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College of Education > News and Publications > News: April - June 2011 > Canadian Student Makes First Visit to Penn State to Receive Diploma

Canadian Student Makes First Visit to Penn State to Receive Diploma

Lucy Phua earned a master's degree online and spent a week at Penn State for commencement.

by Deborah Benedetti

Lucy Phua earned a master's degree online and spent a week at Penn State for commencement, meetings with her professors, and attending a Penn State conference


Phua_LndscpLucy Phua of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada, made her first visit to Penn State's University Park campus to receive her master's degree in adult education during commencement ceremonies on May 15. Phua, who completed her degree online, enjoyed meeting some of her professors and classmates in person during her one-week visit.

"I was looking for a degree I could do while keeping my job and for a university that is experienced in online education," said Phua, who grew up in Singapore and moved to Canada to attend college. "Penn State has the online experience, having offered online programs since 1998, and fits well with my goal."

Phua has been an educational adviser at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, for 10 years. She works in the university's extension unit, which is responsible for summer courses. In 2007, Phua was ready to expand her career options when she chose the College of Education's master of education in adult education degree program, which is delivered online through the World Campus. "I hope to use my degree in a meaningful way and would like to work in an administrative role in higher education," she said.

After participating in commencement, Phua attended Penn State's Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference to network with other adult education professionals.

Phua had not taken an online course before enrolling at Penn State and was a little apprehensive, but soon became comfortable with the format. The litmus test was when she was able "to inject humor in my writing in a serious class. You know you are comfortable in this environment when you can do that," she said. Being three time zones away also created a few challenges, but Phua found World Campus' learner and tech support "phenomenal."

Reflecting on her arrival during commencement week, Phua stated, “I was touched by the warm welcome I received from Penn Staters. At the Hendrick Conference, I was pleasantly surprised by the personal welcome at the registration desk. Leslie Laing, one of the organizers, introduced me as a Canadian student who just graduated from World Campus and in unison, all the attendees burst out with the Penn State chant.”

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University's 25th campus serving more than 8,500 students in all 50 states and around the world. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.