Higher Education Professional Builds Leadership & Advocacy Skills at American Sentinel

Higher Education Professional Builds Leadership & Advocacy Skills at American Sentinel

Teaching and helping others is in Alex Kulcsar’s blood

Alex Kulcsar, M.S. Computer Science student

From the time he could talk, he wanted to become a teacher. When he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 with a mathematics degree and a teaching license, Alex headed into the classroom right away—at his high school alma mater. However, when an opportunity arose to become a systems administrator at the University of Michigan’s Department of Recreational Sports (where he had also worked as an undergraduate), he jumped at the chance.

“My department hired 750 student employees each year,” he says. “Working with the students was a great experience. That inspired me to wake up and go to work each morning.”

He continued to satisfy his passion for teaching by becoming an adjunct technology professor at the University of Detroit and later, an instructor for the American Red Cross.

A Road Leading to American Sentinel
After 13 years at Michigan, Alex decided to make a big life change and left his job in June 2012. He headed back to the classroom—but as a student this time. And for him, American Sentinel University was the obvious choice.

“I actually had planned on attending American Sentinel’s predecessor, the American College for Computer Information Sciences, a number of years ago, but for various reasons, it just never fit my schedule,” he says, adding that early on, the emergence of online learning intrigued and excited him.

“I felt like ACCIS seemed to understand what distance education should be, so I followed them as they merged with American Sentinel,” he says. “I guess you could say I’ve been a big fan for a long time and now that I’m a student there, I’m an even bigger fan.”

‘Always a Plan’
In fall 2012, Alex started the M.S. Computer Science program, which he will finish in 2015. He has a lot of ideas about his future—and may very well return to working at a larger university’s recreational department one day—but more education is definitely in his future.

“With me, there is always a plan!” he says. He intends to earn one more master’s degree in a distance education-related discipline and a Ph.D. by the time he is 50—12 years from now. He also hopes that he can return to teaching on a part-time basis. “I would love to teach. I never want to stray too far from the academic environment in my career.”

An Advocate and a Leader
At American Sentinel, Alex has quickly proven how much he enjoys teaching and helping others. When he noticed some of his classmates struggling with writing, he decided to take action. He reached out to the student services leadership team about creating a class on basic writing and gauged interest from the student community on MyCampus, the university’s student portal. Before long, he was running a two-week “Introduction to Composition” webinar for nearly 100 students. “I’ve always been the type of person to try to build a community and draw people in,” says Alex. “It’s the educator in me.”

Living up to High Expectations
Alex has had his eye on American Sentinel for a long time. Even as someone who has long worked in an academic setting, his high expectations have definitely been met. “The staff at American Sentinel is amazing,” he says. “They want their students to be successful and it is palpable. I get the feeling from everyone I interact with that there is an overwhelming desire to make me successful.”