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Jenny in Florida

Not About the Kids -- A thread for those of us returning?

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It seems like there are more than a handful of us parent-types who have returned/are returning to school. I wondered if it might be nice for us to have a place of our own to congregate and chat about our experiences.

I'm planning to start working on an online graduate certificate this fall. It's been 30-ish years since I've been in school, and I'm pretty excited about having the opportunity to do this. The certificate is in instructional design, which is related to my current job and even more related to the job I hope to move into at some point in the future, which is how I'm mentally justifying the expense. But the truth is that I would probably study underwater basketweaving if it meant a chance to "do real school." 

If all goes well, I'll finish the program in about a year.

So, who else is on this train? What are you working on/planning to start? 

 

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Me!  I am taking a single class this fall.  It has been a very long time since I was in a classroom but my kids are getting older and I have more time to study the things I missed before.  Right now, the plan is to take Japanese 1 in the fall and then Japanese 2 in the spring.  I am cautiously optimistic that I am going to enjoy myself.  I need to get out and meet some new people and this is my plan.

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In the fall I'm planning to start a certificate program in educational consulting.  I'm intending to be more intentional about helping other families with high school planning and college access.  

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Sounds great! I'm applying for a Graduate certificate program to start this fall. I need something to sink my teeth into intellectually right now, and hopefully it will help get me back into the professional working area I was in before kids. This would be in the area of program evaluation in education and health. 

I really looking forward to meeting up with other adults in the classes. 

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Just to let you know, we do have a social group here for Adult College Students. It is a public group. 

As for me, I'm waiting to hear about an apartment this week. I'm moving about an hour away, it's just far enough away that commuting is out of the question. 

The next step is to figure out an entirely new campus. I'm doing a master's in history. It will take me two years. 

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13 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

In the fall I'm planning to start a certificate program in educational consulting.  I'm intending to be more intentional about helping other families with high school planning and college access.  

I started a similar path in the spring!!  I will PM you so as not to derail the thread.  I love your word “intentional.”

Yes, I am also on the “returning” train.  I am in the second of six classes that are required for an online certificate program in college counseling.  It is then followed up with an internship. To be honest, I am not sure what I plan to do with it if and when I complete it. My educational background is not in education, so I will never be able to work in a public school setting.  Part of me would like to try my hand at independent consulting, but that is also a bit scary to me.  I may just see if I can find a place where I can volunteer my services to those who might not have access to good college counseling.  Regardless, I felt a need to be “credentialed.”  We’ll see how it all goes!  

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4 hours ago, Hoggirl said:

I started a similar path in the spring!!  I will PM you so as not to derail the thread.  I love your word “intentional.”

Yes, I am also on the “returning” train.  I am in the second of six classes that are required for an online certificate program in college counseling.  It is then followed up with an internship. To be honest, I am not sure what I plan to do with it if and when I complete it. My educational background is not in education, so I will never be able to work in a public school setting.  Part of me would like to try my hand at independent consulting, but that is also a bit scary to me.  I may just see if I can find a place where I can volunteer my services to those who might not have access to good college counseling.  Regardless, I felt a need to be “credentialed.”  We’ll see how it all goes!  

That is similar to my frame of mind.  I see a large need but maybe not a large demand.  I could see myself with individual clients, but also could see working with a non-profit.  I'm hoping to expand my knowledge and skills beyond my personal experience. 

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I have already posted about what I am doing, but I'll join in here too.

After the kids went to college, I had to find something new to make my life life meaningful and valuable again. I decided I would try to teach English at the college level as an adjunct. My BS was science, so I went back for a semester of undergrad work taking 12 hours of upper level English courses. Then I started as a non-degree seeking grad student for a semester, because my credentials for the program were still weak. During that semester, I applied for entrance to the degree program and for a graduate assistant position. I am now officially enrolled in the MA English program with a Literature focus and in August I will start teaching 2 classes each semester as a GA. 

On a side note, I did consider a counseling/advising option too. I love helping students find their way, particularly homeschool students, but not exclusively. I think it is a natural route for homeschool parents because we have had to dive into those decision making processes.

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1 hour ago, Mom22ns said:

On a side note, I did consider a counseling/advising option too. I love helping students find their way, particularly homeschool students, but not exclusively. I think it is a natural route for homeschool parents because we have had to dive into those decision making processes.

Not me. ? I'll be thrilled when my own 4 dc are accepted into some kind of post-secondary institution and I still have my hair and my sanity! It's too stressful trying to figure out all the individual university requirements for homeschoolers in Canada. They come up with new hoops to jump through.

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Do check out the social group linked, it's an awesome bunch of ladies.

I've been mostly taking a break since last summer. I've done a few single-day continuing education unit courses towards a certificate in neuropsychology and have another one next month.

