Christine Perchell is a success coach at University of Maryland Global Campus. She joined the university in 2010. For UMGC’s 75th anniversary, we spoke with her about some of her favorite experiences and where she hopes to see the university in years to come. Perchell works remotely and supports students throughout their education journeys. She develops learning strategies, assists with scheduling classes, and is a support system as students achieve their goals.
During your time at UMGC, how have you seen the university evolve and change? What is the most significant change they witnessed at the university?
UMGC is the pioneer of online education and always makes strides to enhance the learning experience for the students and staff. Going from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) to University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has changed and enhanced the trajectory of the university. With this change, UMGC shows its accessibility for students both nationally and internationally. Changing to the success coach model where we help design degree plans that set students up for success in the marketplace has made the university a benchmark in online education.
What has been your favorite part about working at UMGC?
My favorite part of working at this university is my peers and management team—the UMGC culture. It fosters a team approach and encourages excellence, enhances potential, and provides opportunity. There is a team approach to how decisions are made, great synergy in the department, and support for career advancement.
Can you name some UMGC faculty/staff members (or even students/alumni) who impacted your career here at UMGC?
My direct supervisor Genevieve Belt has encouraged our team to be an excellent example of a good leader and challenges us to make strategic moves in our career, working with our students and as a team. My former supervisor Joisanne Rodgers believed in me more than I did in myself. She was a soundboard and trusted colleague who took chances on my ideas and projects when others didn’t, and I will be forever grateful.
Which of UMGC core values resonates with you the most and why? (Students First, Accountability, Diversity, Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Respect, or People Always)
As a success coach, I must say “Students First.” While working with the advising team for these many years, I have experienced this from every angle. It ranges from our advising model to the academic departments, and every department within the university. UMGC always keeps students in mind when making decisions and makes necessary changes when needed. Most importantly are the students themselves, who remind me every day how grateful they are for this great university and the support they receive which empowers them to move to higher heights in careers and life.
UMGC recently introduced its new mission “Inspire hope, empower dreams, and transform lives ... one student at a time.” What does that mean to you?
This mission defines the heart of UMGC. We understand our students come from all walks of life . . . . Students’ lives change when they know that they have a university that “gets it” and understands what it takes to be successful . . . . Our students have endured many challenges and have made many victories. This mission is what we do each day, one student at a time.
How do you feel about UMGC’s role in supporting the military, wherever they are?
UMGC began its mission as a university for this very reason. Our servicemembers are people who want to make every opportunity count both while serving and transitioning to civilian life. UMGC was created to meet the needs of these servicemembers and continues to meet these needs today.
If you had one word to describe your experience at UMGC, what would it be and why?
Pivotal! I was a student at UMGC before working here, and I made many strides to complete my education. From the very beginning, I knew I was in the right place when I took my first course, and I said “UMGC gets it.” I’ve overcome many obstacles from completing my education to growing in my career, and UMGC has been pivotal in my life.
Where do you hope to see UMGC in the next 75 years?
I hope that UMGC is available to every student around the globe. This could include more in-person classroom options as well as remote classes. I hope that we will continue to leverage new technologies that will increase the flexibility of classroom styles and advising capabilities.