|Karen Foster completed her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a major in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Elementary Professionalized Subjects in 1988 from Central Washington University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching in 2004 at Grand Canyon University. She is a certified teacher in Washington State.
At Grand Canyon University, Karen is an online instructor for graduate level education and reading education courses. She has been teaching for Grand Canyon University since 2005. She has over 20 years experience in education. Her experience includes teaching at the elementary level as a classroom teacher and as support staff. Her experience includes working as a Reading Intervention Specialist, providing intervention support for struggling readers in grades k-6, coordinating the building LAP/Title I program, and experience as an
Karen and her family reside in Tacoma, Washington. She and her husband recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. They have two sons. The oldest just graduated from high school and will be attending Western Washington University in the fall. Her youngest son is a senior in high school. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
Teaching for Grand Canyon University provides me with the opportunity to share what I have learned throughout my career with current and future teachers. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make a difference while helping others to do the same.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
My students have very busy lives. Many are working full time, trying to balance work, family, and other commitments while earning their degree. I try to be very proactive and responsive in meeting the needs of my students. I do my best to be responsive to questions and concerns my students may have. I try to anticipate questions students may have about assignments and include this information in announcements posted well in advance. I hope that the information I provide will answer many questions and clarify expectations. My students are busy; my hope is that I can save my students valuable time and provide a positive and successful learning experience.
What is a GCU online student success story you can share?
Our students have very busy and demanding lives. Balancing work and family while attending school can feel overwhelming at times. I was contacted by one of my students who was considering not only dropping the course, but out of the program as well. It was too much at this time in her life. I shared with the student that I understood the challenges she faced; I completed my graduate studies while I was working full time as well. I offered a few words of support and encouragement. I was later contacted by the student. She told me that my words of encouragement not only gave her the strength to finish the class, but the program as well. I am very proud of this student and her commitment to earn her degree. Never underestimate how a few kind words can make a difference.