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Student Testimonials

Himilcon Inciarte

I stumbled upon the online MESA certificate because I needed a program that was fully asynchronous due to my full-time job. Since this was my first foray into online instruction, I was a bit hesitant. I’m happy to report that I couldn’t have made a better choice! In fact, the courses were so thorough that I decided to enroll in the MEd program after completing the certificate. The faculty were knowledgeable, approachable, and quite skillful at leveraging the online nature of the program. I can honestly say that MESA changed my career path completely: in a few months, I’ll be starting a PhD program in educational measurement at UC Berkeley. Two years ago, that never would have been an option!

– Himilcon Inciarte | MESA Online | Doctoral student at UC Berkeley

Kuan Xing

I found MESA very interesting when I completed my first graduate methodology course (EPSY 503) in the College of Education at UIC. I decided to pursue my master’s degree in MESA while I was pursuing my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. I benefited a lot from my MESA master program. I had the chance to get to know both the classical and modern psychometric theory, assessment and evaluation framework, and statistical techniques for educational and psychological research. I learned how to apply those theory and techniques in various settings. Our faculty encouraged us to conduct independent project or apply for internship in MESA related field. They are content experts and our “go to” person when students have questions or need suggestions for their future research career.  We have very good MESA alumni network (email listserv and social media) where people can post learning opportunities, jobs, and research questions, etc.  Last but not least, I had a very good learning community while I was pursuing my MESA master’s. I learned a lot from my classmates and colleagues and that peer learning and mentoring was essential for me.

– Kuan Xing | MESA MEd, Ph.D. in Educational Psychology | Director of Assessment and Research, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS), University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis, TN)

Headshot of student K. Drill

“As a student in the MEd MESA program, I gained both the skills and confidence to thoughtfully use a variety of quantitative approaches in my work. The courses in psychometrics, survey design, multiple regression, and HLM were tremendous assets and are approaches I use regularly. The instructors in each course were patient, understanding, and highly skilled. I would highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to expand their quantitative repertoire or for anyone who needs a refresher on analytic approaches. MESA is a fantastic program that truly changed my career trajectory for the better!”

– K. Drill | MESA on-campus | Owner of a research consulting firm, Oregon

Headshot of student J. Anderson

“I enrolled in the MEd MESA program in order to switch careers. I learned the basics of Rasch modeling, and with that skill I was able to obtain my present position as an external evaluator of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs administered by the Science Education Program Office of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. I also use many of the statistical skills I learned in other MESA courses, especially principal component analysis, taught in the multivariate statistics course. I cannot overstate the importance of the MESA program. It has been invaluable to me. It is one of the best investments I have made.”

– J. Anderson | MESA online | External evaluator of educational programs

Headshot of student S. Walte

“I am a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education at UIC. I was originally interested in increasing my knowledge of statistics so I applied for the ERM certificate. I was so impressed by the level of support and structure the online courses and professors offered, though, that I decided to pursue the MEd MESA degree. I am so thankful to be part of this program. I have learned so much and cannot imagine reading, let alone conducting, research without the skills I have learned through this program.”

– S. Walte | MESA online | Doctoral student at UIC

Headshot of student WL Siu

“The MEd MESA program is comprehensive program equipping me with knowledge and skills to become a professional project manager for an examination board. From the discussion of fundamental principles such as validity and fairness to the study of practical issues like item-writing and large-scale examination administration, the courses cover a wide-range of topics that frequently appear on my meeting agendas. As a manager of research projects, I benefit most from the statistics-related courses. They all include an up-to-the-point introduction to the related mathematical theories but really emphasize on research applications.”

– WL Siu | MESA online | Hong Kong Examinations & Assessment Authority

Headshot of student A. Allen

“The MEd MESA program was an excellent addition to my primary PhD program in Literacy, Language, and Culture and has opened up so many new career possibilities to me in educational research. The online courses and structure of the program make it easy to manage alongside other commitments (job, school, life), and the faculty are all extremely responsive to student questions and needs.”

– A. Allen | MESA on-campus | Doctoral student at UIC

Headshot of student G. Braun

“This program has been great so far. The faculty is supportive and readily available. The courses and individual lessons have been clear and coherent. I am able to work at my own pace, while also having instructors and other students available to answer questions or engage in discussions.”

