Is grad school really for me?


Just recently, I sent an e-mail to a friend of mine about grad school.  I chose her for a couple of reasons – she has endured the grad school process, and I respect her opinion.  For some reason, I was considering it. For the most part, my attitude was that, if I was just looking for more money, I could make that happen with my art.

The last time I darkened a college classroom was maybe 12 or 13 years ago, when I returned to Louisiana to enroll in the Francophone Studies program at the University of Louisiana: Lafayette (back then it was USL – University of Southwestern Louisiana).  After one semester, I decided that this track was not for me, and was able to take Spanish, and some education courses.  That is how I got re-certified and returned to teaching.

I had looked into Arts Integration in the past, and the only place the offers a program is Towson University.  They offer what they call a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Arts Integration.  But it doesn’t look like AI has earned a place in degree-dom.  I do think that art is a very valuable tool in teaching – especially in teaching reading.  I was just looking for something “official” to take to back up that interest.

Last night, I did some research on degrees in Children’s Literature.  I took notes on Penn State, which has an online Master of Education and Curriculum – Children’s Literature.   That might be a possibility, but I have to be ready to spend what looks like $1900 per class.  Ouch!

Hollins University looked really attractive.  Here is the intro to their webpage on the Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature:

“Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature. One of the few in the country to offer humanities graduate degrees in children’s literature, we are, we believe, the only one to offer them in the study and writing of children’s literature.”

So, I could choose to study and/or write children’s literature.  But couldn’t I write on my own?  Summers in Roanoke might be fun.  Also, they seem to have an occasional trip to England for a summer class.  That would be fun!

I also really liked Simmons College’s program, as they offer an M.A or an M.F.A in Children’s Literature.  Here is a quote from their degree introduction:

The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature (CSCL) at Simmons College administers the nation’s first Master of Arts in Children’s Literature as well as a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Writing for Children. The CSCL provides a rigorous, disciplined study of children’s books for those who are — or who intend to be — involved in teaching, library services, publishing, writing, or related fields. To develop a critical vocabulary essential for appraising text and illustration, students apply a high level of scholarly analysis to children’s literature ranging from folklore and mythology to contemporary realistic fiction and nonfiction.

The only problem is that it looks like an all-year program, and it’s not online. I don’t think we can move to Boston at this time…

There were others, but they were mainly Education Degrees, or English Literature Degrees with a concentration in Children’s Literature.  Often, that meant only 3 classes – not a lot of depth, it seems.

So, the search goes on.  I still don’t know if grad school is for me, however.


One response »

  1. I decided that I HAD to get my masters and so two friends and I are now enrolled in a one-year program. It’s across the street from our school and we’re working toward a preliminary admin credential, the last thing in the world, I ever would want. It’s one year of classes, two nights a week. It’s do-able. When I went on-line to look for a masters degree program I was really interested in – forensics, storytelling, psychology – the cost was staggering. This said, I’m almost a quarter way through my masters. I wrote about this in Masters of the Universe on my blog planetjan. Keep looking. There’s something out there for you. Think of it as an investment in your future.

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