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Gwendolyn Archibald Higher Education & Student Affairs The University of Iowa N491 Lindquist Center www.education.uiowa.edu EVALUATING A GRADUATE PROGRAM.

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Presentation on theme: "Gwendolyn Archibald Higher Education & Student Affairs The University of Iowa N491 Lindquist Center www.education.uiowa.edu EVALUATING A GRADUATE PROGRAM."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gwendolyn Archibald Higher Education & Student Affairs The University of Iowa N491 Lindquist Center EVALUATING A GRADUATE PROGRAM IN HIGHER EDUCATION & STUDENT AFFAIRS

2 GOALS FOR TODAY’S DISCUSSION Provide: o an introduction to the nature of graduate preparation for higher education/student affairs work and know how to make decisions about attending graduate school; o information about selecting graduate programs that fit individual needs and professional goals; and o have information about graduate school application processes.

3 GRADUATE PREPARATION FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS WORK PROVIDES: Depth of analysis, critical thinking, reflection and inquiry Development of a theoretical- and research- based orientation to your work Becoming a reflective practitioner and learning- oriented professional Preparation for leadership positions

4 GRADUATE PREPARATION FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS WORK What is graduate school like? What are curricular expectations? Are there opportunities to gain experience out of class? May I go to school part-time? What should I look for in a graduate program?

5 SAMPLE CURRICULUM-FIRST YEAR M.A. Intro to Student Services College Students and their Environments College Student Learning and Cognitive Development Professional Seminar Multiculturalism in Higher Education Helping Skills Practicum

6 SAMPLE CURRICULUM-SECOND YEAR M.A. Research, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education College Student Psychosocial & Identity Development Elective or Practicum in College Teaching Professional Seminar Issues and Policies in Higher Education Administration in Higher Education & Student Affairs Elective or Advanced Practicum

7 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS? What are the requirements for the program? What are the values and beliefs of the program?

8 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS? What backgrounds do the faculty have? Have they worked in the field? In what professional activities are the faculty involved? What are the research interests of the faculty?

9 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS? What courses are offered? Who teaches the courses? What are the faculty’s current roles? Are they working in the field? Are they full-time faculty? How accessible are faculty to students?

10 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS? How many students are in the program? Who are the students? Where are they from? What are their backgrounds? What are the students involved with? Research? Conferences? Volunteer activities? Practica?

11 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS? Where do the students work? What do they say about the program? What are graduates of the program doing?

12 OTHER ISSUES TO CONSIDER Location/setting of Graduate School Full-time/part-time composition of students Size of Graduate School Financial Assistance Graduate Assistantships

13 APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL Check with each program: process and deadlines vary. Application form(s) Transcripts: all previous coursework Writing sample: goal statement or similar activity GRE scores (not required for all programs) Letters of reference: speak to your potential for success as a graduate student, a student affairs professional, leadership, research.

14 APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL Key Admissions Criteria: potential to be a successful graduate student: (academic background (courses, gpa), graduate admissions examination, writing sample, references, interviews) potential to be a successful student affairs professional: (writing sample, references, interviews: goals, activities and experiences, balance, personal qualities, contributions to the program, ability to benefit from the program)

15 APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL Admissions Decisions: by the program faculty and/or a college or departmental admissions committee. Set times; rolling admissions application deliberations: consider the “whole package”; admissions criteria; student-program fit; numbers: based on faculty resources, assistantship opportunities possible decisions: admit, deny, conditional admission

16 WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR IN A GRADUATE STUDENT? Motivation to enter student affairs Motivation to enter graduate school What do you need from a graduate program? What do you expect from a graduate program? Short term and long term goals?

17 HOW CAN YOU STRENGTHEN YOUR APPLICATION? Quality of Materials: [Know the program’s process and follow it.] Reflective about your experiences Explaining Potential Problem Areas

18 HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL? Academic experiences Co-curricular experiences

19 HOW SHOULD I DECIDE WHERE TO APPLY? Key: Finding the right fit. What do we mean by fit? The match between what you are looking for in a program and the nature of the program (what the program has to offer).

20 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS How many programs should I apply to? Allow yourself some choices, but keep it focused. Have a balance of “Reach/stretch Schools” and “Safety Schools.” Remember the quality of your applications. Would you be willing to visit the campus?

21 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS What are campus visits? Two different purposes (before or after applications) Opportunity to see the campus…immediate reactions? Opportunity to answer some questions in person. Opportunity to interview with faculty or others for assistantship positions.

22 WHAT IF I DON’T GET ADMITTED? Get feedback Investigate Alternatives Consider applying again after a year

23 WHAT OTHER QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE?

24 THANK YOU! Contact me with any questions: Gwendolyn Archibald


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