Ben Ferrell MACSD '10, executive vice president for Finance and Administration at Austin Commmunity College, is no stranger to higher education and college finances. As a certified public accountant, his career spans more than 25 years at both institutions of higher learning and for-profit companies. His past roles have included chief financial officer, controller and staff accountant. Even though he's comfortable in his current position at ACC, Ben decided he wanted to learn more about the student affairs side of higher education. So he enrolled in the MA in College Student Development program.
Now he's exploring a new side of education, and he's immersing himself with research projects and classes in organizational behavior, leadership and counseling. "I didn't realize how much the field has changed. It's been good for me to broaden my knowlege. I have a lot of interaction with students, and the more I know, the better I can do my job," he says.
His learning isn't just limited to his classes. Ben says he is learning from his fellow students, too. He appreciates the diverse mix of students that St. Edward's attracts. In fact, he says that it's a key ingredient to a successful graduate program. "It's not just about the faculty. It's about the students, too. The quality of students at St. Edward's is great. That makes a huge difference," he says.
What's next for Ben after he finished at St. Edward's? His future career plans include earning a doctorate in Higher Education Administration. "I really enjoyed St. Edward's. They made it easy to work full-time and go back to school — from application to advising to taking classes. It was great."