The purpose of this how-to guide
is to develop alumni case studies
that position the College of
Education and Human
programs as competitive and
valuable options for individuals
wanting to advance their
education and career in:
o K-12 Education
o Higher Education
o Mental Health
o Physical Wellness
Each alumni case study
highlights a successful alumnus
who has leveraged their
graduate degree to change, or
advance their career.
Alumni selected to participate
should provide positive feedback
about why they chose to attend
Georgia State University, their
graduate program experience,
and the impact their education
has had on their career and
Once an alum has been
selected to participate, email
them an invitation explaining the
purpose of the case study.
You can use the sample text on
the next page as a guide.
As an alumni of the Early Childhood Education doctoral program
from Georgia State University’s College of Education and Human
Development, we are extremely proud of your career achievements
and would like to honor you by featuring you in an alumni case
study. The purpose of the case study is to showcase the value of
your graduate education, and how it’s impacted your professional
development and your career.
Please let me know your availability for a 30-minute phone
interview the week of July 10 or July 17. I’ve attached the
questions for you to review prior to the interview. If you’re not
available, you can submit your answers to the attached questions
If you agree to participate, please sign and email the attached
Media Release form, and submit a square, high resolution image
(300 dpi, or ≥ 1MB .jpg or .png) that can be used to represent you
on the publication.
In order to write an engaging
alumni case study, the
questions you ask should be
direct, but open-ended enough
to encourage a conversation
with the alumnus.
NOTE: If the they cannot
schedule a phone interview,
email them the questions and
ask them to submit their
answers via email.
Where were you born and raised?
Where and when did you receive your
undergraduate degree, and in what major?
Who is your current employer, and what is your
Tell me about the most rewarding experience
you had as a graduate student (i.e., research,
internship, practicum, etc.).
Experience Prior to Attending Georgia State
Prior to attending Georgia State for your
graduate program, what did you do for a living?
What was your motivation for wanting to pursue
your graduate degree?
Why did you choose Georgia State rather than
Please summarize three career goals you
wanted to achieve after graduating?
Post Graduation Experience
What year did you complete your graduate
How long did it take to land a job after
What were the top three skills you learned from
your graduate program that prepared you for
How has your career progressed since
What is your most rewarding or greatest career
achievement to date?
Where do you see yourself growing in your career
in the next 5 years?
What advice would you give prospective
graduate applicants interested in applying to
your graduate program?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Graduate Experience at Georgia State
Tell me about your experiences in your graduate
What was the best aspect of your graduate
program (i.e., cohort, faculty, internships, etc.)?
interview allows you to
repurpose it for the
To record the phone interview,
use your smartphone’s Voice
Recorder app. Make sure the
landline phone speaker is close
to your smartphone’s speaker to
pick-up the alumni’s voice.
Email audio file to
This section includes the following:
o Compelling headline
o High resolution image
o Full name
o Research interests (if applicable)
Committed to Culturally Responsive
Education and Equity for All Children
Hometown Atlanta, GA
2009, Ph.D., Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University
2004, M.A., Curriculum & Education, Central Michigan University
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Education and Human
Sciences, Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
Socio-cultural and identity development of children
“I am committed to outreach, scholarship and research to
develop and support culturally responsive professionals
who strive towards becoming agents of change in their
classrooms, communities and beyond.”
TONYA DURDEN, Ph.D., ’09
challenges did the
alumnus face prior to
enrolling in the
The reasons for pursuing a graduate
degree are different for different
people. This section should briefly
discuss what the alumnus was doing
prior to enrolling at Georgia State
(i.e., school, career), and what led
them to research, and eventually
apply, to their specific graduate
Teaching Educators to Be Culturally
Relevant Leads to Doctoral Program
Prior to applying to the Early Childhood
Education doctoral program, I spent 10+ years
as a K-5 teacher for Atlanta Public Schools.
Having spent over a decade educating
young children in urban classrooms, I realized I
wanted to advance my knowledge of how to
train teachers to be culturally relevant
professionals in their classrooms, communities
How did the graduate
program solve the
This section describes how the
alumnus’ graduate program
prepared them for their career. It
should include a synopsis of their
experience, including: practicums,
internships, awards, research, and
other notable accomplishments.
Research Opportunities Extend
I wanted to attend a graduate program that
prepared its graduates to be educational
researchers and teacher educators, with an
emphasis on urban education and how children’s
learning is shaped by education inequities, race,
gender, and social class. During my 4+ years at
Georgia State, I was most proud of the research I
conducted addressing how to prepare young
children for pre-school. In addition, I received the
Dean’s fellowship, which allowed me to travel to
Shanghai to present my findings and meet
innovative educational researchers throughout
What impact has the
degree made on their
The final paragraph illustrates how
the alumnus’ graduate degree
impacted their career and
professional development. It
should highlight their current
position and accomplishments,
including: promotions, awards,
professional memberships and
Training Teachers to Be Change
Having the opportunity to co-author two articles as a
doctoral student, I was offered a position as an
assistant professor with my current employer before I
graduated. As the director of the university’s Learning
Child Project, I work with key stakeholders to develop
research-based programming that help young
children thrive as learners. In addition, I’m working
with a nationwide, Department of Defense funded
project to ensure military families have access to high
quality child care. In 2013, I was thrilled to receive the
USDAs Early Achievement Award for people who’ve
made significant contributions within the first six years
of their career.
Complete the initial draft of the
case study in a Word document.
Once the draft has been edited
for grammar and tone, email it
The draft will be laid out in
Adobe InDesign using one of
the two approved sample
alumni case studies on the