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Ohioan Kaytee Capps Doesn't Waste Time Applying Knowledge From Online Program

NKU BA Organizational Leadership student Kaytee Capps

Kaytee Capps didn't have to look far for guidance when she needed a career change. She didn't even have to leave her house.

"I started in nursing and had a change of heart," she said. "My husband, Matt, is my greatest mentor.

"As a system administrator in IT, he helped me get a job at his company on the service desk, taking customer calls, in 2008. I've been growing through the branches ever since."

Capps, who is now a senior program manager at CDW in Loveland, Ohio, is enrolled in the online Organizational Leadership Bachelor's degree at Northern Kentucky University.

"As leaders, we should always be learning," she said. "My company offered me an opportunity to grow with its tuition reimbursement program."

With a full-time job and a 10-year-old son, Garrett, Capps needed the ability to work on her own schedule in the online format to return to higher education.

"I have a crazy client schedule to support, and in-person school is not realistic," she said. "Online school is perfect for a busy mom and busy worker. It's extremely flexible.

"As part of my job, I am expected to take certifications to stay fresh on technology stacks. It made the transition to an online school environment easier."

After four months of researching online degree programs, Capps found what she was looking for with NKU's online B.A. in Organizational Leadership program.

"I took an analytical approach," she said. "If I needed to pay for school myself, I wanted a program that had the best ROI for my current position, and I needed a degree that would open doors.

"NKU was also within driving distance and had a great cultural atmosphere in the online presence. I read student reviews and the organizational leadership program had great feedback."

Student, Teacher

Capps was born in Memphis, but she moved to Ohio at a young age. She enrolled in a nursing program at Wright State University before switching gears to business. She has completed three courses at NKU.

"I couldn't pick a favorite course any more than I could pick a favorite book or song," she said. "I have learned so much from my professors, and NKU has very much become like my second family.

"My biggest takeaway, so far, is newfound introspection. Self-reflection and creativity are values of this program. NKU is helping me learn who I am and gain the skills to be an adaptive and authentic leader."

Even though she is still relatively new to the online B.A. in Organizational Leadership program, Capps has already parlayed her knowledge into career success.

"From my coursework, I taught a class to our managers on what it means to be a compassionate leader last December," she said. "It was original content that I was able to build based on my findings of my first two courses, Human Relations in Organizations and Foundations of Leadership.

"In the class, Compassionate Leaders, I discussed building trust during the five stages of team formation and taking an egalitarian approach while also holding individuals accountable. For me, the success of a leader is measured by the success of their followers.

"I built a seven-pillar approach around leading teams. The training was a hit with senior management. My senior leaders were enthralled with it. It's cool to pay that knowledge forward."

Big Picture

"My ultimate career goal is to use my major to build a future where leaders influence with kindness, empathy and compassion," she said. "Good leaders strive to do the right thing and are not always there to prove they are right."

With support from her family and friends, Capps knows she will stay the course throughout her time in both degree programs.

"My family — especially my husband — is so proud and supportive," she said. "They are huge advocates for higher education.

"My aunt, Mary Ann McClure, is a full-time professor at John Jay University. She was very excited to see me go back to school. She's a big advocate for education."

So far, Capps believes that she made the right decision in choosing NKU. She looks forward to feeding her brain for years to come.

"Leadership is a process, and the staff at NKU goes above and beyond to help students every day," she said. "I'm humbled to be in such a great program with so many talented minds where the value is measured in how I'm able to share their knowledge forward.

"This program should not be taken lightly. If you are bringing your authentic self on a daily basis, want to bring change in others and want to continue to learn beyond the degree, this is the program for you. Don't just come in, get your degree and go."

Capps loves that her return to college is paying dividends at work, which is also another significant motivating factor.

"This degree has already accelerated my career in the last year," she said. "I have won several awards and am in our Emerging Leaders program, which few employees are selected for each year. It's a high honor at CDW. The staff at NKU goes above and beyond to help students."

Learn more about NKU's online Organizational Leadership Bachelor's degree.

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