Whitman paraeducator of 16 years earns Ph.D.


Paraeducator Louisa Arthur holds up her Ph.D. certificate from the University of Pheonix. Arthur earned her doctorate in education after seven years of online classes. Photo by Annabel Redisch.

By Jack Middleton

Louisa Arthur, a paraeducator at Whitman for the last 16 years, earned her doctorate in education after seven years of online classes at the University of Phoenix.

Balancing two jobs—Arthur also works in the behavioral science department at Suburban and Sibley—and education was a difficult task, but Arthur found time on weekends and in the few spare hours she had during the week to continue her studies.

“It was hard, but I did it, and I’m happy I did it,” Arthur said.

One of Arthur’s proudest achievements is her dissertation. It focused on the necessity of special education teachers in urban schools and took Arthur three and a half years to write. Since its completion, her dissertation has been published by the University of Phoenix and the University of Michigan.

Arthur has already experienced the benefits of having a doctorate degree, not just for her, but for others as well. She feels she now has greater credibility to voice her ideas.

“I felt it has benefited me, benefited my family and benefited the students I work with in special education,” Arthur said. “I can support my ideas because people will listen to what I say.”