About

Matt Brent is a native of the Northern Neck of Virginia. Born and raised in Lancaster County, he now lives in Northumberland County right next door. He is an educator, father, husband, and PhD student.

Matt currently serves as an Associate Professor of History at Rappahannock Community College where he teaches courses in History, Political Science and Education. He also holds a Post-Graduate Professional Teaching License with endorsements in History & Social Sciences and Speech Communication. In addition to his full-time position at RCC, he also teaches part time for Lancaster High School, Essex High School and University of Phoenix.

After graduating from Christopher Newport University in May 2004, Matt experienced the struggle that many college grads go through. Finding a full-time job was difficult. After a few part-time positions, the winds of luck blew in his direction, and he accepted a full-time teaching position at his alma mater, Lancaster High School, in August 2005.  The first year, like that of many new teachers, was rather rough, but a great learning experience. The following year he was assigned to teach World History, and he was privileged to have a fabulous group of students who inspired him to continue as a educator.

As a result of a growing commitment to his students, Matt enrolled in a graduate program with Walden University, and completed an MSEd in Designing Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, the following year. Through his participation in distance learning, Matt saw the benefits of such programs, and he quickly became an advocate of using such methods to provide accessibility to education.

The following year the high school principal asked Matt to consider an additional opportunity. She desired to work with Rappahannock Community College to expand the dual enrollment offerings at the school. To do so, however, she needed qualified faculty, and thus she asked Matt, who agreed, to pursue additional graduate coursework in Political Science and History. Because of his dedication to progress, Matt started teaching Dual Enrollment Government (PLS 211-212) in the fall of 2009, once again having the opportunity to teach former students from his 2nd year. In May of 2011, Matt completed his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentrating in History & Political Science.

The experience and opportunity to teach courses through Rappahannock Community College at Lancaster High School certainly opened up opportunities. Matt began to adjunct at the college, and in the summer of 2012 he accepted a full-time position there where he continues to serve today. In continuing with a desire to achieve, Matt enrolled in a PhD program focusing on Leadership through the University of the Cumberlands, and he hopes to complete the program around May 2017.

In addition to his professional life, Matt is married to Tara, the 4-H Youth Development Agent for Lancaster & Northumberland County Cooperative Extension. Together they have two children, Reagan and Parker, and two cats, Cleo and Caesar.

6 Responses to About

  1. Aundra Williams says:

    I see that you are working on your PhD. at the University of the Cumberlands. I am interested in their Ed.D. program. Can you tell me how your journey has been while obtaining your goal? I am interested in knowing how rigorous their program is and how you like their class format. I believe that you attend class once a week online via live stream. What is the average course load like? Thank you for your input.

    • mattbrent mattbrent says:

      Hi Aundra,

      I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the program. It has a good feel to it, and I appreciate how flexible the instructors are. They know they’re dealing with working adults, and I respect them for that. The executive nature of the program is nice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not rigorous. I’m constantly reading and writing for the courses, and I like being able to apply the theories we’re covering in class to what’s happening in my workplace.

      We do have classes each week. There are some, however, that do not have a synchronous class component, but most do. We use Blackboard Collaborate, which is a nice tool. I actually use it at the college where I work full-time. It’s nice because it helps form a sense of community among those in class.

      As far as the average class load, it’s difficult to say. There are some classes that have several smaller projects, and some classes which have one large project. All of it has been manageable for me, however. I’m currently taking one course per 8 week session, and it hasn’t been difficult. I know others that are doing 2 per session while working full-time, but I don’t want to chance that. I like my pace.

      I would highly recommend the program. The instructors are top notch, the tuition is affordable, and the 18 hour specialization block allows students to add some customization to the program. It’s definitely worth looking into.

      -Matt

  2. Nathan says:

    I am considering enrolling in University of Cumberlands in the PhD Leadership course. It’s almost identical to the Ed.D. Have you taken the comps yet? I would hate to do 2 years work just to fail. Any information you can share would be helpful. Thanks.

    • mattbrent mattbrent says:

      Hi Nathan,

      My apologies for just catching your comment. I get a ton of spam on the site, and I didn’t see it mixed in. To answer your question, I have not taken the comprehensive exam yet. I am wrapping up my coursework this semester, and will take the comps soon. From what I have been told by colleagues, the best thing to do to prepare is to review the programs objectives and think about how each of the courses relates to those. I also understand there is a bit of Statistics on the exam as well, so I was encouraged to take the Stats course near the end of the program so that it was fresh in my mind. I took stats in the last term, and I think that will help.

      Because it’s been two and a half months since your comment, I should also point out that the program is changing a little. When I began UC just had the EdD in Educational Leadership, but they began offering the PhD in Leadership. I switched to the new program, and it seems that now the PhD is actually shifting away from an education focus. Some of the courses are being slightly renamed and tweaked. Overall, it looks as if UC’s programs are growing, which is a good thing. I have been completely happy with it thus far!

      -Matt

  3. Catherine Gibbs says:

    I wanted to ask you, how long have you been in the program at Cumberlands?

    • mattbrent mattbrent says:

      Hi Catherine,

      My apologies for missing your comment. It was buried in spam, and I just found it. I started the program in January of 2014. I’m almost finished my 2nd year, and I should wrap up the major coursework this semester and start the dissertation process in January. I will state, however, that I did transfer in 15 credits of coursework from my 2nd masters degree, and that saved me some time.

      -Matt

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