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Dallas Educator Advocates Higher Education To Boost Careers

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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Sharon A. Harris earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Texas Tech. She started her master’s degree, but her life blossomed when Harris got married, had three children, including a set of twins, and put her master’s degree on hold.

(Photo Courtesy of Sharon A. Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Sharon A. Harris)

Once her children were in school, she wanted to go back to school. Harris loved studying and returned to school, while tending to a husband, raising a family and working a full-time job. She was hungry for knowledge and earned a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Dallas in Irving.

With her master’s degree, Harris was able to create a high school humanities curriculum called World Experience that exposes students to world history, literature, art, architecture, music and philosophy. The district still uses the curriculum.

Harris enjoyed the study of rhetoric and the art of argumentation and wanted to pursue an education that focused in that topic. She is a doctoral candidate in rhetoric and composition at Texas Christian University (TCU) and will be defending her dissertation in May – “A Rhetorical History of 350.org’s International Day of Climate Action.”

Harris currently teaches writing at Southern Methodist University (SMU).

“A master’s degree represents sustained intellectual growth. It is a demonstration that an individual not only seeks more education, but can start and finish it. The finished product – a capstone or other major project—demonstrates to a prospective employer that you can plan, start and finish a project with a large scope. It also demonstrates that you understand the sequence of problems in a task and where to find resources, how to sort and perhaps discard resources, which ones to use and how to use them on your way to a finished project.”

“Through a master’s degree, you are reading thousands of pages of new material. Every time you engage with new material, it is as if you are surrendering yourself to this new perspective. You learn to accommodate new material. All of that reading suggests that you have flexibility of mind. These are all very marketable attributes,” said Harris.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com