Staff Profile_ Meeting Mr. William Drayton _ Capitol Technology University

Staff Profile: Meeting Mr. William Drayton

By: Emma Leonard

“Find a way or make one.” This is Capitol’s motto, and new staff member, Mr. William M. Drayton III, has chosen to embrace it. Assistant director of master’s student support, Mr. Drayton holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hampton University and a master’s degree in Enrollment Management from Walden University.

William M. Drayton, IIIHe is a great example of how hard work can pay off when you’re a master’s student. As the Assistant Director of Masters Student Support, he hopes that his fresh ideas can help shape the master’s student experience for the better.

He spoke with us about his adventure through obtaining a master’s degree as well as his thoughts on how he can improve the experiences of master’s students.

Could you please tell us about the kind of education you received to get you to this point?

WD: Throughout my undergraduate career, I had experience with many advisors. For my underclassman years, I had a phenomenal advisor. He passed away while I was completing my degree, but he was the one to steer me towards psychology and higher education. When  I had my upperclassman advisor, when it was most important, I didn’t receive the best advisement from him. So, it kind of inspired me to get into higher education. I got into higher education enrollment management and marketing and found the key to institutional success resides in student engagement and experience. That’s kind of what got me to this point in my career. My biggest thing is access and equity and making sure students have the best experience they could possibly have at Capitol.

That’s essaysonline.org pretty cool. I feel like this would be a rewarding job, though, because you’re really helping to shepherd people towards something that’s going to change their lives.

WD: It surely is. At the graduate level it’s a little different because no one wants to admit they need help. And for the ones that do need help, it’s not necessarily an instructional issue, it may be something more specific. It’s also kind of knowing that some things are just part of the process. But I do love what I do. I find the greatest reward in aiding students in overcoming adversity and gaining that missing credential to take their careers to uncharted land.

What led you to this job working with master’s students at Capitol?

WD: I think this was the most appropriate position for me at this level in my career. I started out in a small non-profit institution. I loved it there. I loved being able to interact with, at that point, undergraduate students. I truly felt passionate about influencing that experience, especially when I did recruitment. I did not particularly care for the hustle and bustle of for-profit education and the number-driven approach to enrollment. So, when I had an opportunity to find a position that allowed me to influence the student life cycle beyond enrollment, I jumped on it. STEM education is the future and what we offer here at the graduate and undergraduate level is a top-of-the-line experience for most students. Some of the most important information that they may ever receive they can receive from our university; and with Dr. Sims vision, we are poised for innovation. When I started to do the research on where education was going, it just seemed like a no-brainer to accept this offer from Capitol.

What kind of support is offered here for master’s students?

WD: I think that in most cases it is good to be proactive to avoid things falling on your plate and having a disgruntled student. I’m really big on students being advocates for the university, and overall the most important way to increase advocacy is to keep students engaged and offer them a life changing experience. So, where my roll has been mostly been reactive, I’ve been trying to transition into being more proactive using some of the data that our system has provided us to realistically see which students are struggling early on and giving them as many opportunities and chances to use some of the resources we have here. I find at the graduate level, support may be evaluating the ever-changing needs of the student population and developing the best means to support them. Our students are brilliant, but areas like time management and scholarly research are ideal areas for support. As we transition to an asynchronous learning platform, there will be more services offered.

Can you tell me more about specific services available to master’s students?

WD: The majority of our students are cyber-security majors, so we have the cyber lab and they can still be involved in that. The great thing about our university is that in most cases our instructors are very hands-on. Being a small institution, you can receive additional assistance or guidance. It’s all about being able to verbalize it and having someone connect you to the right person.

What are some challenges you have either faced yourself or seen others struggle with while getting their master’s?

WD: Time-management. As generic and cliché as it may sound, your time is your most valuable asset. And as an adult learner I get that. I have a family of four; I’ll say three girls because I consider my wife as one of my girls as well. Having that balance and still being able to be a full-time student or juggle financial aid, it’s a lot. I can always tell my grad students stories because when I was in my master’s program, I lost my grandfather and my uncle. I got married and had a baby. Basically, all the things that make your master’s degree harder to obtain, I did. So, to me it’s important to get to know each student’s scenario and to understand their family, understand the things that compete for their time and then be ready to give them some solid advice. Where if I don’t know what you want to get out of your degree, it’s hard for me to help you pick your elective courses and whatnot.

Final question, for a master’s student, what would be the best way to contact you if any problems should arise?

WD: I think that if you have questions regarding the student experience, it’s a good idea to contact admissions and academic advising at the same time. If you’re a newly admitted student, you’ll hear from me, and what I’m trying to initiate is that you’ll hear from me within seventy-two hours of being admitted. Students can also use the Graduate Orientation course listed in Learn@Capitol. As I adjust in my role, students can also expect our social media presence to expand to student groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. If you would like to reach me by email it would be gradadvisor@captechu.edu.