Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

What do you look for in a BA or MA degree program?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naturegirl321 wrote:
My first MA was very cheap. Got a half scholarship for being a teacher at one of their unis. Not good. For those looking for a cheap option all I can say is that you get what you pay for. Thesis advisor took forever to get back to me and I only heard from him when he approved my idea and gave me my grade, no feedback in between. Mistakes on my actual diploma, which took a year for them to release. Started in Feb 2006, finally had my corrected diploma in Oct 2010. 4.5 years.

You make a good point: Buyer's remorse works both ways. Cheap may appeal to those looking to get through a BA or MA program without making a dent in their wallet. However, if the quality of the program and/or learning experience is mediocre to poor, then it really wasn't worth it financially or time wise if you end up having to go back to school for a "proper" degree.

The same can be said for getting a quick, cheapie online TEFL cert. It might be sufficient in the short term, but you eventually may find yourself having to fork out more money later on for a CELTA or equivalent onsite TEFL cert in order to stay competitive in the field.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since there seem to be more questions about degrees...

My original post asked:

Regardless of your TEFL experience...

If you're looking to get a university/college degree or are presently in a degree program or have completed your degree, which of the following factors of the program and choice of school are/were important to you and why:

    -- "Fancy Name" University for prestige, recognition in the TESOL community and with employers
    -- Specific course content (coursework)
    -- Degree title or program of study (e.g., Applied Linguistics vs. Education vs. English Literature vs. ...)
    -- Non-TEFL related field that fits my interests or future career goals
    -- None; I just need/needed a degree, any degree
    -- Convenience (location or mode of delivery)
    -- Cost
    -- Other
If you're looking into bachelors or masters degree programs, what are your reasons for doing so?
If you're currently completing your studies or have already obtained a degree, what regrets, if any, do you have about your academic choice(s)? On the other hand, what positive impact has it made?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 580
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Since there seem to be more questions about degrees...

My original post asked:

Regardless of your TEFL experience...

If you're looking to get a university/college degree or are presently in a degree program or have completed your degree, which of the following factors of the program and choice of school are/were important to you and why:

    -- "Fancy Name" University for prestige, recognition in the TESOL community and with employers
    -- Specific course content (coursework)
    -- Degree title or program of study (e.g., Applied Linguistics vs. Education vs. English Literature vs. ...)
    -- Non-TEFL related field that fits my interests or future career goals
    -- None; I just need/needed a degree, any degree
    -- Convenience (location or mode of delivery)
    -- Cost
    -- Other
If you're looking into bachelors or masters degree programs, what are your reasons for doing so?
If you're currently completing your studies or have already obtained a degree, what regrets, if any, do you have about your academic choice(s)? On the other hand, what positive impact has it made?


For an MA in TESOL I would like some or of all of the following:

- An American program - in the future I'd like to work for the US government as an instructor and all the job posts say they want an MA from an American university; also, I think it'd be helpful when applying to American community colleges to have an American uni on my resume

- An very interactive online program with options for blended (limited on-site) learning - I want to continue working while getting my degree, but don't want to sacrifice the learning community

- A 'best in its class' program - as much as possible it'd be nice to have a name brand program with well known faculty and good connections in the industry that would continue to pay dividends in networking and career opportunities for years after

- A practical component that would be equivalent to the DELTA module 2 - I'm interested in becoming a CELTA trainer and want lots of practical stuff through which I'd improve tremendously as a teacher

- Flexible coursework options - it'd be nice to be able to pick up some courses in financial and NGO management and development studies to be able to start moving into other kinds of roles

Too bad, so far I haven't found any program that offers all of the above. The New School's MA looks to be the closest fit for what I want, (interactive, blended learning, name brand, practical) but I have some serious reservations as well (not many PhDs on faculty, not as flexible a curriculum as I would like and a new program no pun intended).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
It'd be nice to be able to pick up some courses in financial and NGO management and development studies to be able to start moving into other kinds of roles.

