The Colorado Springs MSW Distance Education site has a new coordinator, and she's no stranger to the Newman University community.
Terrie Cox Pauly had worked for the Colorado Springs location for eight years before moving on to another organization. During her three-year absence, she still felt drawn to Newman, she said.
So when she saw this role become available, she didn't have to think twice. "It was a no-brainer," said Pauly. "I really missed Newman."
The Colorado Springs location first came about in 2005 when Newman saw a need for social workers in the area. After the first year, the program saw nine graduates compared to 29 last year and more than 55 estimated for 2017 graduation. "[Former Colorado Springs MSW Coordinator] John Moragues did a fabulous job of growing the program," said Pauly. "We started with just the main level of the building we are in, and we currently occupy the entire building."
During the first leg of her career at the university, Pauly was the field coordinator and adjunct instructor, managing field placements for students and teaching the occasional class. Her new role will bring new challenges, and she said she is looking forward to getting reacquainted on her old stomping grounds.
"I was part of the very first inaugural class in 2005 as an adjunct professor and slowly moved up from there. Now I will be managing and overseeing everything at the Colorado Springs location."
Pauly will continue to teach at least one class per semester on top of her new responsibilities. Some of her duties will include outreach and marketing, hiring adjuncts, overseeing facilities maintenance, and acting as a VA certifying officer.
"We have a high number of veterans in the area with five military bases in Colorado Springs, so we have a high percentage of our population that are veterans, and part of my job is to enroll the students receiving VA benefits," said Pauly.
The Colorado Springs location has a mix of traditional and non-traditional students, with the majority being non-traditional juggling multiple responsibilities, full time jobs, and families. Pauly stated that one professor taught an online course during the 2016 spring semester and she thought it was a great idea.
"Part of our appeal," said Pauly, "is that we offer much flexibility with evening and weekend courses. We really cater to the non-traditional student. I would love to see more online courses offered."
Preparing for her new job hasn't yet stopped. Since she had worked at the university for eight years, she was already familiar with the mission and the environment, but she's meeting new people and getting reconnected while listening to the needs of others. She also took advantage of having Moragues available and met with him on many occasions to talk about priorities and processes.
Pauly is a native of Colorado and highly enjoys the nature and beauty that the state has to offer. Riding her bike on the trails and hiking are some of her favorite activities, especially with her family.
"When I left Colorado Springs, I didn't think I'd ever come back. But I just couldn't stay away, and I really love being back at Newman University."