– G. Braun | ERM certificate | Doctoral student at UIC

Headshot of student J. Dupre

“The MEd MESA program is exactly the type of program I was looking for: It could be completed at distance, the course offerings are comprehensive in nature, but the material is presented in a very practical way. The course delivery is exceptionally well done, taking advantage of the blackboard platform you are free to interact with the material at your own pace but you never feel alone since the faculty and other learners are always available through the discussion board. Overall, I feel that each course I take within my program provides me with additional knowledge that enhances my preparation in addressing questions that arise in my work as a data and research analyst.”

– J. Dupre | MESA online | Data and research analyst, Canada

Headshot of student Q. Fu

“My studies in the MESA program were rewarding in every possible way. The courses and my RA work helped lay down a solid foundation in all the four areas of MESA, which is so important for my work at Lehigh including grant proposal writing, research, consultation, to teaching of graduate-level courses in Statistics, Psychometrics, and Research. The MESA professors definitely went out of their way in my search of GA, internship, and jobs at my graduation. Their relentless support for, and protection of, the MESA students also set a perfect example for my current role as a faculty member. Their support has continued even after my graduation. When I am stuck in my work, I still e-mail or call them for some questions.”

– Q. Fu | MESA PhD | Professor of Practice at Lehigh University

Headshot of student D. Phelps

“As a Teaching Track faculty member, research is important but excellence in instruction is paramount. A key contributor to success in both is having a firm understanding of measurement and statistics. Even with my previous education, there were many times I found having a broader and more in-depth understanding of approaches to data analysis would be helpful. The courses in measurement, statistics, and assessments available through the MESA program have afforded me numerous opportunities to improve my instruction through the application of classical test theory, and has improved my research through both new measurement approaches using modern test theory and the knowledge and confidence to apply more advanced statistical methods.”

– D. Phelps | MESA online | Associate teaching professor, Qatar

“The MEd MESA program is very flexible. Having the option of taking online courses have been great. It’s easy to contact professors and ask questions. I’ve learned so much in such a short period.”

– C.Y. | MESA on-campus | Math and English teacher, Illinois

“The overall design of the online course is solid. I like those well-made PowerPoint slides. I also found the additional reading materials could greatly help me better understand the models and their use in real case. Models that I learned from HLM class greatly helped me in structuring my research project and further guide my data analysis. Plus, all instructors are very responsive in email correspondence.”

– Y. Chen | MESA on-campus student

“I think the MESA courses are very helpful. I call recall the Computerized Adaptive Testing course is especially helpful – got some hands-on, real-world experience on IRT and CAT. Also, by taking many MESA courses and learning from professors and colleagues, I think I have gained the psychometric skills and knowledge as well as the professional attitudes/ethics – which are very important for getting ready for the future’s jobs and so forth.”

– Anonymous | MESA on-campus | PhD Educational Psychology student

“I took MEd MESA courses as my second degree concurrently with my first degree, PhD in Educational Psychology (specialization in Human Development and Learning). While I did not complete my PhD yet, obtaining MESA MEd allows me to search for jobs in the field of research. Additionally, through the MESA MEd I was able to enhance my research methodology skills. Especially, I like online classes because I was able manage my schedule.”

– Anonymous | MESA online | Research assistant at UIC

The exclusively online MESA MEd track was a comprehensive education with expert, supportive and accessible faculty. The reputation of the program was well known by my current Chicago employer and I joined other MESA students and graduates in my new position. The unique evaluation focus of the MESA program prepared me with a knowledge base that provided meaningful contribution to my new colleagues right out of the gate. Since starting with the Chicago-based organization as an intern, I have been promoted twice and have been propelled professionally by my MESA education!

– S. Robinson | MESA online | Evalutation Specialist, YMCA

The MESA program is doing an incredible job. MESA online courses are well organized, paced and supported. It is really hard to use an online teaching model. However, MESA courses are rigorous and full of very useful and applicable information. MESA faculty is amazing and very available for support. I would not change a thing in the online MESA program.

– G. Reinoso | ERM certificate | University professor, Florida