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so_it_goes

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  1. I agree with @Quickmick that reviewing papers is likely the best way to find departments and professors that could be a good fit. Beyond that, and this may be obvious, but I'd look at literacy education programs to supplement whatever you find in special education departments. Also, just from my experience as a doctoral student, there seems to be more cross-departmental collaboration in education schools, so you may be able to gain research experience to cover the topic by working with multiple individuals in tangentially related areas. Similarly, when it comes to your dissertation, you may not find one specific professor that aligns perfectly with your topic, but you could still create a committee from across disciplines or areas to get a more complete perspective on the topic. Also, don't get discouraged - I had similar issues finding programs when I was applying, but after narrowing my prospects I contacted a few departments and found professors that were willing to help me pursue my specific interests.
  2. I mean, it would be great if you could find a university that had 5-10 faculty members you want to work with, it's just likely impossible. At this point, one PI per university is enough, since you are mainly trying to gauge fit and learn additional information. Down the road, when deciding where you ultimately want to go, it is helpful to have more than one professor you would like to work with, though, depending on the tenure status of your primary PI, but that should not be a central concern before you apply.
  3. @day_manderly Truthfully, no, because other factors (location, other academic opportunities, etc.) will likely deplete that list before you even considering applying. The other reason this is helpful is because you can contact PIs directly and (some) can be rather straightforward in telling you if they plan on taking new students next year. Considering you're looking at higher ed programs, this advice is especially important because of the significant variation in coursework/specialty of programs nationally. For example, if your interested in policy, some better known programs (ex: UConn, UCLA, UMD) may not be as good of a fit as others (ex: UVA, UIowa, FSU), strictly because of the faculty in the department.
  4. There's a lot of great books out there, but my recommendation(s) would likely differ based on what you're hoping to get out of it. For example, if you're looking for a very broad overview of higher education from the academic perspective, I'd go with American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Social, Political, and Economic Challenges (it's now in its fourth edition, and I'd argue it's one of the seminal/overview texts of higher education). I think one of the best books about admissions is The Gatekeepers, so that'd also be high on my list if that is an interest. A more practitioner focused student affairs book that I've heard great things about is Helping College Students: Developing Essential Support Skills for Student Affairs Practice. If you could provide more information about your interests and/or goals, we may be able to give you a more specific suggestion.
  5. Snow21, I agree with everyone's comments, and your own, that you are best served to just apply to jobs, rather than consider grad school. I also would not be discouraged that you have been unable to move further into the job application phase, as many of the positions you are referencing (specifically, admissions and residence life) are often filled by alumni of the school. I can't recall if anyone had mentioned it yet, but I would suggest reaching out to your alma mater(s) and try to hold informational interviews with individuals in the departments you are interested. Even if these conversations do not lead to a job, it may help you orient your experience and degrees to set you apart in your job application/cover letter. To that end, I would ignore specific master's requirements, apply, and frame your cover letter around your experience, which many have explained will be more helpful than the additional degree. Hope this helps.
  6. I'm originally from that area and Montclair State has a pretty good reputation around the tri-state area. It obviously does not have the same national prestige that NYU or Teacher's College, but that should not stop you from considering the program. I also agree with hesadork that you should consider the program at Rutgers, as they do provide opportunities for assistantships and generally gaining practical experience. With that said, I have a feeling you are looking to stay closer to NYU than Rutgers may allow. One option you may want to consider is Hofstra's Counseling program (there is a track specifically for College Student Development): http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/colleges/health-human/counsel/index.html. It's a bit more counseling focused than higher ed focused, but could be another good option. Lastly, I would suggest perusing the graduate program databases created by NASPA (https://www.naspa.org/careers/graduate/graduate-program-directory) and ASHE (http://www.ashe.ws/?page=187) to see if there are any other programs that may be of interest.
  7. I graduated from Penn's higher ed master's program, and I would say the answer is yes and no. On the one hand, the policy world respects academic notoriety for hiring and expertise, so, if your aim is to enter that world immediately afterwards, it could give you a leg up. Yet, the issue with Penn's master's programs are that they are one-year. This significantly limits the amount of coursework you can take in topical areas and, of equal importance for your career interests, in methodology courses. On an aside, I would also tell you to consider other programs with faculty that specifically study the intersection between higher education and the economy, such as Michigan, Illinois, and UGA (there are others, but those three immediately come to mind). Likewise, as someone with similar interests in policy, I would also suggest looking at public policy programs that either have higher education specialities or allow for taking classes in a higher ed department. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
  8. I think that's a personal decision. I'm usually of the mindset to wait a week or two and see if they contact you regarding funding, and then contact the program coordinator if you don't receive any information. On the other hand, if it'll ease your mind, it can't hurt to email the program coordinator to gauge the likelihood that you'll receive funding or the opportunities available for the cohort and/or to be put in contact with a current student to get their impression on how funding generally works. Usually, that information is covered during the admitted students visit, but ultimately contacting them is up to you.
