Eric Fretz

Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Psychology (CPEP), '10

Eric  Fretz, School of Education

Field of Study: CPEP

Year in Program: c/o 2010

Undergraduate: University of Michigan (BA) & University of Southern Illinois University (BA, MA)

Prior to UM: I’m obviously a big fan of CPEP. My whole time was rather unusual because I started in 1998 and graduated in 2010. I had a couple of kids born and some extended family illness, and two deployments to the Middle-East. But I finished up successfully. I was first deployed to Bahrain in 2005, then to Baghdad in 2008, where I spent an entire year on active duty. 

Why your program? The support that I received at Michigan alleviated some of the burdens that presented themselves as an active veteran. I commuted to campus the entire time. I lived forty-five minutes from campus. In the pursuit of my PhD I’ve commuted a couple hundred thousand miles. It was definitely a part of my journey. My dissertation was on scaffolding. We were looking at an interface design concept. We designed some software for middle school students to allow them to create dynamic models they could test. It was called “model-it.” They could link things together, like the amount of fish increase the amount of predator fish increase. Allowing them to link phenomena in the system and how the different variables in the system interact.

The best part of SOE so far: In the end, it was the camaraderie at CPEP that strengthened my bond to the University of Michigan. You really have great support. I always felt very comfortable at CPEP. I realized that in CPEP, I had never heard anyone say anything bad about the program itself. Everybody only had very nice things to say about it. They make a commitment when they let you into that program to fund you through your dissertation. So there is a sense of community and sense of being a part of a team. It was nice.

Fretz’s program of study:
Combined Program in Education and Psychology




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