Liberal Arts Education Leads to Enriching Opportunities
While many students may wonder about their career options after college, earning a degree with a liberal arts background explores a variety of disciplines that can open doors to other rewarding opportunities. Kelli Jette '06, Bachelor of Arts in Music Education graduate of Mount St. Joseph University learned this first-hand as she underwent a journey of enriching experiences beginning with her time at the Mount.
Raised in a family of musicians, Jette found music to be a natural expectation and calling, but was not looking to attend college. After Ulli Brinksmeier, associate professor of music at the Mount invited her to audition on piano, Jette knew the Mount felt right at home. “It felt natural, like home. Like family. They 'wanted' me and said so, reassuring me and assisting in every step of the way to get me enrolled, comfortable, and successful,” she says.
After graduating from the Mount in May 2006 where she gained valuable knowledge for her craft, Jette immediately accepted a music education position in her hometown and was inspired to pursue her Master's in Special Education the following year at Xavier. “Music plays such an important role in the daily lives of children, I felt that the perfect combination would be the music and special education degree.”
A New Career Pursuit
Jette received her M.Ed. in Special Education in May ’07 and continued to work as a music educator while taking classes at U.C. Her professors saw her talent and urged her to pursue her to continue her Ph.D., and soon enough she was accepted into the University of Cincinnati Educational Studies master's program and resigned from her teaching position. Although she missed working with children, she enjoyed the rigor and research of the doctoral experience.
She continued to work as a graduate assistant throughout her doctoral program with a focus on bullying and peer victimization and was promoted to a faculty position after graduation. Jette reflects on her success due to the liberal arts foundation she gained from her time at the Mount.
“The liberal arts perspective has completely molded my perspectives throughout the collegiate learning experience. It completely prepared me to address the diverse needs of student populations, and really honed my skills in a variety of areas, research in particular. I feel that, although I am no expert in most areas, I was introduced to so much at the Mount, because of the liberal arts approach. So, I feel very comfortable working and researching in areas that may not be, "my area." This has made me more flexible and aware of the dynamic elements one must face in all areas of life.”
Continuing her Musical Endeavors
While Jette was buried in books and writing to meet her doctoral requirements, she still needed an outlet for music. She was called to start her band, Jetset Getset, with the goal of performing at local fairs and festivals. Her big break came when she was invited to perform on a nationally-syndicated television show called "The Shotgun Red Variety Show." Her tours took her all around the US. Jette was able to apply her musical experience gained from her degree at the Mount to her current band, while using her liberal arts education to pursue her newly-chosen career path. It was through the Mount that she found all of this possible.
“The Mount gave me hope, inspiration, and courage to pursue what I believed was an impossibility. The strength, knowledge and empowerment I gained from my professors at the Mount gave me courage to pursue plans and dreams I would have never considered, ever. The gifts, musical, educational, and spiritual, bestowed upon me during my time at the Mount have not only blessed my life, but, I have been told, blessed the lives of everyone around me.”
Her new textbook anthology will launch in August, available on shelves for the fall semester. In addition, Jette will be presenting and speaking to the Mount's music department, click here for more information.