What do you know for sure?

oprahimageLooking back fifteen years to Oprah’s 2000 commencement address at Roosevelt University in a standing room only Auditorium Theater, she told 675 graduates that “change will only come about in our lives when we welcome it.” As students, or former students, you have welcomed change into your lives by pursuing your educational goals, making time to learn, and challenging yourselves to do your best work.

As we finish another year of achievement, growth, and discovery,  take a few moments to reflect and acknowledge your accomplishments. You deserve it!

Then, add a comment to this post to tell us:

  • What have you learned in your courses this past year? What best practices, tools, or strategies will you use in the future?
  • What change will you welcome into your life as you prepare to graduate (or move closer to graduation)?

(Note: Here is an excerpt from Oprah’s 2000 commencement address at Roosevelt University)



  • What I have learned in my courses this year is how to create an effective training along with the instructor’s guide to teach or facilitate. Coming from a non-teaching or training background this was an invaluable skill for me to learn as I currently facilitate and manage an employment readiness workshop at my job. I also learned what it means to really coach and how to be an effective coach. Having acquired both skills sets I can create training the take more of a coaching approach, primarily in career development or preparation.

    What change will I welcome into my life as I prepare to graduation. I would say to simply transition. I have spent majority of the last 10 years of my life planning to do many different things and always finding myself never doing them. As I graduate I simply want to transition into living and not planning. I hope that crossing that stage will parallel me crossing into a new phase of my life.

  • In the past year, I have learned how to apply a systematic approach to the design and development of training content that can be applied to various delivery modalities. Within the design of training, an Instructional Designer can create engaging learning by selecting instructional methods founded in adult learning theory. Going forward when I design training, I will always start with the end in mind. I will identify the learning domain along with the learning objectives to understand what the learner should be able to do as a result of the training in order to create content that will afford the learner with experiential learning that should result in greater success with transfer and application of learning.

    I will welcome being able to collaborate with stakeholders to design training interventions with confidence in knowing that the training design, development and implementation will assist in solving organizational problems. I will also welcome having more options available in my long-term career choices. Finally I welcome having more time to spend with my family.

  • 1. What have you learned in your courses this past year? What best practices, tools, or strategies will you use in the future?

    This past year I have learned how to structure lessons really well with strong objectives. I also learned a lot about organizational structure. This was very eye opening. I know more about how organizations develop and grow and this awareness will help me significantly as we plan classes for our employees. In addition, I feel that my writing and delivering of content will be much stronger. I really have enjoyed the valuable lessons learned in school.

    2. What change will you welcome into your life as you prepare to graduate (or move closer to graduation)?

    The only change that will happen in the short term is that I will step out and begin delivering workshops that I have developed and haven’t yet delivered. I would love to see them in action and I feel that this Master Degree will give me added credibility. I am very excited and I hope that I have the courage!!! I need to listen to Oprah!


  • -What have you learned in your courses this past year? What best practices, tools, or strategies will you use in the future?
    I’m currently taking a team building class. This class has broaden my perspective in what to look for to ensure a team is successful. It has also guided me with the steps to take if a team isn’t doing well and how a leader can turn it around. I’ve utilizing this since I’ve taken the class.
    -What change will you welcome into your life as you prepare to graduate (or move closer to graduation)?
    The change that I will welcome not stressing over things that I cannot control.

  • After taking the pCPLP (ATD certification practice test), I learned some of the things I’ve forgotten. But that reinforces my goal of personalizing the the content I’ve studied and build experience in the training and development field.

  • When I reflect back on my learning in the MATD program I feel a sense of accomplishment. I was always provided with an abundance perspectives of learning and opportunities for networking. I couldn’t have chosen a better learning institution than RU.
    What I know for sure is having clear goals gives a higher probability of reaching them. You have to have clarity about what you want. And if you don’t the goal should be to find out what it is you want.
    I know this for sure because I’m my own test subject.

    Thanks to everyone who played a role in my success. I’m filled with gratitude.

  • One week from graduation, I’m reflecting on a lot that I have learned over the past 5 years at Roosevelt. It’s a completely different feeling than when I completed my undergraduate degree. Then I was consumed with thoughts of where to relocate and what type of career I wanted. Finishing my MBA is much more gratifying. I know what I want to do and where I want to be, and now I feel more well rounded and better prepared for the future. While I am not in the TRDV program, I’m really glad I took a TRDV course as my elective. It corresponded well with what I do and in some ways seemed more applicable to management (my concentration) than some of the more overall business courses I’ve taken.

  • I’ve learned a lot this year during my TRDV courses. I still have one more year until graduation but after this year I feel so much more confident with my skill set as an aspiring organizational development professional. I am now working in the field and learning through experience as well as through my course work. I am able to apply what I’m learning from my professors and my colleagues. This has been a great year and I look forward to my final year next year.

