This site is devoted to my fellow non-traditional life-long learners.
The Optimal Path
The picture above is an example of how our world is designed today. It is made for those who can travel at a certain optimal pace and trajectory. But, there is still a path, though narrow and unassuming. It can be negotiated and traversed by the majority and will deliver them at the same destination - a higher education and a richer life.
This site is a living document that is currently under construction. Please check back regularly as updated information and items will be added.
What is in the works
With my own formal education behind me I will now take on autodidactic studies as a leisurely pursuit. Part of my time will be devoted to assembling a guide for others on the non-traditional journey, The Way of the PolyJack. A free online companion is being developed to provide links to resources and videos.
The online content will be laid out in an order to allow a person to go through the material as they would an online course. This will be shared under the Way of the PolyJack tab at the top of the web page.
If there is information you are interested in, but it isn't included please feel free to contact me.
Nothing worth having is free
In the spring of 2015 I received my Masters Degree in Education, Career and Technical Education as a focus. In addition to being a multi-skilled trades person, I lead other skilled trades personnel as a Supervisor and also as an Adjunct Instructor with my Ivy Tech Community College - seeking improvement through KSA enhancement and development.
My Masters degree was completed at a part-time pace while working full-time plus, just as the entirety of my higher education journey has been completed. It is not easy (my journey and development is life-long now), but it has been rewarding.
The venture has allowed me to develop a personal philosophy I call the Way of the PolyJack - one where my journey is a mix of working, learning, living and sharing. Academics are a supportive component of my practical and technical knowledge and skill development, which in turn is a supportive component of my living a life of interdependence, not the measure of my efforts.
I have failed and quit classes, changed majors, and even quit altogether for years at a time. At such low points in my journey, the culture of win/lose that dominates our society would weigh heavy on me.There were many instances where I thought my destiny was to remain on the well worn path.
I did give up, many times.
But, each time I stumbled, fell and/or quit, I would gather myself and defiantly rise once more to plod a little further down the path.
Through my experience, research, and reflection; I have found that I am far from being alone or elite. In fact, the only difference between the Neglected Majority from which I emerged and myself is my ability to endure (or overcome) the perceived bias of the system and my own feelings of incompetence and worthlessness.
I have reached a level of education, skill, experience and perspective that many who travel the traditional, optimal path, may never attain. And I have zero accumulated student debt!
The sharing of my story shows that it can and has been done.
Improving the Path is dedicated to fellow non-traditional students who want to learn, develop and improve their lives through post-secondary education while also concurrently meeting and or overcoming situations or obligations in their lives.
Please join us in the journey of life-long learning and development.