Too bad, so far I haven't found any program that offers all of the above. The New School's MA looks to be the closest fit for what I want, (interactive, blended learning, name brand, practical) but I have some serious reservations as well (not many PhDs on faculty, not as flexible a curriculum as I would like and a new program no pun intended).

Why not look to other universities for the non-TESOL coursework that's not offered in the New School's program? In other words, depending on your career goals and educational needs, sometimes doing two programs or areas of study concurrently makes sense---one could be a degree, while the other, a short, graduate-level certificate. Alas, as much as we wish, it's not realistic to expect a lone program to meet all our distinctly diverse educational needs.

Additionally, the low number of PhDs on the faculty shouldn't be a seen as a huge negative. (We've all had at least one doctorate-holding instructor who was mediocre.) Their role is a facilitative one. They give you the tools; you do the work and ultimately, are responsible for its quality. In other words, you get out of the program what you put into it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 580
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Why not look to other universities for the non-TESOL coursework that's not offered in the New School's program? In other words, depending on your career goals and educational needs, sometimes doing two programs or areas of study concurrently makes sense---one could be a degree, while the other, a short, graduate-level certificate. Alas, as much as we wish, it's not realistic to expect a lone program to meet all our distinctly diverse educational needs.

Additionally, the low number of PhDs on the faculty shouldn't be a seen as a huge negative. (We've all had at least one doctorate-holding instructor who was mediocre.) Their role is a facilitative one. They give you the tools; you do the work and ultimately, are responsible for its quality. In other words, you get out of the program what you put into it.


Thanks for the advice. I'm also thinking about getting a DELTA + a master's degree in a field like public administration or international affairs. If I were British that would be the perfect route, but as an American I'd like to keep my options open and need the MA TESOL for teaching English once I'm back in the US.

It's too bad that there aren't MA TESOL programs that offer a track in development or NGO management (would be very doable on a 2 year MA program). It would fit perfectly with moving into management in many universities and working at a higher level with organizations like AMIDEAST and the British Council.

I wish Monterrey offered a distance or blended learning MA TESOL, but at this point I'm still looking at the New School.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
oceanhue



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time, I'm going to get my MA in the health field. I refuse to get another useless degree. Right now, the only deciding factors are:

1. How close is the university to family (I would much rather live with my mother and not pay for anything or work while getting my degree).
2. The cost of attendance

That's all I need. I am hoping to go to UFL once I save enough money for the tuition. And I REFUSE to do online degree programs, no thanks. As for me, I went to an Ivy Public school and paid a lot of money even though I am a Californian resident. I would like to get my masters at UCLA, but I really want to move out of Cali and just do it in Florida. The school that you went to isn't important at all. Employers care more about your experience and your "connections". I'm not trying to get in debt again because I want to go to UCLA!

But who knows. I love the UC system so I'll probably apply to UCB and UCLA while in Korea Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oceanhue wrote:
The school that you went to isn't important at all. Employers care more about your experience and your "connections".

I don't know about connections, but I do agree that employers won't care that you attended "Big Name University" unless perhaps you're a PhD holder or are being hired for some position within a specialized function which Big Name Uni is known worldwide for. This is TEFL/TESL and employers are focused on your teaching knowledge, skills, and abilities. However, if it's important to you, then by all means, go for a degree from Fancy Pants U. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and was recently asked by one of my Saudi colleagues, who had never heard of a MAT, how it differs from an MA.

In the US, a MAT is a teaching-based degree that's mostly for those with non-academic/non-teaching backgrounds and degrees who intend to transition to classroom teaching. It's designed to sharpen the skills of an experienced teacher or prepare career changers like myself for a career in teaching.

Basically, MAT programs focus on general (k-12) education such as educational issues, teaching and communication techniques, curriculum design, technology for teaching, and learning theories. As such, a MAT can lead to a state teaching license for those interested in teaching k-12. In fact, my MAT program focused on secondary education although my goal was to teach adult learners. For some MATs, students can choose an emphasis in addition to their major's core classes. Mine was TEFL (five extra courses including an ESOL practicum), which allowed me to incorporate teaching ESL/EFL at the adult level into my degree program. The flexibility of my MAT means I have the ability to teach children (via state licensure) or adults, in any discipline, in contrast to an MA related specifically to TESOL.

