Choosing a Graduate Program: Six Considerations

Written by Andrea Jussim

Continued from page 1

You can prepare somewhat for this academic culture shock by taking undergraduate classes that demand higher-level thinking. Take courses that teach you how to do research in your field, that ask you to summarize and synthesize advanced or theoretical material. If you can, do some original research at whatever level you have obtained. The object here is to learn to think for yourself while you are an undergraduate; if you do so, you will have a much easier time of it in graduate school. Graduate school professors want your creative analysis and argument, not your regurgitation.

5. When I metrepparttar professors, were there some that would be good advisors?

You probably won't be able to deal with this question until after you startrepparttar 109331 program. What it boils down to is this: Choose your advisors carefully! They may make or break you. It's best to find someone in your specialization who you both personally like and professionally admire; if you can't, choose someone who you have high regard for professionally, and who you can tolerate personally. You don't have to be, and probably shouldn't be best friends with your advisor. Mutual respect and civility are what's necessary.

As you choose an advisor for that all-important master's thesis orrepparttar 109332 like, ask yourselfrepparttar 109333 following questions about each professor you are interested in: Do you and other students whose judgment you trust believe this person to be professionally competent and knowledgeable inrepparttar 109334 field? Do you andrepparttar 109335 others believe him/her to be a good teacher, able to explain problems well and help students improve their work? If you can't answer both questions positively forrepparttar 109336 person in question, choose someone else. Your choice may deciderepparttar 109337 course of your academic career.

6. Do I have a good knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses?

This question is implied in most ofrepparttar 109338 questions above. It is reallyrepparttar 109339 most crucial. Without a good knowledge of self, you will probably not succeed in graduate school. Indeed, you may not realize your own potential in your life generally. And if you do succeed in your coursework without this kind of wisdom, any happiness you attain is more a matter of undeserved good fortune than a result of thought-out, focused effort.

What subject areas are you deeply interested in? What kinds of problems are you good at solving (Numerical? Symbolic? Literary? Artistic?) How well do you handle social interaction? How self-confident are you? How long can you remain focused on a course of study? How much do you rely on your teachers? Do you like to do original research? Do you learn slowly and methodically, or quickly by leaps of intuition? Do you want to specialize in a narrow sub-field of your specialty or do you want to have general knowledge of your field? Do you likerepparttar 109340 subject matter to be black-and-white or do you delight in debatingrepparttar 109341 gray areas? Are you detail-oriented? Do you like to learn by yourself, with a partner, or in a group setting? Do you prefer deadlines, or do you work best with no time pressure?

Ask yourself these questions and others. Look atrepparttar 109342 hobbies you most enjoy,repparttar 109343 types of work and work settings that you likerepparttar 109344 best,repparttar 109345 types of life experiences that you gravitate towards. Take an aptitude test and studyrepparttar 109346 results. No answer is wrong; you want to understand yourself in order to makerepparttar 109347 decisions that are most appropriate for you. In summary, first look for patterns of behavior and thought that are intrinsic to your own personal style. Then match that style torepparttar 109348 styles ofrepparttar 109349 graduate programs you are interested in, and ask yourself if they fit. If they don't, choose another program.

Conclusion. Many students choose graduate programs based on physical proximity or their professors' recommendations. These are wise considerations, but they shouldn't be your only ones. This paper has addressed some ofrepparttar 109350 other issues pertinent to your choice which I hope you will consider as well. I strongly believe thatrepparttar 109351 questions above are essential because they focus on YOU asrepparttar 109352 starting point. Choosingrepparttar 109353 right graduate school should not be a haphazard decision; you should come out ofrepparttar 109354 application process knowing more about yourself and what you expect out ofrepparttar 109355 programs you selected. Then you will be able to fill out your applications with confidence, drop them intorepparttar 109356 mailbox, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Andrea Jussim is an experienced writer with experience in teaching and research. She entered a prestigious 5-year Ph.D. program immediately after completing her undergraduate studies, but left with an M.A. and her sanity two years later.

Just What Is a Learning Disability, Anyway?

Written by Sandy Gauvin

Continued from page 1

Typically people with learning disabilities work harder than others - but with lesser results. Itís not about hard work - itís a learning disability.

4) A person with a learning disability canít do anything right.

Even though a child may have a learning disability in one or two areas, it doesnít mean they canít do anything right. My daughter struggled with a disability in math, but what a wonderful writer she is! And she has more knowledge about how to get around a computer than many people have. I envy that ability because I think I have a learning disability in that area!

Iíve known students who, even though they struggled with math or reading, were excellent around heavy equipment or automobile engines or carpentry or drafting. Many could do things with a computer that seemed impossible.

The important thing is that, if your child has a learning disability, or even if you suspect he might have one, learn everything you can so that you will know what to expect and what not to expect from him as well as from his teachers and his educational program. That way you will be able to understand and help him inrepparttar best way possible.

While none of us wants to considerrepparttar 109330 fact that our child might have a learning disability, itísrepparttar 109331 intelligent approach to take. When you recognizerepparttar 109332 truth about learning disabilities, youíll know how to maximize your childís abilities and minimize their dis-abilities.

For ways to be an advocate for your child, read "Advocating For Your Child With LD" at

Sandy Gauvin is a retired educator who has seen learning disabilities from many perspectives - as the parent of a daughter with learning disabilities, as the teacher of children with learning disabilities, and as an advocate for others who have diagnosed and unrecognized learning disabilities. Sandy shares her wisdom and her resources at

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