Ken Blanchard College of Business
M.B.A. - Nova Southeastern University, FL
B.S. in Business Administration - University of Technology, Jamaica
About Charmaine Walters Balfour
Dr. Charmaine Walters Balfour is currently a professor of Financial Accounting and Managerial Finance at the graduate level and Economics at the undergraduate level. She has lectured in Accounting, Economics, and Business Studies in the past. Dr. Walters Balfour has a doctorate in International Business from Argosy University and ABD in Finance from Nova Southeastern University. She has written a scholarly paper on gender issues and has presented a paper entitled "Examining the Economic Impact of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Loan Stabilization Program on Caribbean Countries" at the IABPAD conference in October, 2011. She is currently a CFA candidate at the first level.
A native of Jamaica, Dr. Walters Balfour enjoys doing research, visiting new places and learning new cultures. She volunteers as an SAT instructor at least three hours per week where she instructs students in mathematics, critical reading and essay writing. She lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with her husband Steve. They have an 18 year old son Kevaughn who is a freshman in college.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
I do believe one of my purposes in life is to aid students to take advantage of educational opportunities to become successful. Students have gifts and they are unique in their own ways. Shaping these students to develop these gifts can be very rewarding. This occurs when I impart my knowledge, coupled with creativity to help students fully maximize their skills and talents. Students almost always say they are in school to make a better life for themselves and their families. To be able to assist these students to make a clear tangible difference in not only their lives but also the lives of others is highly purposeful.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
One strategy I use to foster or generate students' interest is to tie in questions related to their personal experiences. When students post biographies they usually mention things that are of importance to them. I make note of these important variables, like names of children, grandchildren, pets, hobbies, aspirations, experiences, and so on. I will incorporate these important variables in questions that I pose, and students are usually enthusiastic about responding. This strategy shows them that instructors take an interest in their personal wellbeing and they are not seen as a part of a class, but rather as an individual.
What is a GCU online student success story you can share?
I had a student who during the first week of class was not meeting requirements with her postings and her assignments. I sent her an email to find out if she was having problems understanding the work or if her problem was of a personal nature. I assured her that whatever the problem was I was willing to work with her and to do whatever it takes within my power to ensure her success. She emailed me to say no professor has ever expressed such concern about her welfare and she truly appreciated it. Although she did not say what the reason was, she ended up becoming one of the best students in the class. When students know you are keeping an eye on them it does make a difference.