Jacque Shiner is a busy entrepreneur with her own business – OSA Proposals, LLC– that works with businesses in meeting the demands of federal government contracts. When pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) to strengthen her credentials, she had stringent requirements when evaluating universities to find the right match. With nearly two decades of experience in government contracting, international development, and non-profit management, she sought a graduate degree program that could supplement her background and expand her knowledge base. She also needed a flexible learning platform that fit into her busy work schedule and a faculty that considered her as a person and not another number. Norwich University Online addressed all her conditions and more.
“I couldn’t justify taking courses from a brick and mortar university, especially when I was already knowledgeable about their curriculum and possibly couldn’t make all the classes on campus. Norwich University offered an online learning experience plus treated me as a person in providing personal consultation that helped me chose a concentration in their MPA program that could enhance my background,” notes Jacque.
With advice from Dr. Rosemarie (Ro) Pelletier, program director for the MPA program, Jacque chose to concentrate on Policy Analysis and Analytics, which taught her new skills on collecting and analyzing non-primary data. She also gained a new approach on how to look at data. “As a Type A person, I helped people by providing them with answers. Using an action learning/action research technique acquired from Norwich classes, I now ask a series of questions that allow clients to get to their answers.”
A Flexible Learning Experience
While working and earning her degree proved challenging, the online learning forum helped Jacque to complete assignments wherever her job would take her. Professors also worked with her when she had extended out-of-town client assignments that interfered with course assignments. “Norwich extends the same courtesy to civilians as their military students when careers take you out of town and in areas without Internet,” explains Jacque. “And when times got tough, I followed the Norwich mantra: I WILL TRY.”
During the course of earning her MPA degree, Jacque formed close relationships and mutual respect with her professors. In addition to being asked to provide feedback on the MPA curriculum, Jacque was invited to collaborate with Dr. Robert Wright, Norwich MPA faculty member, on writing a chapter on the topic of Digital Governance and E-Government Principles Applied to Public Procurement published in the resource Managing Collaboration in E-Procurement. Since graduating, she also co-presented on the Challenges with Procurement and Collaboration with Dr. Wright at several conference venues as well as on her own.
“Norwich provided me with the unique opportunity to become a published author and public speaker at national conventions such as the National Institute of Government Purchasing Forum, where I was never qualified to attend. As a presenter there, I had the unique opportunity to meet with government procurement professionals and gain a new perspective for my business,” says Jacque.
Norwich Provides Opportunity for Growth
In 2017, Norwich honored Jacque for her accomplishments and trajectory for success with a new Shooting Star award received at a private luncheon after graduation. Acknowledging her experience and knowledge in government contracts, the MPA department also asked her to serve as an adjunct curriculum developer for a new government contract concentration in the program, which is set to roll out in 2019 and provide knowledge of government contract management from both the government and private sector prospective.
“I am now anticipating serving as an adjunct professor for the course,” explains Jacque. “I’ve come full circle as student to becoming the teacher.”
Through her education and ongoing affiliation with Norwich University, Jacque added several new titles to her business card: published author, public speaker, adjunct curriculum developer and teacher.
Jacque Shiner truly is a Shooting Star.