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Online Prerequisites Student Profile: Scott McIntyre

Photo of Scott McIntyre in the nursing labs at the MGH Institute

Scott McIntyre in the nursing labs at the MGH Institute

Scott McIntyre experienced just how much online classes are defined by the term “distance learning.”

He discovered this while taking five online prerequisite courses at the MGH Institute prior to enrolling in the school’s three-year Master of Science in Nursing program in fall 2014.

McIntyre interacted with students from California, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Florida, as well as those from the Boston area and throughout New England.

It provided different perspectives on broader health care issues. For example, a student from Denver had observations about the recent legalization of medical marijuana in that state. Another student wrote about being the mother of an autistic child.

“Being able to hear the perspectives of people with a variety of backgrounds made it a much richer experience,” said McIntyre, who has an MBA from the University of Connecticut and spent 25 years in business information technology before deciding to change careers. “Plus I thought it was beneficial to take my courses from where I would be attending graduate school.”

He learned from practicing clinicians and researchers who know firsthand how the basic sciences required for admission to graduate school are actually used in clinical practice and research.

And although taking online courses meant he could not have face-to-face interactions with the faculty, he was impressed when Professor Sandra Buerger, PhD, held a live office hour session using a webinar format where students posed verbal or written questions and saw every answer, providing them with valuable information on a variety of themes.

“She made the extra effort to attempt to use technology to find a way to mitigate some of the challenges of an online class,” said McIntyre. “To me, it felt like a 2.0 version of an online curriculum.”

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