  9. I agree that location is less important to the individual enrolled in the doctoral program, but I was trying to explain why PSU may not have numerous threads on the forum. In fact, I'm currently attending a doctoral program in a college town, somewhat distant from a major city, and we also don't have much coverage on this website either. From my personal experience, location has not affected my studies or the opportunities available. It really comes down to the experience you have and your goals post-graduation. For example, if you are hoping to work in DC after completing your degree, it is important to be able to hold internships and gain practical experience, which is a bit more difficult in college towns. On the other hand, if you are hoping to do research, location is significantly less important, so long as there are faculty in the department with similar interests and can provide you support along those lines. Just food for thought - like I said, PSU's program is great, so if you find that it seems like a good fit, I'd go with your gut.
  10. OP, when I was applying to programs, PSU's higher ed program was on my original list (I'm originally from NJ), but their that program (and I believe the ed policy program, too) had recently gone through a restructuring and faculty transition that was a bit of a turn-off for me. The programs have since then quickly regained stability, but I think that contributes to the lack of postings about PSU. I would argue an additional factor is location. PSU's campus is in a college town that is away from a major city, which may not provide the resources for grad students (especially those who may not apply straight from undergrad) that may pose concerns (ie: spousal employment, travel, etc.). Truthfully, I think regardless of reputation that is a big selling point for UPenn, Harvard, Stanford, etc.
  11. Generally, I agree with MAC. You will need to explain in your personal statement why you are deciding to get a second master's after recently receiving an MPA. With that said, I am doubtful that the degree alone will be seen as a negative to your application, but you may want to address what a master's in higher education will add to the degree you currently have, which, as MAC acknowledged, is in a related discipline. Another thing to consider is that international education/study abroad is an incredibly tough niche of higher education to get employment. It may be worth considering getting full-time work experience before going back to school, which, with two master's degrees, may result in you being overqualified for some entry-level positions. With that said, if you are set on getting your master's - and please don't think I'm trying to talk you out of it - I'd consider some of the higher education programs that have an international ethos. Two that come to mind are Boston College (houses the Center for International Higher Education) and Loyola University Chicago (offers a program in international higher education).
  12. As you have probably seen mentioned on other conversations on this forum, UConn would definitely be one school to consider. The University of Maryland also has a great program, though I'm not sure how funding works for master's students. Generally, I would also suggest that you look through the curriculum of the program to make sure that they offer coursework that aligns with your specialization interest. Specifically, I believe Northwestern has an education policy tilt to their master's program which may not be the best option if you are thinking you would like to be in student affairs. Also, just my personal thought - if you are already working at an institution that offers a similar master's degree, I would suggest seeing if completing the degree part-time is feasible. Arguably, if you are planning on being a lifetime administrator, the work experience will be equally, if not more, important than having a master's degree.
  13. I wanted to first thank everyone on these boards as they have been extremely helpful as I'm attempting to figure out my next step. A little about me: I received my BA from a top 40 school in the humanities one year ago. However, during my four years, the activity that truly sparked my interest was volunteering in the admissions office of my university, resulting in my current position as an admissions/financial aid counselor at a small private university. I know it is standard in the setting I am working in, but suffice to say that I feel like a used car salesman and need to get out, so I'm looking into masters programs in higher education for fall 2010. I have always had a strong interest in research, especially in the higher education field - I was the kid growing up helping my sister pick her college when I was 12 - and these feelings have only grown since I started my career in the industry. With that in mind, I would love to ultimately get my PhD and become a faculty member at a university. However, I continually read that a doctoral degree (both EdD and PhD) in higher ed is somewhat limited in both availability of positions and use outside of an administrative role. This has made me also question the value of a masters in higher education. Can anyone ease my mind regarding pursuing a masters in higher education, and/or the availability of positions for those holding a PhD in higher education? Thanks.
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