Jump to content

Putting Things Into Perspective


Recommended Posts

So I've taken the steps to begin applying to Masters Programs in Higher Education Administration (if you saw my previous post, you'll get a little flavor as to my background). So far I've made a list of schools that I've considered applying to-- Harvard and USC (reach schools), Vanderbilt and University of Virginia (middling), and Boston College and University of Pittsburgh (safety?).

I met with an admissions director at a certain school to talk about their M.Ed and had an interesting experience. They were impressed with my passion and my interest in the subject, as well as what seemed to be good undergraduate experience. There was concern, however, with a lack of work experience. As someone trying to come straight from undergrad to a masters program, however, I'm coming up to the 'experience' versus 'desire' problem. While I feel like I have a strong interest and a huge amount of undergraduate activity displaying my interest in education (specifically student affairs work/mentoring/first year experience through programs providing first year students mentoring/service opportunities, or belonging to a group that helps people focus on vocation vs. career work), I don't have administrative experience attached to my name.

At the same time the job market for these jobs is pretty grim without experience or specific education (catch 22-- I can't get a good position without the masters at some schools, but I can't get into the schools without the experience). I will be on the look out for opportunities and most likely attempt to apply to a few jobs, but again I run into the sticky situation of getting into a graduate program and hearing back much later about a job position.

Am I really aiming too high out of undergrad? With research experience, leadership, a high GPA (3.6) at a top 35 school, and all else being equal, am I a weak applicant? Has anyone else run into the problem of being an undergrad and feeling under-qualified but extremely interested/motivated for what they want to study?

I'd also like to hear from those who applied to the mentioned schools-- perhaps those applying to the PASA at USC?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this helps, but I went to University of Virginia for undergrad, and one of my good friends went on to get his M.Ed. there straight from undergrad without any work experience. That was back in '06; I know he was an English major and then in his senior year decided to apply to the M.Ed. program.

There are actually some schools in VA (and probably other states) that will let you teach without a master's, if that's the kind of work experience you're referring to- I know a girl who taught in Louisa County, and she only had an English BA from UVA. Some school districts (albeit in more rural or less desirable areas) who need teachers will take on new teachers with just their bachelor's degree. That might be worth looking into if you decide to try the work experience avenue first instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was researching this route before I decided to go another direction so I have a lot of materials.

The above poster's VA suggestion is a good one. So, too, is University of South Carolina. And I think Vandy's program might have more of a concern about your work experience than even Harvard as they are ranked higher for that discipline and they seem to have a clear professional focus. Lots of other places, however, are nowhere near as concerned about it. Your only hurdle may be at internship or practicuum time. Most of these programs build in a requirement to help you get that much needed experience. However, the participating school depts get to interview you and I heard from several schools that those with some related experience get picked first and for the most popular positions -- capital management, greek life, housing, etc.

But, I don't think its that huge of a concern. If it was, again, so many of the programs wouldn't have the work experience built into the curriculum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.