I'm hoping to start grad school sometime in 2019. Debating whether it's overly ambitious to aim for a January start when baby #4 is due at the beginning of November. My "bounce back" time has been so variable that it makes it hard to predict if I'm likely to feel up to the challenge. I might feel totally fine by the time classes would start but then again I might still be in the "it's an accomplishment to shower and put on real clothes" stage. Where's my crystal ball when I need one?

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I'm currently doing an interdisciplinary humanities master's program.  The cool thing about it is that it is allowing me to finish what I started learning about when homeschooling my kids.  (I also have a master's degree in gifted education that I got in 2017, which sort of legitimized, for lack of a better term, the stuff I learned about education as a homeschooler.)  I think it might be interesting to become a community college instructor, but we'll see.

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I take courses about every other semester, to renew my teaching license. I found some fascinating ones this summer, but they all conflicted with various commitments. I hope some are offered again this spring. However, with dh's health, we'll see. 

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I'm heading into the 2nd year of my undergrad program.  I have a nice schedule this coming fall (one hour-long class Monday nights and then 2 classes on Wednesdays 9am to 2pm).  It's 15 units, but I'm pretty sure I can swing it.  I've been pretty productive over the summer, working on portfolio artifacts.

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Well, things are getting real now. As of this afternoon, I am officially registered for two classes for fall. As it happens, the first textbook I ordered from Amazon because I found a better deal there than what's available at the university's bookstore arrived in the mail today.

I can't believe I have to wait a little more than a month to start class!

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I finally got all my application requirements submitted! Now I just sit back and wait. 

I'm still wondering whether this is the right time to go back to studies. Life was pretty crazy last school year, but I'll only be homeschooling one ds this year. 

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I roughed out a few plans to get through my certificate.  One would have a harder winter term with 3 classes.  I'm not sure if that is manageable given Science Olympiad coaching and school with ds3 at the same time.  

Then I wrote one that was a bit lighter (2 classes per term) and one that was only 1 class per term.  

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8 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I roughed out a few plans to get through my certificate.  One would have a harder winter term with 3 classes.  I'm not sure if that is manageable given Science Olympiad coaching and school with ds3 at the same time.  

Then I wrote one that was a bit lighter (2 classes per term) and one that was only 1 class per term.  

That's a great idea. My program is part-time, so I can do 1 or 2 courses a term, and three years to complete 5 courses + practicum. It's not like I'm jumping in with full-time studies, thank goodness!

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I started taking classes online last year; I'm auditing but I do complete all the coursework. It is career-related but I don't need the college credit (which saves me a lot of money). I'm only taking one class per semester. I was the kid who always "liked school", so I've gotten a kick out of "being in school" again.

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Hi all, I am 2.5 weeks from finishing up my graduate diploma in psychology. Thinking of continuing on to grad dip advanced, which I need to get into Masters program, but very conflicted as it does limit what I can do for / with my kids. As they are now 15, 13, and almost 10, I had really hoped that they would be a bit more independent by now, so I could give them a list of tasks to complete while I am studying, but often it doesn’t happen. I’d love to hear how other people going back to school while still home educating manage to achieve a good balance. So far I have managed by taking lots of time off between subjects, but that makes my progress slow.

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On 7/11/2018 at 9:37 PM, Jenny in Florida said:

It seems like there are more than a handful of us parent-types who have returned/are returning to school. I wondered if it might be nice for us to have a place of our own to congregate and chat about our experiences.

I'm planning to start working on an online graduate certificate this fall. It's been 30-ish years since I've been in school, and I'm pretty excited about having the opportunity to do this. The certificate is in instructional design, which is related to my current job and even more related to the job I hope to move into at some point in the future, which is how I'm mentally justifying the expense. But the truth is that I would probably study underwater basketweaving if it meant a chance to "do real school." 

If all goes well, I'll finish the program in about a year.

So, who else is on this train? What are you working on/planning to start? 

 


I am.  I can't go to a physical location but my undergrad degree is on my bucket list.  Our state flagship offers an online Bachelor of Applied Sciences with an added certificate in Writing.  I've been in school for a while now - first my AA (needed three semesters) and now a year in at Iowa.  Had to medically withdraw my first semester there but now I'm in the homestretch - graduation in May.

There isn't much to do with a BAS but I really wanted to do this for me and my DH was supportive, so why not?  U Iowa has an insanely strong writing grad program but there is a zero chance of getting in there, especially not being published.

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Yay! I just received my letter of acceptance into the Graduate program! Now to decide whether to start with 1 course or 2 this fall. I'm leaning toward one so that I don't over-do things.

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On 7/30/2018 at 7:16 AM, BlsdMama said:


  U Iowa has an insanely strong writing grad program but there is a zero chance of getting in there, especially not being published.

