with it.”

Karl would like to eventually continue on to get his Master’s in Telecommunications, but has decided to wait a few years until his daughters are older. “Now that I hit this Bachelor’s degree milestone, I’m enjoying taking some time off,” he said. “For example, I like coaching little league.”

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