Hyper-focused on educating men and women of all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels, and stages of life, Dr. Jacqueline Bluitt is known as one of ACU Online’s most profound advocates and educators. Holding a strong emphasis in the STEM fields and secondary education, Dr. Bluitt sees her role as the Undergraduate Education Program Director to be more than just pushing students to achieve their bachelor’s degree but also as a facilitator between the workforce and academia. With her impressive background of holding two master’s degrees, Dr. Bluitt is both qualified and ecstatic to assist her students in becoming the professionals they have always wanted to be, praying that they, too, hear their calling during their time in the program. Now, completing nearly one year with ACU Online, Dr. Bluitt sees the fruit of that hopeful prayer and aims to continue to make change in her position for the many years to come.
From Science Class to Scientist
Dr. Bluitt grew up around the idea that gaining an education was not for the faint of heart. It required grit, resilience, determination, and grace. As a child, Dr. Bluitt remembers seeing her parents talk about the importance of going to school; how it was seen as a “way to give back to the community.” And no one exemplified that more than the women in her family, especially her mom, Hearing her mother’s words about how difficult it was to be a black woman attending college and simultaneously providing for her immediate family, Dr. Bluitt always held the memory of her hardworking mother close to her heart. And in many ways, it prompted her to do well in school.
“My great aunt actually was one of the first black principals in Dallas,” Dr. Bluitt said. “And so, you can imagine what it was like to have her around and hear what she had to say. She really pushed us to do well in school, and wanted us to go beyond what she did. Women like her are one of the main reasons why I’ve become who I am today.”
Unlike most kids who enjoyed reading, art classes, and drama, Dr. Bluitt was fascinated by the sciences, specifically chemistry. Taking all the classes she could in high school, Dr. Bluitt decided to make a career out of it and received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee. Enjoying the experience and excelling in her coursework, Dr. Bluitt went straight to work in the lab and started working as a chemist in Tennessee. That is, before she got the call. A few years in, Dr. Bluitt received a phone call from Volvo Cars, who offered to pay for her next degree if she transferred and worked for them in their lab in Dallas, Texas. Needless to say, she jumped at the chance to gain her master’s degree. Only this time, it would be in something a little less science-based and a little more math.
“I still remember that day,” Dr. Bluitt laughed. “I just remember thinking, ‘Volvo wants to work with me? Why? But then, you know, God has a funny way of getting us to where we need to be so I just said yes and went for it. It was a good decision. I can tell you that.”
Fast forward, Dr. Bluitt not only was working for Volvo Cars as a recent graduate but was also seeking her master’s degree in accounting with a minor in information systems management from the University of Dallas. Things were looking great for Dr. Bluitt. She had the life she worked so hard for. Now, the question was, what else was in store?
The Call For Teaching
Dr. Bluitt remembers when she first heard about the teacher shortage problems in Dallas school districts, particularly the need for science and math teachers. Moved by the idea of teaching young minds from diverse backgrounds, Dr. Bluitt decided to sign-up and was offered a temporary contract as a floating teacher with various school districts in the Dallas area.
“Moving from working with fellow STEM professionals is hard,” Dr. Bluitt said. “The STEM field is very cut throat, and I was just getting tired of it. I really thought to myself, ‘this might be just what I need.’”
One year turned into 10, and Dr. Bluitt was known as one of the top science teachers in her school district, leading classrooms with 40 students on subjects like biology, chemistry and physics. Dr. Bluitt looks back at that time with fond memories. To her, “it was the best job she ever had. Every day was something new and [she] liked that spontaneity.” Granted, it wasn’t all easy the first few months in transitioning from being an industrial chemist to becoming a high school science teacher. In fact, she would be the first to say “it was hard, even frustrating, at times.” But, like the go-getter she is, Dr. Bluitt continued to pursue it. Unlike her time as a chemist, working in the classroom allowed her to become more in tune with who she was.
“My students were really the main reason why I became a great teacher,” Dr. Bluitt said. “At the time, I didn’t have any children so learning how to work with teenagers and their personalities was something so new to me. I really think about it now, and it’s just amazing to see who I was before teaching and who I am now. It’s a total change.”
Still, though, she wanted to make even more change happen. Only this time, she wanted to be more on the administrative side. Within the next few years, Dr. Bluitt received her second master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies focused on business, chemistry, and higher education with a principal certification. For the next five years, Dr. Bluitt worked as a charter high school principal and science facilitator for Dallas County, where she worked with thousands of students and teachers looking to make a difference in their individual classrooms. Focused on making sure every child received the education they needed, as well as the resources to attend college, Dr. Bluitt decided that she too needed to continue her own education. In 2020, she received her doctorate in education from Northcentral University and was on her way to becoming one of her district’s most qualified school administrators. And then, she saw an advertisement and everything changed – again.
Becoming A Wildcat
While Dr. Bluitt enjoyed being a principal, she wanted to see what else was out there for her; specifically looking for a place where she could express her faith in an open, school environment. Dr. Bluitt knows a thing or two about the consequences of professing faith in a public school environment. And for once, she wanted to be able to speak openly about Jesus and her testimony without hiding it. So, she applied. A few months later, she was offered the position of undergraduate education program director, where she oversees students transfer into their bachelor’s degrees and assists them in getting into the program of their choice. Whether it’s transfer students who have some coursework completed or a brand new adult learner seeking their bachelor’s degree, Dr. Bluitt has seen them all in the short time she’s been with ACU Online. And she loves every second of it.
“ACU Online is, in my opinion, a great place to work,” Dr. Bluitt remarked. “I get to meet so many students who are looking for a place to call home and walk with them through the process of picking the major that works best for them. It’s a very fulfilling experience and rewarding job.”
Now working with senior leadership and faculty, Dr. Bluitt is excited to see what else is in store for her career. While she understands her complex background doesn’t make sense on paper, she sees every decision she’s made as the right one. They all have led her to ACU Online, and that’s what she cares most about.
Counting on the Lord to keep her sane with the latest additions to her life both personally and professionally, Dr. Bluitt is proud to be one of the few black educators who has inspired and encouraged students, staff members, parents, and professors about the importance of encouraging others to gain an education. That is what she will be remembered for – and she’s happy with that.
Are you interested in gaining your degree from ACU Online? Call our admissions team at 855-219-7300 or our website to begin your journey.