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Help me decide? Please?


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Hi all,

I'm having a lot of trouble deciding where to go for my M.Ed./M.A.T. in Secondary Education/English this fall. My goal was HGSE, which was my only rejection! :( Now I feel lost!

These are my choices:


Boston College/Lynch

University of Virginia/Curry

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

I was also accepted to two programs for a M.A. in English:



If anyone wants to weigh in on this, I'd really appreciate it.

My goal is to eventually found/run my own semi-Catholic but progressive (a real sex education!) all-girls school. Before that, I'm interested in working in all-girls boarding schools and also Catholic schools. Because of the Catholic thing, I'm leaning toward BC, but I know it'd be cheaper to live in Nashville. But I've lived in big cities all my life, so that scares me a little... Financially they are otherwise about equal. I feel like I should have applied to Ed.D. programs instead, since I want to eventually work in both administration and teaching, but it's too late for that now... I only want to work in private education, so I don't need a teaching license necessarily.

It's really important to me to feel welcome and as if I'm part of the community. I also prefer younger professors to older ones.

Where should I go, and why?

(( Thanks for reading this! ))

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If you're sure about wanting to run the progressive Catholic school, I would choose BC. Not only will you be going to a Catholic school, but you'll also get some connections to many more Catholic educators in the US than you would at Vanderbilt.

Speaking for Vanderbilt, Nashville is definitely a city (but not a "big" one), and the professors have a fairly good age range mix (with a few more less-than-60 professors than other ed schools I've visited). That said, Nashville doesn't compare to Boston; if you have any particular questions about living in Nashville, feel free to PM me.

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If you want to teach in private schools, particularly high schools, definitely consider the MA programs. In my experience, private schools don't have a preference for an MAT/MEd over an MA in the discipline you'd be teaching, and might even have a slight preference for an MA, especially from a good school like Penn or Northwestern.

An education degree might give you a little bit of a leg up in terms of going into school administration, but that's more true if the degree is in something like education management/leadership/administration, rather than Secondary Ed/English. If money, time, etc. allow, you could consider doing the MA, teaching for a couple of years, and then going back for a degree in Ed. leadership/administration. (Penn's school leadership mastsers program, for example, has a specific track for private schools and is designed for those working full-time in schools, so it's an executive style format on evenings/weekends.)

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As someone who attended private schools for 12 years and worked in them for 5, I will agree with JiminDC and say without hesitation if that's where you want to work, do the MA lit programs rather than the ed programs. You can always go back for another master's in admin later, when you're readier to think about opening a school, but private schools would absolutely rather see content mastery than pedagogy mastery -- right or wrong, they always feel like they can develop you as a teacher, while they're anxious that you should come in knowing your area inside and out.

Between Penn and Northwestern, there is no bad choice -- I'd say it depends on your geographic preference and cost.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my friends visited Vanderbilt as a prospect in their Education PhD program, and really loved the vibe she got there. The professor that was her main contact took her for a hike and then out for ice cream (both of which are things this friend really enjoys)! They also offered her a really nice financial package. I don't know if that says anything about the likelihood of master's aid packages, though.

Best of luck in the decision-making process -- and in your long-term goals!

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