Masters = how hard

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by John Lee, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 13, 2016

    I'm in the process of finding a Masters program, and in that research, have come across testimonials of graduates talking about their experience in a particular program and school. Frankly, they have me worried in terms of time/dedication. One of them talked about how stressful (yet rewarding) it was, and another basically talked about kissing their entire social life away (no time to go to beach or spend time with kids). Is this pretty accurate, especially for someone holding down a full-time job teaching as well? I did go through teacher credentialing alongside sub teaching (not regular teaching), and it was moderately difficult but not something that I considered STRESSFUL or where I had to basically shut off from the world.

    Would you say that a Masters (in education) is harder, more difficult than a credential program?
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 13, 2016

    I completed mine while working full-time (I started the MA program during my 5th year as a classroom teacher). The program was offered at the same Cal State University where I earned my BA and credential.

    Was it a lot of work? Yes! Did I learn a lot? You bet. But I wouldn't say that I wasn't able to vacation (from time-to-time) and relax on Saturday and Sunday. I did have to manage my time well, though, in order to maintain a social life (at the time, I was single and dating).
     
  4. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    I did my Masters part-time while working full-time (teaching) and I finished it in 4 semesters (1.5 years including summer). It did take up a lot of time but not so much that I didn't have a social life. I still found plenty of time to see friends and visit my bf (long distance at the time)
    I did not find it stressful, just a hassle :) It was worth it though!
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm sure it depends on the program. I'll be honest, my main motivation for getting an MA degree was the significant pay increase my district offers for having one. I purposely chose an "easier" school because I figured no one really cares where you get your masters from. I will say there were people in my program that insisted they were spending 15-25 hours per week on their coursework. I honestly have no idea what they were spending all that time doing. I do think I read/write faster than the average person. Most weeks I would say I spent 2-4 hours on my coursework, and I did all of the required reading and always got A's on my assignments. The nice thing about doing an online program was that I wasn't wasting any time sitting in class- in a traditional program you'd probably spend that many hours just physically being in class. There were maybe 3-4 projects over the course of the entire program that were really time consuming and took me 15-20 hours to complete, but that was really rare. I definitely still had time for a social life.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2016

    These days, most graduate Education programs are designed for full-time teachers. If you're worried about the time commitment, try looking for online programs. They don't require the in-person classroom hours but give plenty of challenge. If you're worried about how an online degree would look to others, find a program that is offered by a university in your state. My program was 100% online but from a university 90 minutes from my home, so I was able to visit a few professors in a pinch.
     
  7. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    I did an online program from a known brick & mortar state university!
    On my resume (and diploma & transcripts), it doesn't say it was done online, so it still looks like i did it all in-class, in-person. I also got all A's / 4.0 and was awarded the "Dean's Citation for Academic Excellence" or whatever it's called.
    My first time visiting the school was to walk at graduation (my parents wanted pictures...)
    It was nice to get the work done on my own time!
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I earned two Masters degrees. I'm unmarried & have no kids, so that helps a huge deal right there!
    First one, (MA in Education) - I was a substitute teacher during the whole program. I earned 2 credentials during this time too (Mult Subj & Mild/Mod Dis). I commuted to campus. There were a couple hairy classes, but overall, I'd say it wasn't too hard & about the same difficulty as the coursework for the 2 credentials. At the end, I chose to take a several-hour final exam over the course of 2 Saturdays & if you don't pass, you have to wait another yr to retake it. I passed the first time.

    2nd one, (MS in Communication Disorders & Sciences) - MUCH more difficult than my first Masters since it's science-based. It was like med school, but just not focussing on the the entire body, but pretty much the top half of the body. It was completely online, 3-yr program, so you have to stay on top of your own work, definitely no procrastination. There were more classes here than w/ my first Masters that I thought to myself, how am I going to get through this class! Also, at about the same time I started grad school, I was working 4 days/wk as a full-salary-paid Speech-Language Pathologist, but I had a fellow SLP helping me along the way. So w/ work AND a rigorous program at the same time, I can easily say those 3 yrs were the hardest I've ever worked in my life...made my other grad experience w/ subbing like a walk in the park almost! I had a 6-hr exam in which I did have to retake the parts I didn't pass, but I pulled through!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 14, 2016

    Thanks for input. I am looking at an online program through state university system... I did this for my credential and I loved it. I'm also gathering (from you all), that it sort of depends on which path you take. As waterfall says, a lot of my motivation is to move along the salary scale. But in this day/age, I'm thinking of also being more practical. So while a Master in teaching online program is available, I think I'm going the route of MA Educational Tech or MS Instructional Science. Not to belittle it, but man when I look at the sample course of study for it, it would seem much easier than Instructional Science.
     
  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Mar 8, 2016

    Can someone advise on another M.Ed question? I'm considering a "quickie" Masters (it is affiliated with Chapman University) where I could do it in half the time and cost of the other one I was considering (through CSU system). My question is in terms of: 1) How does the salary schedule generally work? In my district, a MA (vs. having no MA) is a small increase that gets bigger as the years go by. If you have your MA +30, +45, +60, +75, you move along to another step. Are those +75, classes that you take along your career? (e.g. GATE certification courses). Or do they apply to coursework through a university program?
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    In my CA district, all post-BA units must be issued by an accredited CSU, UC, or private school.

    Certification courses wouldn't count toward BA + insert number of units.
     
  12. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Thanks YTG.
    What are the ways people typiclaly work toward those additional units? Typically. Do most just go for another Masters, if not some sort of certification coursework?
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Many of my colleagues take online professional development courses via University of San Diego. http://pce.sandiego.edu/upload/FA_CAT.pdf

    The classes aren't too expensive and you can take whatever interests you. Most are completely online. As a teacher, I took at least 15-20 units from USD. Before I became an administrator, I was on the BA+75 column.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Mar 9, 2016

    I did my masters when I went through the credentialing program. I went to National University and since my Masters is in education, it was literraly only 5 more classes on top of the credential program + the thesis. (the thesis class was 2 months, we didn't have to do the full on thesis + research just the proposal). I'd say it wasn't hard at all, all the classes seemed the same difficulty. I actually did most of it online while I subbed.
     
  15. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Mar 11, 2016

    I started my masters 30 years after completing my undergrad. I was single during my masters (still am), and it took 1 1/2 years--in a cohort--to complete. I had to manage my time carefully, but with all the state and district has put on us now, I'm busier and more exhausted now than I was when I was working on my masters--and was grade level chair at the same time!
     

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