  • The information that I learned in the TRDV courses over the past three years was all completely new to me, but was everything that I wanted to learn. My particular focus was all the elearning knowledge, but as a tutor and adjunct faculty, the most useful tool that I use is on learning styles.

    This degree and knowledge that I have attained will allow me to better serve my students and develop different streams of income. This opportunity has opened up many possibilities as to how I can serve the in the areas of adult literacy and skill training.

    I look forward to many varied endeavors!

  • I learned about the various models availble to me as a coach. This post also gave me the courage to welcome change and accept a new position that is greatly different from the one I have now.

  • Through the TRDV classes I’ve taken this semester, I’ve really learned a lot about how many different approaches there are to client/coach relationship building. What I think is most helpful, was that in each of my courses, the professors did not say that any of these are “right” or “wrong”, but often pointed to the teachings in the textbook that mention that combining methods and theories can be incredibly helpful in dealing with real-life situations that may be complex, and that may require the knowledge combined from many different theories or practices!

  • oliviaagonzalez

    This has been a wonderful year in graduate school! I’ve produced some great projects that I can surely look back to in the future to fulfill my vision to enhance the training and education department at my facility and other federal agencies throughout the country.

    My courses have taught me that education is the best fit for me. I love learning and I love to spread the knowledge I’ve learned. I can say that through Adult Learning Theory, Evaluation and research, Organization development, and Executive coaching were the best group of classes to take this year to truly enhance my interest and passion in the field. I’ve determined that after some years of instructional design I will pursue executive coaching within my facility (if of course I’m still with the VA).

    I know for sure that I have a passion to unleash other’s potentials and I plan to do that whether I work for a high school, college or a government facility.

    Although I’m very nervous for next semester, I think that I am well equipped with foundational knowledge to tackle Instructional Systems Design I & II.

    Thank you to Prof. Iverson and all my classmates in Executive coaching! It has been a pleasure sharing ideas with you in our overflowing group discussions!

  • This has been a very informative and eye-opening class. What I know for sure is that becoming a coach is a rewarding career, but it requires constant learning. I enjoyed the coach interview assignment because talking to coaches who practice two different types of coaching gave me a better insight into the everyday life of an executive coach. I also liked the fact that in this class we talked about cultural coaching which is an area that I’m very interested in exploring more. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the class, my classmates and the professor who were always ready to give advice and support me along the way.

  • I must say that I truly learned the essence of coaching. My biggest take away is that I must start with myself. How can I inspire others if I haven’t learned how to motivate myself? This course taught me that I must take my career in my own hands instead of waiting on the “right time” and make the time to empower change so I can enhance my career.
    This course also helped me to understand organizational development and how executive coaching is essential to their growth. I can honestly say this course opened up my eyes and gave me a deeper understanding of coaching.

  • The biggest influence by far on my learning and my life has been to pursue authentic happiness – find pleasure, engagement, and meaning in life as much as I can (Dr. Seligman – Authentic Happiness Coaching https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/home). I have asked myself to define what these things are and mean to me for the first time that I can remember. I have made it my purpose to integrate and create more of this in to my life.

    I have found inspiration in this class to truly consider what my own potential is and take action towards reaching it. I have been able to finally put into words that I am passionate about developing this in other people.

    The coaching tools are too many too mention – the Wheel of Life Assessment and the Septet model were 2 stand outs to me, as well as GROW.

    My strategy is to take the advice of both coaches I interviewed and assess myself via multiple exercises to see where my head and heart are. I need to go down this road if I expect others to follow me; you can’t coach in an area you are not comfortable or okay with in your own life.

    As I move closer towards graduation, my areas of interest are sharpening as are my competencies. I am not the same person that started this program, and I am excited to meet the “me” at the end. I don’t think that graduation will be the end of my learning path; I suspect I will move towards some sort of coaching certification – not sure yet what that coaching will focus on, but today I lean more towards life coaching than executive.

    • It sounds as if this was a truly transformative semester for you! I’m so glad to hear of your new found career focus and that you plan to continue learning after our semester ends.


  • What I know for sure!! As the end of another exciting semester ends, I know for sure that I’ve learned new tools and concepts in the Executive Coaching course. It was not a required course for my program; however, I am thoroughly glad I enrolled. The classmates were very engaging and helpful and the instructor had great ideas and learning tools which made each module even more exciting than the last. Next year will be my last with Roosevelt’s MBA program and I’m looking forward to the fall!!

  • I know for sure that I must practice, practice, practice to be the best at developing people. This is a new field for me and it will take a life time to be the best. I’m all about life long learning and learning comes from experiencing life.

  • I KNOW FOR SURE that I received a much greater benefit than I expected from the training in this program. I have previous experience as a trainer without the advantage of formal education. (Not unlike so many who are internally drafted to do corporate training. However, I was fortunate because that I was able to provide adequate training due to the course material which was hands-on electronic spreadsheet and database training that included really good on-line tutorials.)

