Meet Your Advisor: Casey Schultz

Meet Your Advisor

Hello everyone! My name’s Casey, and I’m excited to tell you a little more about myself today. Educationally, I’m a Cardinal through and through. I came to Ball State’s campus back in 2007 for my bachelor’s degree in psychological science, which I earned in 2011.

I also have a master’s degree in executive development for public service (2015), a graduate certificate in college and university teaching (2018). I’m currently working toward my doctorate of education (EdD) in higher education. Although my bachelor’s was completed on campus, every program I’ve pursued since has been online, or at least primarily online.

Why I Advise

I joined Ball State as a professional staff member in 2012. I became a student success specialist with Ball State Online in 2016 and a lead student success specialist in 2020. I also teach an online capstone course for general studies students.

I don’t think anyone grows up thinking, I’m going to be an academic advisor someday! Although, I may be mistaken. It certainly wasn’t a career choice on my radar growing up. But, my academic advisor, Sarah Haley, was such an integral part of my college experience when I was an undergraduate. She not only helped me schedule my classes, but she also helped me seek out opportunities to build my skillsets both in advising and teaching. We’ve long joked that I earned a “minor in Sarah Haley” due to the number of courses I took from her (Honors College Colloquia, independent studies, a teaching assistant role, and an internship).

That “minor,” however, has served me well! It helped me figure out my passion: making sure students working toward their degrees know they have a dependable resource and information to make the right decisions about their education.

As a student success specialist, the focus is right there in the name. I want my students to be successful, and I want to be a cheerleader, and sometimes a coach, for them on that journey. I’m not here to do it for you; I’m here to make sure you have all the skills and information you need to do it on your own! The biggest thing I want my students to know is that they can come to me for anything. I may not have all the answers, but I can certainly help you find the person who does!

Now the Fun Facts

Outside of my Lead Student Success Specialist role, I’m still a student myself. With a target graduation day of May or July 2025, that will continue to be a big part of my identity. I’m also a fur parent to an adorable, white cat named Betty June and an orange foster cat named Ellen Ripley. I say foster cat, but that’s just a formality. Ripley will be an official part of my household soon enough. I’m known to my niece as Auntie Cat and my nephew as Aunt Queso (cheesy, I know).

Throughout some of the unexpected downtime that came with 2020, I learned to crochet and to cook as well, thanks to a meal kit delivery service. I enjoy way too much (seriously, too much) reality TV, and I’m always in the market for a new podcast to listen to as I do things around the house. I’m ridiculously competitive and have been grateful for Zoom game nights with my family over the last year to pass the time and keep that competitive nature alive and thriving. I have a fabulous support system that empowers me to strive to be a part of a similar support system for all of my students!

Want to get to know the rest of the Ball State Online advisors and student success specialists? Then remember to visit our blog, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

And Now Presenting…A Work, Life, and School Balancing Act

I remember posting online when I finished my master’s degree in 2015 that I was submitting my last assignment EVER! and I would NEVER be in school ever again! Every year when those memories pop up on social media, I can’t help but laugh at Past Casey while looking at the pile of work I have to do.

Since then, I’ve completed a graduate certificate, started another one (which, I ultimately did not finish), and have now started my second semester for my EdD in higher education.

For every program that I worked on after my bachelor’s degree, I also worked full-time in addition to pursuing a degree. During my master’s degree, I worked in a position that required three months of recruitment travel. Which meant I had to be careful to pack all of my textbooks in addition to everything else as I left for Missouri for two weeks at a time.

For the first graduate certificate, I was actually working a full-time job as a Student Success Specialist, a part-time job at a jewelry store, and completing coursework. There were times when I truly questioned my sanity at that point. And, I wasn’t alone in that. My friends and family couldn’t believe that I was able to balance all of that and continue to have some semblance of a social life as well. It certainly wasn’t always easy. But, I’ve always felt that it was worth it.

My master’s degree opened the doors for me to get my current position in advising, which had been a dream of mine since I was an undergraduate student.

The first graduate certificate strengthened my resume enough for me to start teaching. The second graduate certificate helped me to develop some management skills, which have been incredibly helpful after a recent promotion to a supervisory position. I’m not clear yet on which doors the EdD will open, but I love that the possibilities are so vast!

Those possibilities, and the strong desire to someday be Dr. Schultz, are what keep me motivated to continue, even when things feel overwhelming. I’ve had to really work to budget out my time each week to make sure everything is done on time. Wednesday and Thursday evenings are each dedicated to reading for each class. And whenever possible, assignments should be completed one day ahead of the deadline (in case anything were to pop up, I have a grace period).

At the beginning of each semester, I carefully read through my syllabi and highlight due dates, so I have an idea of which weeks will be busier than others for me.

I’ve also learned not to be afraid to reach out to my instructors.

If ever I think that I might be in jeopardy of missing a deadline, I’m sure to reach out to my instructors early to open that line of communication and see what my options are and what assistance they can offer.

When all goes well, and I’ve met or beaten all of my self-imposed deadlines for the week, I can reward myself by watching a couple episodes of my newest obsession: “Alone” on the History Channel—a survival competition show, on which I would last all of one hour on as a competitor. As I watch, I’m realizing just how grateful I am that I’m not alone on my academic journey!