Voices from CPS Fall 2011 Graduation

September 17, 2011

Graduates share their experiences, plans after graduation, and advice to current CPS students pursuing their degrees.

Fall 2011 Graduation – September 17, 2011

When the graduates, families, leaders, faculty and staff of Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) gathered for the Fall 2011 graduation, several shared their experiences, plans after graduation, and advice to current CPS students pursuing their degrees.

“We grew together, had each other to lean on and learned from each other’s life experience.”

Sheri MatthewsMS 2011, graduated from the Fast-Track Master of Science in Leadership program and started a new job two days after graduation as a school district Director of Finance and Operations. In the one-year Fast-Track program, Matthews found she particularly appreciated the cohort experience, getting to know her classmates and finding a supportive community focused on a single purpose. She was also seeking to complete her degree quickly while working full-time and raising four children, readily acknowledging that the program “was like having a second full-time job.” Despite the challenges, Matthews encourages other CPS students to “keep with it. It will absolutely be worth it.”

“Get to know people in your class, make phone calls, plan conference calls, meet in person, send texts … the key is communication.”

Bradley Watson, MS 2011,  graduated from the Fast-Track Master of Science in Leadership program and was in the same cohort as Sheri Matthews. Watson offered his advice for getting the most out of an online classroom environment. He also recalled the “Transformational Leadership” course he took and described the value of the course’s first project which was meant to be applied to “your real life in real time.” Watson noted that he saw internal, organizational, and professional results from applying the principles of the course and now has a communications consulting project for a non-profit with a focus on organizational communications and change management.

“My professors are my mentors and my references, and I loved the co-op program for the real working world experience I earned.”

Kriti Khadka, BS 2011, graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management program, and summed up the best of her CPS experience this way. During her bachelor’s program Khadka completed two co-ops, one working as an office manager in a law firm and the other as a junior bookkeeper in a small firm. She now has her sights set on a staff accountant position at a non-profit organization. Khadka, a summa cum laude graduate and member of the Golden Key honor society, helped develop a Facebook group for CPS undergraduates to exchange information about courses, professors, and on-campus opportunities. Having arrived in the U.S. four years ago from Nepal, Khadka wanted to share what she had learned about navigating college.

“You have to be dedicated and determined – if you’re motivated, you will succeed. I was fortunate to make friends and learn from great teachers. It was the right environment for working adults, taking classes at night.”

Katia Toussaint, BS 2011, graduated from the Fast-Track Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program, and describes the key to success in working full time and completing a bachelor’s degree at the College of Professional Studies. An honors graduate, Toussaint now works as a systems analyst for a Boston software company.

More about graduation

To read about the CPS Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, visit The ‘culmination of a long-term promise’.

To read Interim Dean John LaBrie’s graduation speech, visit Interim Dean John LaBrie delivers graduation address.

To read about the CPS Fall 2011 Graduation, visit Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies Confers 821 Degrees.

The College of Professional Studies celebrates two graduations, fall and spring, in keeping with the College’s flexible approach to education offering an array of options to students including part-time and full-time studies, Fast-Track, online, and hybrid formats. Graduates earned diplomas in 61 different degree programs at the associate, bachelor, master’s, and doctoral levels.

To learn more about graduation, visit: http://cps.neu.edu/student-resources/graduation/index.php.


Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Northeastern University is a global university with a tradition of partnership and engagement that creates an innovative, distinctive approach to education and research. Northeastern integrates classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities in 70 countries, and pursues use-inspired research with a focus on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability.