Guidance and mentorship play a pivotal role in student success. This proved true for ACU alumni Patrick Dupont as he saw the demand for strong leaders to teach the next generation of healthcare professionals. With the help of ACU Online’s Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.) program, Patrick was able to form the skills necessary to make a difference in his classroom and beyond. Find out how his journey to earning his doctorate degree opened his eyes to the world’s great need for well-equipped educators and how he plans to pay it forward.
Operating Room to The Classroom
Patrick is a Louisiana native, but a naturalized Texan. As he put it, he can make a gumbo or smoke a brisket, depending on what the situation calls for. While proud of his Cajun roots, he has called Texas home since he was a kid and currently resides in Fort Worth where he teaches online healthcare courses. His experience in the medical world started far before he brought his knowledge to the classroom. After getting his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University and earning a diploma in nursing anesthesia from Harris School of Nurse Anesthesia, Patrick worked in the healthcare field for 32 years. During this time, he taught both in the operating room and in the classroom as a clinical coordinator for nursing anesthesia residents.
In 2014, Dupont left the stress of the operating room and decided to dedicate his career to equipping the next generation of healthcare professionals. At the age of 50, Patrick got his Master of Science in Nursing Education from the University of Central Missouri and transitioned into full-time teaching in 2015. Throughout his early years as an educator, Dupont noticed that students were not receiving mentorship or guidance in the fundamentals of their prerequisites. As he set out to change this, a member from his church introduced him to ACU Online which began the trajectory to Patrick receiving his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education.
Setting Students Up for Success
Higher education always had a scary connotation tied to it as Dupont grew up. He recalled hearing horror stories about the rigorous courses, but after enrolling at ACU, Dupont recalls that, while his coursework was challenging, it was always manageable and he felt encouraged and enabled to thrive all the way through. “It’s not about weeding people out, but building on students’ strengths and fostering them.” While he described his dissertation as a lot of work, Patrick remembers that the faculty were impressively supportive and structured their courses to be manageable and relevant. “They were interested in my success and made the content mean something to me so that I could carry it forward.”
Throughout his time with ACU, Patrick continued to teach and used his work to inform his studies. His dissertation gave an inside look into the statistical significance of students who had strong mentors before entering medical programs versus those who didn’t. He calculated his students’ grade point averages over the course of four years and proved that students do, in fact, perform better with the help of strong counsel. As the demand for trained healthcare professionals continues to increase, the significant differences his studies proved were alarming to Dupont and reinforced his plans for how he wanted to move forward in his profession, mentoring and guiding students.
Paying It Forward
Patrick has no regrets about his time at ACU, and was proud to have his family watch as he crossed the stage in 2020. Today, he works as an adjunct professor at Indian River State College and actively uses the tools and techniques he gained from his Ed.D. program. He also serves on a curriculum design team where he consults for a medical school in Saudi Arabia to update their curriculum to Western standards, while remaining relevant in the context of their own culture. Patrick explained that he doesn’t think he would be in such a position had he not earned his doctorate at ACU. He hopes to continue his work and help professionals around the world improve upon how they teach medicine to students.
Patrick is currently working on his Association of Certified Biblical Counselors certification and is heavily involved with his church in Fort Worth. He loves music and is preparing for auditions for his church’s production of Shrek The Musical. Additionally, Patrick can be found playing the euphonium in the church orchestra alongside his wife, who is a cellist, or playing guitar with his rock and roll band that he has played with for over 40 years. As far as the future goes, Patrick relies heavily on Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” He is excited to see how the Lord will use him for His kingdom and continue to make a difference in students’ lives and in science.
At ACU Online, we help guide the success of our students so they can make a difference in whatever industry they see fit. Do you have professional goals you’re looking to achieve? Visit acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300 to learn more about our online degree programs.