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  • Susan Holland

Susan Holland

  • Program: Business Administration

    Education/Industry Certifications: Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees in Business Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Microsoft Office Specialist certifications (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint).

    Has taught at SCC since: July 1985

    Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 7. Over a four-year period while taking college classes, I worked as a secretary in the UNL Polar Ice Coring Office; was a word processing specialist in the Lincoln Public Schools Word Processing Center, which was at Lincoln High School; and performed general office duties in the Promotion/Public Relations Department at KOLN/KGIN TV. My prior teaching experience includes two years as a business instructor at Tri County High School in DeWitt, Neb., where I taught general business, accounting, business law, and typing classes. I also taught shorthand, keyboarding and business communications courses for one year at UNL as a graduate assistant.

    Describe your teaching philosophy.
    Teaching computer applications courses requires that I structure my classes so students get plenty of chances to learn by doing. Repetition of practical business applications is important to understanding and remembering features. I relate the coursework to being in an actual business. The first half of the quarter, I have “workshops” to introduce the new material for Windows, Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint; this training is similar to what one might experience when starting a new job. The last half of the quarter, students are expected to be “on the job” and using what they have learned to manage and produce files with all of the Office applications.
    Why did you decide to teach at a community college?
    While I was working as a graduate assistant at UNL and taking courses for my master’s degree, SCC advertised for an instructor to teach a Microcomputers in Business course in the Business Administration program. Since I had just completed a college course utilizing the same software to be used in this new course, I took advantage of the great opportunity and began my SCC career. Using Apple computers, I taught the Apple Writer word processing program, ACECalc spreadsheet software, and a PFS: File database program. Of course, there have been many changes to software since that first class in 1985.
    What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?
    Flexibility! The Business Administration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs and offers a variety of choices in which to study and earn an associate degree, diploma, or certificate. The degree emphasizes important business concepts and real-world applications, and students have flexibility in choosing what to learn because they are able to select many of their classes as electives. It is a great way to start in business or move up the ladder in a career. For students not wanting to commit to a degree, they can choose to achieve a diploma or certificate. Certificates in Client Relations, Entrepreneurship, and Event-Venue Operations Management allow students the opportunity to get customized training for their individual needs by taking only 36 credit hours. The program is available at the Beatrice, Lincoln, and Milford campuses and online; some courses also are offered in a hybrid format, which is a blend of online and traditional classroom. On the Lincoln Campus, classes are offered both day and evening for flexibility. A unique benefit that Business Administration students have is the use of the SCC Entrepreneurship Center in Lincoln, which is a full-service resource hub for entrepreneurs in all stages of business development. The Center also houses the Nebraska Business Development Center and other resource organizations. Students are able to use the SCC Entrepreneurship Center as a resource for an existing business or as a new entrepreneur. Program graduates are working in small and large companies throughout Nebraska and surrounding states. Other graduates are continuing their education.
    What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?
    I utilize the Microsoft Office applications I am teaching in my daily life, especially when volunteering. For many years I created the newsletter for my neighborhood association. As part of the executive board for the Lincoln Women’s Municipal Golf Association for more than 10 years, I created and distributed the newsletter, managed the membership database and designed and maintained the website. As a member of the Nebraska Aquatics Board, I managed the website and used Word and Excel to complete many other needed tasks. For Christ Schools, I created presentations, flyers and other documents for their events and activities; for their annual fundraiser, I integrated Word and Excel files into an auction database and helped with merging the data for large mailings. Since using software for actual projects is the best way to understand it and to explore ways to use it efficiently, all of the above experiences help when teaching the applications to students.
    What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?  
    Communication is a key to success. It is important for students to talk with or message their instructors and also their advisers when necessary. Excellent oral and written communication skills also will benefit them greatly on the job. Employers value soft skills! While taking classes, students should practice time management, organization, self-motivation, problem solving, and teamwork. Attention to detail and being an independent worker also are important skills in the classroom and on the job.
    What do you enjoy most about working with students?
    Teaching in the classroom, I enjoy getting to know the students since they all come from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences. Then it is enjoyable to watch the progress they make as they learn the software.
    What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?
    Helping the students succeed in and out of the classroom is what I enjoy the most; however, I also like working with other faculty and staff. Designing courses, especially after new software is released, is a favorite part of my job, too.

    What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?
    Since I have been at SCC for more than 30 years, it is hard to choose just one moment. Anytime students are successful makes an instructor proud. A recent specific example would be when I was able to start offering the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams to my classes and had a high percentage of students pass on the first attempt!
    What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
    I enjoy spending time with friends and family, which includes attending my son’s swimming and soccer activities at Lincoln Southeast High School. When the weather and my schedule permit, I like to golf. We currently have season tickets to Nebraska volleyball but enjoy watching all types of sports, especially football. We had season tickets to the Kansas City Chiefs for 20 years and also to Saltdogs baseball and Stars hockey when those teams first started in Lincoln.

    What would students be surprised to know about you?
    In college, I played baritone in the UNL Marching Band for four years. More recently, I have been selected as a volunteer for USGA golf championships. This summer I was one of only three Nebraskans to be chosen to volunteer at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Wash. I also worked at the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha and have already been chosen to work at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.