2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2010 11:04 PM by JoeYoung

    Atypical ways to choose grad school

      I realize this is a very unusual question for retirement age people  ...but I'm searching for atypical insights from atypical sources.

      The usual advice for finding a grad school is to find interesting published research papers and check out the authors. But my daughter has a very specific goal ("to become a college teacher"), and the usual advice seems to me like a really poor fit to the situation. It seems to me she'd be way ahead of the game if she could find a program that specifically trained her not only in her specialization but also in educational techniques. But how can she go about finding such a program?

        • Re: Atypical ways to choose grad school
          I can speak mainly to my area Chemistry and physical sciences more generally.  There are programs that specialize in just what you are talking about and there are post doc opportunities that are focused in this way.  I funded a post doc like this off a grant and some department money for a few years and did some good, I hope, for people such as your daughter.  Some times temp positions after graduate school can also help build such a resume –but this is limited to one or two such position before it’s a drag, not a help.  
          I would say that she must have a terminal degree in the field in which she hopes to teach, not in education, even education at the undergraduate level.  There are a number of good middle-third graduate schools in any discipline where she could get this.  Even small colleges want to see that prospective faculty have not only the ability to do advanced work but also the interest to do so.  Imparting such interest in the attitude faculty bring to undergraduate teaching is the most important ‘teaching skill’.  Organizing, clarity of goals and expectations, treating students with respect but not pandering, proper student professor roles can be learned as you go if you are open to learning yourself.  Having taught for over 35 years in settings form overseas to American university, in middle school to graduate school, I am still ‘perfecting my skills’.