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View Diary: Teachers' Lounge: You want to go to grad school? (24 comments)

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  •  If this is all the guidance you offer (1+ / 0-)
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    your students, then you are failing them.

    I can appreciate your position that you should not necessarily encourage or discourage them about attending graduate school--though to some extent you do that implicitly anyway by writing them letters, or not.

    However, it would be completely appropriate to give them resources to inform their decision. The Inside Higher Education articles to which you link are nice, as far as they go, but they require a fair amount of context to be able to make good use of them (which one can see by reading the comments).

    One of the very first considerations nowadays for professional success in an academic field is the level of entrepreneurial aptitude or at least inclination. Will your students prepared to create their own jobs someday, in or out of academe? Secondarily, will the graduate program they choose to attend foster the development of such skills?

    Do your students know the field and the programs well enough to pick them based on the research interests they want to pursue and the mentors with whom they want to work? Academia is still very feudal, and the people/program with which they affiliate will shape their future prospects if they seek a permanent job within post-secondary ed.

    All your grad school applicants should be asking their prospective programs about their dropout rates, time-to-degree rates, availability for funding after the promised stretch of time, and placement rates (as well as TYPES of jobs found) post-degree. These stats are not routinely kept, I realize, and there's a bad reason for that: most programs don't do well by their students.

    Every undergraduate considering graduate school should read at least one, if not all, of William Pannapacker's essays in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the subject. Starting with this one, Just Don't Go, will help lead a reader to others.

    I also highly recommend this website and its creator's insights (and resources), for those either contemplating grad school or already immersed in it. Kelsky is brilliant, sensible, and kind. I wish I had had the benefit of her guidance 15 years ago. The Professor Is In also has a great follow-up to Pannapacker that is worth sharing with your students.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:58:08 AM PST

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