What led you to study in the Educational Leadership MA Program at Montclair State University?
There are three things that led me to the MA Program at MSU. One was the structure of the program with eight week courses and two per semester. This sounded manageable to me with my current responsibilities. Secondly, and probably most importantly, I enjoy the flexibility of an all-online program. I took two online courses as part of my first master’s degree and it gave me a solid understanding of how online courses flow. Lastly, it was an affordable choice as compared to other options that offer all-online programs.
If you chose an online program, why did you do so?
I chose the all-online program because I do not work or live in a location convenient to any traditional campuses. In addition, I have a high level of personal motivation and strong organization. I knew that I would be able to keep track of assignments and due dates, as well as keep my goals in mind throughout times of heavy workload. However, the self-paced nature of the courses are what held the greatest appeal to me.
What were/are your career objectives?
I am currently happy in my teaching position. Nonetheless, I can see a time in my future when I want to move on to new challenges as an administrator. I am always up for new challenges that allow me to grow. Regardless of what the future holds, I currently desire to have a better understanding of the inner-workings of my school, as I believe such an understanding will make me a better teacher, as well as a person who is more understanding of administrative undertakings in my district.
How has/does the program at Montclair support your career objectives?
The program at Montclair is absolutely helping me to reach my goals. I am going to leave the program with a second master’s degree, which will allow me to move across my pay scale at work while also fulfilling my desire to hold administrative certifications. The program is also allowing me to have a broader view of what goes on in my school. When a decision is made by administration, I find myself thinking about it in the context of my learnings and weighing the merits of the decision.
How have you/are you using what you have learned?
Thus far, I have specifically used what I have learned in two leadership courses in my classroom. Many of the same basic principles apply to leading children as they do to leading adults. I am fortunate to teach AP courses, so I am able to build a consensus around a vision of high achievement on AP exams and motivate the whole group to work towards the vision. Learning how to lead a group in such a way has been helpful and I do think that my students are more motivated.
Did/does the program meet your expectations?
Both professors I have had so far have been quick to respond to my emails. My most recent professor was extremely helpful; she provided extensive feedback on assignments and even spoke to me once by phone to ensure I was on the right track. I think that quick and clear communication is essential to an online program and I am glad to say that I have received it.