Montana State University Billings student Teia Lackner has been able to complete her degree utilizing HyFlex courses while living an hour away from Billings and raising her daughter.

Lackner is originally from Valier, Montana, and was attending MSU Billings when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. After classes moved online, she expected to return to a more traditional, in-person learning experience in the future. However, after welcoming her daughter in July 2021 and moving an hour away from Billings, HyFlex courses granted her the opportunity to continue her education on her own terms.

“If I didn’t have the option to take flexible courses, I probably wouldn’t be completing my education right now,” shared Lackner.

HyFlex courses allow students at MSUB to complete courses asynchronously, which means students can choose to come to class in person, complete their work on their own time and watch prerecorded lectures, attend a scheduled class virtually, or do a mix of all options. The flexibility of this option appeals to many students who work, raise families, or live outside of Billings.

Currently a resident of Hysham, Montana, Lackner was able to partner with the school in her community to complete her degree’s practicum hours without traveling to Billings and was able to attend many of her classes remotely or via HyFlex. Lackner also notes that her professors and advisors have been very supportive. “Everyone at MSUB has been so understanding and willing to help me find a way to make things possible,” says Lackner.

Lackner is currently completing her student teaching experience and expects to graduate from MSUB this May with a degree in elementary education.


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