Where to go to undergrad?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bluebirds, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. bluebirds

    bluebirds Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2016

    Hi all,
    I am a high school junior interested in going into secondary education (being a hs biology teacher). I have no idea though where I want to go to undergrad. Where have all of you guys gone? Do you have any feedback, tips, or hints? I am looking in the New England/ New York area.
    This is the list of the schools about which I have been thinking:
    Bridgewater State University, URI, St. Michael's, St. Anselm, Providence College, Syracuse University, Fordham University, Stony Brook University, Connecticut College, Trinity College, Holy Cross, William and Mary, Boston College, New York University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, Colby College, Vassar College, Tufts University, Middlebury College, and Swarthmore College
    I know that it is quite the spread of selectivity and such, but do you guys have any strong opinions for or against any of these schools?
    Thanks so much!
    (also I apologize if this is in the wrong place)
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Apr 19, 2016

    One thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, as a teacher, it really doesn't matter where you get your degree. What matters is being deeply prepared in your subject matter. Some (not all) of the big-name schools put pressure on their professors to publish constantly, and the emphasis is taken off of teaching. Some schools will have huge lecture halls and classes mostly taught y TAs at the lower levels. I personally went to Providence and appreciated the small class sizes that were all taught by amazing, engaged professors. I think the largest class I ever had was about 40 students. They also had a Teaching Fellows program at the time where you could continue for your M.Ed in an additional year while interning in the local schools. PM me if you want to know more about my experiences there!
     
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  4. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Apr 20, 2016

    That is a nice list of schools. Most are well known and well respected. With that being said, I think this profession is a bit different from engineering, business or law where the name on the diploma helps you to get your foot in the door. Therefore, I would strongly consider cost of attendance at or near the top of my list (depending on how you plan to fund your education). Teaching is not a field where you want to start out with a ton of student loan debt.
    I have worked with some really good to great teachers who attended schools that would be unknown to most people outside of this area. I know of several highly regarded teachers who received degrees in areas other than education. To reiterate, cost of attendance may be an important consideration. Best wishes!
     
  5. renard

    renard Companion

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    Apr 20, 2016

    Wherever is most affordable and, if possible, closest to the location you would like to work in the future. Networking and saving money should be college priorities - not prestige. Maybe for other professions, but not this one. Get your debts down and get to know people in the schools.
     
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  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Have you visited these schools? If not, see if you can stay overnight in the dorms. My brother applied to a few schools on that list and attended one. I have a feeling he would have made a different choice if he knew the atmosphere as well as he knew the academics. Not naming names because he graduated in 1998, so it's probably a TOTALLY different place now.
     
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  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree. Atmosphere and "feeling" is so important. My son visited one school and just knew it was the one for him; everything felt right. My daughter visited at least 7; again, she knew when she hit the one that was the right fit for her.
     
  8. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Apr 20, 2016

    Go to La Salle University. They only produce geniuses in the education field. (LOL!) :p
    (Seriously though, Swarthmore College is VERY pricey! - Just so you know)
     
  9. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2016

    You have a great list. I applied at swarthmore and William and Mary. W&M is very difficult for out of state students. Swarthmore is pricey but it might be a need-blind admission school, meaning your FAFSA-determined need will be met in full if you are accepted.

    I agree that you should consider cost first. I went to a school that offered need-blind admission and it was a great decision. I would consider "fit" second so make sure you visit. You'll know when you get there. Good luck!
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I would look at the quality of education programs over the prestige of the university. I attended a small private school that most people outside of the immediate area haven't heard of. I've lived in a different state since graduation, so out here people definitely haven't heard of it! However, name recognition didn't matter because my program was very rigorous and I was extremely well prepared for teaching. We spent tons of time in classrooms actually teaching, starting from freshman year. Because it was a small college, they could have us doing field experiences every semester, whereas big schools can't do that because there aren't enough local K-12 schools to accommodate the huge number of education majors they have. My best friend went to a very well known school that was supposed to be the "number one education college" in the state. She literally did not step foot into a K-12 classroom until the 2nd semester of her junior year, and even then she was mostly observing. In her student teaching she was only 100% in charge for 2 weeks. She's a HS Spanish teacher. I think in her mind she pictured HS teaching being like the AP classes we took in HS, and that's a very unrealistic look at what the job entails and what teaching other levels is like. Unfortunately, she figured that out way too late. After one year in teaching she started a lengthy MA program designed to help her switch careers. Had she attended a school like mine, she would have figured out her very first semester of freshman year that she didn't like it and could have switched majors right away.
     
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  11. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I'm starting my master's at Syracuse this summer. I love what I've seen and heard of the school, but it's insanely expensive. I'd go somewhere else if the program I wanted was available somewhere else nearby. I'll echo what everyone else has said and at least look strongly at cost.
     
  12. bluebirds

    bluebirds Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2016

    I would love to hear more about your experiences, however I have no idea how to PM. Would you be able to guide me a bit? Thanks!
     
  13. bluebirds

    bluebirds Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2016

    That sounds amazing! Would you mind sharing where you went?
     
  14. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Apr 21, 2016

    Sounds like you aren't too far from where I'm from!! I went to Kutztown University...
     

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