Thursday, December 15, 2005

Good grades!! Whoo hoo ha ha ha (and a further explanation of academic goals)

I got my grades yesterday and my best case scenario came true. Read 'em and whoop!

ENGL 407 Shakespeare - A
ENGL 504 Teaching Literature to Middle and Secondary students - A
ENGL 522 Teaching English as a Second Language - B
ENGL 562 19th Century British Prose - A

These grades mean I'm practically a shoo-in for admission into graduate school. This whole year I've attended as a "student-at-large," which allows me to take graduate level courses even though I'm not formally admitted into any program.

I wrote an e-mail to my parents explaining my short and long-term academic goals and what was needed to achieve them. I include it here so if anybody asks me what I'm doing in school I can refer them to this blog.

My immediate goals are to get a full-time job for 2006, get a good enough score on the GRE (graduate requisite exam) to gain admission into graduate school, pass the Basic Skills Test (another exam) to gain admission into the teacher certification program, submit a portfolio of writing samples to the English department (another requirement to gain admission to the teacher certification program).

Academically, I have two completely separate objectives. One is to gain admission into GRADUATE SCHOOL. This is important only because admission into grad school allows me to qualify for an assistantship, which means a tuition waiver, monthly stipend, and the chance to actually teach college courses. THIS IS SEPARATE FROM TEACHER CERTIFICATION. IT IS A DIFFERENT DEPARTMENT ON CAMPUS.

The second objective is TEACHER CERTIFICATION. This is a program track that gives me the training and credentials to teach as a middle or high school English teacher. Pending admission to this program, I am on track to earn my master's degree AND teacher certification in December 2007.

Pending a passing score on the GRE, I should be admitted into grad school by the end of January 2006. Pending a passing score on the Basic Skills Test (which everyone tells me is easy), portfolio submission and my three courses this spring, I will be admitted to the teacher certification program in May 2006.

Welcome to my academic life. There are a lot of hoops to jump through. The biggest was overcoming my stupidity as an undergraduate. I really messed up my last three semesters as an undergrad, flunked a bunch of courses, and dropped my grade point average below a 3.0. Admission into graduate school is dependent on having an undergrad GPA of 3.0 or higher OR a GPA of 3.25 or higher in at least 12 hours of graduate course work. I currently have a 3.5 GPA in 18 hours of grad work.

Summary:

I need to get into graduate school AND teacher certification. Both will be achieved by May. I am on schedule to graduate in December 2007 with a master's degree in English education.

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