Students Exploring Advancing Their Education Through 'Pathways to Graduate School' Course

 Junior and senior undergraduate students at the University of Arkansas are being assisted in exploring the possibilities presented by graduate school by taking a course offered by the Graduate School and International Education.

Abrupt Rom, break dignitary of the Master's level college and Worldwide Training, and in-between time Partner Senior member Christa Hestekin, are each helping segments of Pathways to Graduate School this spring. For undergraduate students contemplating their next steps after graduation, this eight-week, 4000-level course sheds light on the mystery of graduate education.

Rom stated, "This course is designed to assist students in planning for their future and determining whether graduate school is appropriate for them." Many students are unaware of the complexities of graduate education, such as the variety of degree programs available and how to apply for them. We want to dispel misconceptions and demonstrate to our students who are interested in taking the next step that attending graduate school is doable.

In addition to covering the various types of graduate programs at the University of Alberta and teaching students how to research and evaluate them, the course also teaches students how to write a personal statement, how to prepare a curriculum vitae, and how to apply for graduate school.

David Tolliver, assistant director of graduate recruitment and outreach, who taught a section in 2022, stated, "We get so many questions each day from students — questions that are more reactive, meaning there are so many quality prospective students who have a lot of questions about graduate school that they're not able to find on their own." As a result, we knew there was a void, and we thought a course like this would be a good way for students to learn more about graduate school and get answers to their questions.

In addition, students who successfully completed the course were entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of five free GRE vouchers, each worth more than $200.

The first time the course was taught was in Honors College during the spring semester. In the fall, it was offered across the university. Tolliver stated that they are also looking into the possibility of offering the course online.

Tolliver stated, "Students have been really engaged in the course — not just with me but also with each other." They are prepared to apply to graduate school by the end of the course and really appreciate that someone is guiding them through a process in addition to completing all of their application materials. They have cherished the opportunity to finish the materials with an instructor who can provide them with immediate feedback.

Tyler Trammell, a student, enrolled in the class because she desired to apply to graduate school and wanted to be prepared. She said that the eight weeks of the course gave her a lot of knowledge about graduate school.

She stated, "This was one of the most useful and informative classes I have ever taken." I've told a lot of friends about how useful it is, and a lot of them had never heard of it. One of the most important things I took away from this class was that it's never too early to apply and that you should always get in touch with the graduate coordinator you're interested in to start building relationships. I was aware that graduate school is competitive and demanding prior to enrolling in this course. My thoughts were confirmed in this class. However, I also learned that it is possible to successfully balance work and school.

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