For those of you with an MA in TESOL/TEFL, was your program research based or did it focus more on teaching? Was this a key factor in selecting your degree program?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 843
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have an MA but I am putting together my application for a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning (MATL) which sounds quite similar to the program you did, nomad soul.

I look forward to it - I prefer teaching children and this program allows me to specialize in TESL with a teacher's license. I'm glad this new program exists because I really didn't want to have to do another three years of a BA when I've already done one with similar content. The bureaucracy of Quebec is terrible. The MATL is a great option.

http://www.mcgill.ca/edu-dise/prospective/matl/
(McGill University)

A program focusing on teaching and licensing rather than research was critical to me Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this thread since there have been more recent discussions about degrees. Plus, there's the reality that the pickins are getting slimmer in terms of TEFL jobs and countries that don't require a degree.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike E



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:


For an MA in TESOL I would like some or of all of the following:

- An American program - in the future I'd like to work for the US government as an instructor and all the job posts say they want an MA from an American university; also, I think it'd be helpful when applying to American community colleges to have an American uni on my resume

- An very interactive online program with options for blended (limited on-site) learning - I want to continue working while getting my degree, but don't want to sacrifice the learning community

- A 'best in its class' program - as much as possible it'd be nice to have a name brand program with well known faculty and good connections in the industry that would continue to pay dividends in networking and career opportunities for years after

- A practical component that would be equivalent to the DELTA module 2 - I'm interested in becoming a CELTA trainer and want lots of practical stuff through which I'd improve tremendously as a teacher

- Flexible coursework options - it'd be nice to be able to pick up some courses in financial and NGO management and development studies to be able to start moving into other kinds of roles

Too bad, so far I haven't found any program that offers all of the above. The New School's MA looks to be the closest fit for what I want, (interactive, blended learning, name brand, practical) but I have some serious reservations as well (not many PhDs on faculty, not as flexible a curriculum as I would like and a new program no pun intended).


I like your list of criteria, and I'd be interested to hear an update how things have gone between you and The New School. Or if an even newer school has found a place in your heart.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike E



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you look for in a BA or MA degree program? Reply with quote

rtm wrote:

For my MA (in TESOL), the biggest factors for me were:

1) Cost: I had some money set aside, but not a lot. My MA ended up costing me nothing because I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the university's intensive ESL program, which included a 100% tuition waiver, health insurance, and a stipend, and also gave me 2 years of teaching experience at the university level in the US.

2) Location: I decided I wanted to do my MA on-site rather than via distance. I chose a place with good name-recognition in the field, and that was somewhat close to my parents' home, since I had been teaching abroad for almost a decade and wanted to see spend some time with them.

3) Content: I wanted someplace that had a good balance of theory and practice. I also wanted someplace that included a teaching practicum (the place I ended up choosing required a 1-semester, 2x120-minutes per week, observed practicum).

The reason I chose to get an MA was because I had been teaching part-time at a university in Japan, and when I inquired about a full-time position that was open, I was told that they would like to hire me (because they already knew me), but the university's policies were that they couldn't hire me without a masters. That was the signal to me that I had reached the limit in my career without more education.


So, what was the place you ended up choosing?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike E



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like a program that will bring me not just a degree but considerable classroom experience. And I'd doubly appreciate that teaching experience if it brought tuition forgiveness.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike E



Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could someone recommend a good general resource for someone still in the early stages of looking into grad school? There are so many differences in the programs I've looked at that I'm having trouble getting a good general picture of what I should be doing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2992
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike E wrote:
Could someone recommend a good general resource for someone still in the early stages of looking into grad school? There are so many differences in the programs I've looked at that I'm having trouble getting a good general picture of what I should be doing.

I suggest you go through this thread from the very first post and then consider the following:

What's your criteria for a degree program?
What do you want to do with your degree?
Where do you want to do your program (country, state, city)?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 3 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC