Graduate School: Round Two

As you might have read, I just took the GRE and I promised more information on why and where and what about this whole graduate school thing.  First, I am making tons of progress on my 2012 Goals list, if you haven’t checked that out I recommend it.  It’s been good times all around, but one of my remaining goals is to go back to school. Let’s start with why, because I want to shift the area of education that I am involved in and having another master’s degree will allow me to do that.

The slight problem is that I know I want to move into higher, post-secondary, education I’m just not sure exactly what.  Or I wasn’t when I first started this process.  Thanks to the help of some of my extended family (sorry I haven’t contacted you back!) and a few of my friends, I’ve narrowed down what I want to do.  There are still two options, but I feel good about both.  I decided early on that I would apply to schools I legitimately could see myself attending because of the specific programs they offered.  It’s not worth it to me to apply just because and if I don’t get in, then I’ll go back to teaching for a little while longer.

Option 1: History

Specifically, I want to focus on modern Asian (Japanese) and/or European history with a strong emphasis on World War II in both.  I’ve found two programs in the area that allow me to do that and have professors equipped to guide me in my studies on those areas.  Both of these programs have final examination options as opposed to just a thesis, which will allow me to really study both fields and become “expert” on both sides.  The goal would be to teach history at the community college level, where schedules are more flexible and students (in theory) are slightly more invested in education than at the high school level.

The two programs I’m applying to are at Cal State Fullerton, which is closer to LA but could easier be commuted to a few nights a week via train or commuter rail, and San Diego State University (SDSU) which is right here in San Diego county.  Content-wise I’m leaning more toward Fullerton but location/schedule-wise SDSU would be a better plan and has an agreement with UC San Diego where I can take courses there if they are a better fit, which gives me more options.

Option 2: Student Affairs

This is an educational leadership program that would allow me to work in college admissions or study abroad, transition programs and scheduling advise for incoming freshmen, or college advising for upper-level high school students.  I’ve figured out upon reflecting on my teaching career that what I really liked best was helping my high school freshmen figure out what clubs to join or which classes to take, while talking with my former students about scholarships or colleges to apply to.  This program seems to be the perfect fit for those goals!

The two schools I’m applying to are the University of San Diego, which is a private school in town with a great program that offers internships in various fields during study, and SDSU (again).  San Diego State’s program is probably top on my list of all four programs I’m applying to because of their extensive assistantship opportunities.  They have agreements with numerous departments at SDSU and UCSD for their students to have paid, part-time jobs in student affairs offices both years of the program to really get great work experience and to help narrow down exactly which branch of student affairs really interests them.  I just went to an information session for this program last Friday and it really got me excited about the field and the opportunities!

So now you’re all up to speed on what I’m doing with grad school.  Applications are due at the end of December or early January and I’ll start to hear in the spring.  Several of the programs have interview portions of the process in early March, and then I’ll make my decision in April (if I have a decision to make).  For now, it’s back to drafting my purpose statements before yoga… happy Monday!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Susan Oliver
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 16:34:25

    You are amazing! I just read your thoughts & feel like I am hearing you talk. As always, you are organized, well-thought out, concise & right on target. Both interests & programs offer great options. You have always been a solid, prepared, caring & giving individual. Team has always meant more than self in your world. Giving to your friends, family, students, co-workers, & everyone you come in contact with (whether you planned or realized it at the time) comes naturally to you. I place high value on your opinions, suggestions, research & input in my own life. I know many others do, too. It is exciting for me to think, listen & watch as you begin this next phase of your life journey. I loved your FB statement last week about feeling blessed to have this year to “re-invent” yourself in a new place, with new friends, goals, activities, healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

    I do miss the sound of your voice, though . . . love, Mom



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