"Vicki is an enthusiastic person who has always wanted to teach. I believe part of the attraction for her in working for our department is that we are a teaching institution. During the time Vicki worked for us, she helped coordinate several major departmental seminars/events. One of Vicki's admirable qualities is that she is able to take a 'negative' and turn it into a 'positive'. An example of this would be that since I have known her, she has been asked to lecture as a motivational speaker to various self-help groups. I know that she has also coordinated several charity events in her community and works to help individuals in her church who need assistance."
Christopher M. Jobe, MD
I am Vicki Cosby-Jefferson and education is my first love. I currently live in Loma Linda, CA which is located in San Bernardino County, also known as one-half of "the Inland Empire" which covers the Riverside/San Bernardino area of California. San Bernardino County is the largest county in California and reaches from North to the border of Nevada, covers over half of Death Valley and then eastward to the border of Arizona.
In September 2004 I entered the Master of Education program in Adult Education/Distance Learning at the University of Phoenix. I had just completed a bachelorís degree in Business Management after a 15-year sabbatical; and after working for 20+ years as an administrative support assistant for various universities and corporations through temporary agencies. At last the time had come to follow the dream--obtain my most fervent goal--teach.
Teaching has always been a really personal goal for me. As a young girl while other girls played with their Barbie dolls, I would set up crates in my mother's garage and teach school to the children in the neighborhood; anyway to kids that I could round up and hold hostage. Thank goodness for temporary employment because it gave me a chance to perform a variety of tasks, wear many hats, learn a variety of administrative support functions and duties preparing me to teach office technology. One of these chances was demonstrating IBM's first personal computer and one of their most popular software--Displaywrite IV. Demonstrations were done for the benefit of corporations, so they would invest in the phenomenon known as the PC.
In 1981, after my position with IBM ended, I was employed by The Ohio State University as secretary to the Information Director of the National Center for Research in Vocational Education where I trained the administrative support staff on the use of their first PC and its accompanying software--Displaywrite IV. While working at the research center I assisted in writing a "how-to" manual for the Displaywrite software and using the personal computer. Working with Dr. Morgan Lewis, who was the Director of Information at the research center, I acquired some fantastic transferrable skills which related to obtaining hands-on learning in vocational education, as well as obtaining a deep understanding on how it enhances not just a person's employability but their self-esteem especially in welfare recipients and ex-offenders. This research eventually became a part of the Carl D. Perkins Act which is still in use today as the Workforce Initiative Act. I also learned that changing your life comes from within, and no amount of manipulation or punishments will change that but if the seed of change is previously planted in a positive manner then the possibility of the "mind change" may occur much earlier than waiting for a crisis intervention.
From 1983 to 1984 I worked for Columbus State Community College, Business & Industry Section as a laboratory assistant in Office Administration where I tutored in Business English, Business Mathematics, Typing, Accounting, Psychology and Sociology under Mrs. Phyllis Hardy. It was unique because I had to learn the subjects as I tutored which gave me the ability to really think on my feet. In 1985 I worked with the international law students at Capital University Law School where I assisted the international students with their internships rotations at various government facilities and law firms. I also functioned as lab assistant organized and developed their lecture tapes (cassette) for their courses in international law.
Briefly after this period I took a short assignment for the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center as personal secretary to both Dr. Deshpal Verma, who specialized in plant growth manipulation and the late Dr. Muttaiyah Sundralingham of the Molecular Genetics Research Center. While working in both of their research centers, I assisted them with applications for grants, assisting with the needs of their PhD candidates; and for Dr. Verma I had the honor of working with him on the implementation of an international conference in India on plant growth. This was a very interesting experience especially since I never left the State of Ohio during the entire development of the conference.
In 1995 I assisted the Director of the African American and African Studies Extension, S. Yolanda Robinson in developing a local historical community festival; a seminar on reforming the curriculum for students of black history which was sponsored by the African Heritage Studies Association (AHSA). I was honored by being given the title of secretary to this association, an office that had never been held by anyone who did not have a degree of significance (PhD).
In 1999 I earned 320 hours tutoring in reading literacy and became certified as a Laubach literacy tutor. Finally in 2006-2007 I accepted a temporary assignment training the claims department staff on how to recognize and extract information from foremanís and equipment reports for a highway construction company. There I developed a "how-to" manual on reading construction blueprints, maps and codes of different construction areas and functions performed by the work crews. The experience and the work allowed me to understand how to assess, evaluate, train and instruct the adult learner. The end result from my experiences and education was the completion of my MAED/Adult Education degree in July, 2006. Or so I thought!
Something was missing from my education, so I took education one step further by enrolling in another master's program specializing in curriculum & instruction. It is my belief that having this additional degree will enhance my ability to teach, train and instruct the juvenile offender, the adult ex-offender, and the ďhard-to-hire" thereby enhancing my employability in a variety of careers. In the interim I hope to find a position as an administrative assistant and/or a position teaching office technology in the community college, and if I am allowed to teach a history class (my second love).
So my goals are to teach office technology in a correctional facility and/or contract with government agencies/community programs to motivate and train the juvenile offender, the adult ex-offender, and the "hard-to-hire" clients who need to get into the workforce; and help them become more literate while giving them a second chance in life. I believe that my life experience parallel theirs, so I speak with authority on the subject of reintegration into society, total life change and rehabilitation. More often than not the "hard-to-hire" has given up. This is where I fit in. I want to be one of the keys to their Pandora's Box because at the bottom of their box is HOPE! After letting turmoil, grief, pain and bad choices out of the box. It is a matter of getting the "hard-to-hire to acknowledge that there is something at the bottom of their box which has not been thoroughly looked through or at--We all have a box from Pandora. As human beings we often make decisions that cause negative reactions to happen in our lives but there is always hope--which means there is a possibility for change. You must be persistent and follow through with hope for a better day. You must believe that you can change, and that a positive life is in your hands; you just need to dig deep into your Pandora's Box.
Attending the University of Phoenix, the training and experience that I have gained through my courses, and interacting with those who already have careers as teachers, instructors and trainers has given me the opportunity to grow, hone my strengths and skills related to adult education. It is my burning desire to accomplish my personal goals. I want to assist in organizing programs of educational value but more than this I want to teach. As a multiple minority I must give 115% of myself to the goal, and be equal in intellect to those who have not had my experiences. Yet, I know that God is in charge, it is He that guides my path. I have been allowed to live two lives in one lifetime; and I have been been blessed with a chance to rethink my life, relive my dreams--and reach for the sky. But most all I looked into the bottom of my Pandora's Box.