    I KNOW FOR SURE that I’m fascinated with adult learning theory and its applications and I have a renewed perspective with regard to the mind and attitude of the adult learner. The MATD program has allowed me to obtain a firm grasp on the foundational principles of andragogy and its important and related ideologies. I fully expect to be a much more effective and efficient facilitator.

    I KNOW FOR SURE that I plan to re-enter the field of training armed not only with an extended knowledge base and an enhanced skill set but also with the confidence that accompanies having a clear comprehension of what training and its associated concepts embody.

    I KNOW FOR SURE that I am grateful for the instructors and classmates who shared their expertise and supported my efforts during this journey.
    – R

  • With graduation fast approaching I am reflecting on how much I enjoyed this program. I received my undergraduate degree in Economics and although I enjoyed my studies, I did not have a sense of direction of how I was going to utilize my degree. After several career changes, I landed in a training role and I love it. This program has really solidified my passion and excitement for working in the training and development field. I am proud of what I have accomplished within this program and feel that I now I can be successful in this field. I now can not only show that I can be an excellent trainer, but I can speak to the theories as to why am I doing what I am doing. I am excited about the possibilities ahead for my career and looking forward to what is to come!

  • It was exciting to know that Oprah Winfrey gave the commencement speech at Roosevelt. What a spectacular person who has done remarkable things. Most people don’t like change. I suppose because of the uncertainty it brings with it. But in most cases, it is impossible to move forward without change, therefore, I am a believer in change. One situation of which I recently had to use change was when I was deciding on a major for grad school. From the beginning, I was torn between two degree that I loved. The one I initially chose was good but I often felt that there was something missing.

    So I decided to change my major and I have been completely happy every since. If I did not have the courage to change my major, I would not have realized just how courageous I really am.

    TRDV Post – Social Media Challenge

  • As I reflect on what I have accomplished, I am proud of my coursework and grades, and I am happy to have been a part of these courses with my virtual classmates. Through discussions, I was able to see many perspectives and also lend my own two cents, which made me realize just how much I actually know. It inspired a confidence in me I didn’t have before. I also feel equipped with course notes, textbooks, websites, research papers, etc… to be able to pull from when I need to reference a topic, strategy, or intervention. I wish I could say I have them memorized, but at least I know where I can access the information when the time comes.
    As graduaton is approaching, I welcome the idea of being a life long learner. I know there are many things I still need to learn and experience and I welcome that.
    Thanks to all who have played a role in my journey. *Shannon

    • Thank you Shannon! You’ve contributed so much to my courses and I’m glad that you have your own “trainer’s toolbox” to take with you.

    • I have met a lot of inspiring people in both my instructors and my classmates. I learned from each of their experiences and how the ‘text book’ studies are used. Their experiences,thoughts and feelings as this has helped me understand the topics that I struggled with and enhance those that I was already familiar with. The one main item that I feel I have walked away with is seeing how the adult learning styles are intertwined into consulting and coaching.
      The change I will welcome into my life as I move closer to graduation is being more open to personal change. I get comfortable very easily and see that through this experience that I am more open to accepting that change for me. I want to grow in my career and use the knowledge that I have learned.
      I thank everyone that helped me so far in my journey and look forward to finishing up this great experience next year.
      I look forward to seeing some of you in my future classes and thank those of you who have completed this journey for allowing me to learn from you.

      • Thank you for your high level of commitment and excellence in online learning! I’m glad to hear that you made new connections and I agree, many of the fields that we touch on are interconnected. Hope you have a great summer.


    • Hi Shannon,
      CONGRATULATIONS on your graduation. I wanted to thank you for allowing me to learn from you over the past year. I love your take away of being a ‘life long learner’ I agree and feel that after graduation my journey will continue in some way.
      Best of luck and I hope to stay in touch!

  • As I move closer to graduation I look forward to whatever the universe has to offer me.
    I embrace my life’s work, and welcome the change that comes with new ideas, and endless possibilities. D. Smith-

  • Wow, what an amazing opportunity to hear a commencement speech from Oprah Winfrey! Graduation still seems a distant goal at this point for me, since I am only in my second term and am only going part time. However, I can already reflect back on the courses I have taken and see that my toolbelt is getting heavier with new tools and best practices I can apply today and into the future. I think the largest take aways from the year for me, have been from my peers. Learning from one another is key, and being able to collaborate to hone in on a solution, is even better!

    • Peer learning is so important and much more difficult than it sounds! The ability to work with others online to solve problems is so important in today’s virtual workplace. Thank you for sharing your development in this area.

  • As I take my Organizational Development courses, I have come to realize that no organization is perfect, and it will take time, dedication, and proven processes to get to the place where the organization is effective and functional. I can leave one organization looking for a better opportunity, but I may also find myself in the same exact situation that I just left (from my prior) organization. As some have said, “the grass is not always greener on the other side”.

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