The role models of our formative years directly impact our development as individuals, for better or for worse. Realizing this reality, ACU alumni Jarrett Jacobs saw a need to advocate for adolescents and teens to help change the negative narratives through conflict management. Learn how his experience in our online Master of Arts in Conflict Management and Resolution program helped Jarrett reach his dreams and positively change the world around him.
Furthering His Expertise
Jarrett was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice. His professional journey started in human services and research in autism at the Marcus Institute and in Gwinnett Public Schools. Later, Jarrett moved into the advocacy space at Georgia Regional Hospital and served as a patient advocate and HIPAA coordinator for almost 16 years. Throughout that experience, he worked with mental health patients to mitigate conflict within their relationships with their physicians, guardians and peers.
In 2017 Jarrett first heard about ACU, but it wasn’t until 2020 that he enrolled in ACU’s program. After years of serving in mental health, Jarrett was looking for a way to expand his role and earn credentials that would tie his passions for workforce management and leadership together. He began seeking out a conflict resolution program and was reintroduced to ACU, where he found the perfect balance of a university that met his needs and gave him opportunities to continue to grow.
“The program was everything I could have imagined in terms of the curriculum and inclusion of Christian beliefs,” Jarrett reflected. “My courses gave me an opportunity to dig further into my beliefs and examine certain areas of my faith.” Another key aspect of Jarret’s success at ACU Online was his relationships with his professors and the impact from the mentorship they provided. “They were extremely helpful and engaged throughout each one of my courses,” Jarrett described.
The flexibility that came with the online program allowed Jarrett to continue to work and still be present with his family. “Learning virtually reduced the impact it had on my wife and daughter, and I was lucky enough that my professional career gave me opportunities to work on certain assignments when I had breaks,” Jarrett remarked. ACU’s online learning was structured in a way where Jarrett could thrive academically and still interact with professors and peers while meeting deadlines and completing his assigned readings. “I felt like I was even more engaged in the online program vs. being in a traditional program,” he said.
The biggest imprint the Master of Arts in Conflict Management and Resolution program had on him were the doors that began to open even prior to graduating. As Jarrett matriculated through the program and earned his mediation training certificate, he began to see the immediate impact his new degree was having on his career as he sought out employment. He was soon offered a position with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees where he worked as a business representative for film and television. “I received that offer just 29 days after receiving my certificate and I was able to finish out the program and move beyond that role into a position for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention,” he explained.
Impacting The Next Generation
Moving forward, Jarrett’s goal is to one day open a conflict resolution center of his own in Atlanta where he can develop programs for elementary schools to teach students proactive ways to handle conflict during their juvenile years. Growing up in an urban area and being exposed to a population of at-risk youth, Jarrett saw the need to reach kids at an early age. “Depending on their background, once kids reach middle school or high school, they have already developed poor habits in terms of dealing with conflict,” Jarrett said. “With my master’s, I want to teach others how to deal with those conflicts before it gets too aggressive or dangerous and impacts them negatively in the long run.”
As the world continues to evolve and kids continue to gain access to different forms of media, the opportunity for conflict to arise becomes greater as well. Jarrett shared how social media can be a breeding ground for bullying and harassment. “I feel like the only way to mitigate those interactions is to get to them quicker,” he said. “I’ve had conversations with law enforcement about what they’ve seen and dealt with and they further confirmed we must do something while they’re still young.”
Jarrett graduated from ACU in May of 2022 and got to walk the stage with diploma in hand for a second time while his family and parents watched. According to Jarrett, ACU was one of the best things he has ever done and if he knew what he knew now, he would have done it sooner. While he continues to work toward his career goals each day, he also says he tries not to take himself too seriously and finds ways to relax in God’s presence.
“God is around us at all times,” he said. “You can see it in the trees, you can hear it in the birds. He’s there and if you take the time to recognize it you really don’t stress so much.” Along with finding ways to recharge in nature and spending time with his family, Jarrett loves to play the trombone and finds music to be a significant part of his life. He’s committed to making a positive impact on those around him and continues to use the skills he learned through his master’s program both professionally and personally.
Are you looking to expand your career opportunities and make a difference in the lives of others through your profession? Visit acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300 today.