January 2015: Jaime Metz Vandergrift ‘02

Photo of Jaime Metz Vandergrift

Every university brochure promises a quality education, preparation for careers ahead, leadership opportunities, and a foundation for success. Concord University not only promises these things, but from an alumni perspective, Concord follows through. My years at Concord were filled with so many opportunities to lead and build relationships. My professors truly cared about my academic success, and little did I know, Concord would over a decade later still play such a valuable role in my career and academic success!

As an educator, I contribute so much of my success to not only the days in the classroom, but equally the relationships that were made. I still keep in touch with several of my professors, and even reach out to them when making career and advanced degree program decisions. In my opinion it is what makes Concord even more than what they promise in their marketing. No one promised me lifelong support in academic and career decision making, but that is indeed what I have.

Beyond being an educator, I am an Instructional Technology Specialist in a large elementary school setting. Instructional technology is an incredibly competitive field in education, and finding a position that allows you to impact the digital learning journey of students, teachers, and parents is incredibly difficult. I attribute my success in attaining and performing within this role to the pedagogical foundation I received as an elementary education student at Concord, as well as my four years of work study in what was once the Center for Academic Technologies. That quite random work study assignment would without question impact my experience and future career goals. As informational technology and instructional technology has branched apart in many ways, I am thankful I had such a strong foundation then, to propel me as an educational leader now.

So to say the very least, Concord has made good on all those promises from long ago. From the academic foundation to the ongoing career and degree support, I have certainly reaped all the benefits that come with being a Mountain Lion! Graduation certainly shouldn’t be the end. It should be the first step toward becoming a great example of what being a Concord graduate truly is.