2017 WGU Missouri Commencement National Anthem Singer- Krista Masters
As a music teacher, substitute teacher and ESL paraprofessional, Krista Masters is no stranger to a career in education. After much encouragement from educators and administrators to return to school to earn her bachelor’s degree and teaching certification, she enrolled at WGU Missouri in 2013 and her WGU journey began.
Before WGU, Krista received her associate’s degree from a junior college in 1978 but did not continue her education beyond that. Instead, she married and started a family. Years later, she decided to pick up where she left off. “I was 55 years old at the time and many of my friends thought I had lost my mind!” Krista said. “However, I had the full support of my husband, children, and most of all, my mother.”
While working toward her degree, Krista experienced her share of life’s demands. She continued to work two jobs, had a daughter in college, a daughter who married, two daughters who had children, and she lost her mother due to illness. WGU’s competency-based model allowed Krista to complete assignments on her own time, flexing her schedule to work around life’s interruptions, and use the work experience she had to complete lessons faster.
“I could not have gone back to a brick and mortar school to obtain my degree,” Krista said. “I worked while I was going to a traditional school before, so I knew it would not have worked with my schedule.”
In addition to the competency-based model, Krista also relied on her WGU mentor to provide support as she kept up with her education and her busy life.
“The mentorship program was phenomenal,” Krista said. “Having someone to encourage me was instrumental to my journey. My mentor walked me through every step of the degree and became a wonderful friend. I could not have finished without her encouragement through the challenges I faced while obtaining my degree.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, Krista feels more confident in herself and is excited to start teaching third grade this summer as a contract teacher.
“Receiving my degree has helped me to be more confident and prove to myself that I can accomplish whatever I desire to do,” Krista said. “My education will help me be a role model to my friends, family and students. WGU prepared me in every way to be a great teacher.”