I know someone who did her MFA at Iowa without having been published previously. She was a business school classmate of my DH's but decided to transition to creative writing. She did have a very compelling life story but it just goes to show that they do sometimes take chances on unknown authors.

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On 8/9/2018 at 3:21 PM, Crimson Wife said:

I know someone who did her MFA at Iowa without having been published previously. She was a business school classmate of my DH's but decided to transition to creative writing. She did have a very compelling life story but it just goes to show that they do sometimes take chances on unknown authors.

  Can I admit to being a gutless coward?  It takes everything in me when I put my writing out there.  

Strange for someone who loves to write, no?

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On 7/11/2018 at 9:38 PM, Sebastian (a lady) said:

In the fall I'm planning to start a certificate program in educational consulting.  I'm intending to be more intentional about helping other families with high school planning and college access.  

 

Is this an online program? Community college? I'm interested in something like this.

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17 hours ago, Laurel-in-CA said:

 

Is this an online program? Community college? I'm interested in something like this.

There are several certificate programs.  They often have a little difference in focus. 

I'm doing UC Irvine.  It is all online.  

UCLA has a program.  I think UCSD, Columbia and Rice also have programs.

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I'm plugging away at a biology teaching degree.

I had a minor in microbiology in my first undergrad and so far I haven't encountered much that wasn't at least familiar. It was good to get a chemistry refresher.

I'm going through WGU because, while their learning platform isn't my ideal, it fits into my life.

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2 hours ago, maize said:

I'm plugging away at a biology teaching degree.

I had a minor in microbiology in my first undergrad and so far I haven't encountered much that wasn't at least familiar. It was good to get a chemistry refresher.

I'm going through WGU because, while their learning platform isn't my ideal, it fits into my life.

 

How do they handle lab sciences?  I've considered going back for another degree a few times but it would definitely involve lab sciences and they used to involve taking those courses IRL.  Things have changed recently so I'm curious how those courses are handled.

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13 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

 

How do they handle lab sciences?  I've considered going back for another degree a few times but it would definitely involve lab sciences and they used to involve taking those courses IRL.  Things have changed recently so I'm curious how those courses are handled.

They send a lab kit; I'm working on chemistry labs right now.

There are some limitations--no chemicals that would require a fume hood for example.

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5 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

There are several certificate programs.  They often have a little difference in focus. 

I'm doing UC Irvine.  It is all online.  

UCLA has a program.  I think UCSD, Columbia and Rice also have programs.

Thanks!

 

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2 hours ago, maize said:

They send a lab kit; I'm working on chemistry labs right now.

There are some limitations--no chemicals that would require a fume hood for example.

How do you prove you've done the labs?  

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30 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

How do you prove you've done the labs?  

Just turn in the lab sheets.

I guess...people who want to cheat could cheat.

Truthfully people who want to cheat find ways in brick and mortar schools too.

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10 minutes ago, maize said:

Just turn in the lab sheets.

I guess...people who want to cheat could cheat.

Truthfully people who want to cheat find ways in brick and mortar schools too.

True.  I have seen places that make you do the labs at specific times over Skype or something similar.  I would find that pretty obnoxious so I like the idea of just doing it and turning in the lab sheets.   Trusting adults to do what they are supposed to.

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24 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

True.  I have seen places that make you do the labs at specific times over Skype or something similar.  I would find that pretty obnoxious so I like the idea of just doing it and turning in the lab sheets.   Trusting adults to do what they are supposed to.

Exams are done with online proctoring, you can do them at any time though. I don't usually even schedule them in advance, just click the take test now option when I am ready to start and there has always been a proctor available.

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4 hours ago, maize said:

Exams are done with online proctoring, you can do them at any time though. I don't usually even schedule them in advance, just click the take test now option when I am ready to start and there has always been a proctor available.

Thank you, this information is very helpful.  

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19 hours ago, maize said:

Exams are done with online proctoring, you can do them at any time though. I don't usually even schedule them in advance, just click the take test now option when I am ready to start and there has always been a proctor available.

 

The community college I work for uses ProctorU. It's $10, and you can usually get a slot, although I tell students to plan ahead around midterms and finals because it can be tough to schedule. I've had students who waited and had to take between 1-5am in order to get in.

I'm still trying to get my courses lined up. I might end up paying for the 1-credit one myself, but the college is definitely going to pay for the other one. It doesn't start until October though.

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9 minutes ago, G5052 said:

 

The community college I work for uses ProctorU. It's $10, and you can usually get a slot, although I tell students to plan ahead around midterms and finals because it can be tough to schedule. I've had students who waited and had to take between 1-5am in order to get in.

I'm still trying to get my courses lined up. I might end up paying for the 1-credit one myself, but the college is definitely going to pay for the other one. It doesn't start until October though.

WGU doesn't work on a traditional semester/term schedule, so there isn't really a crunch time. There are people starting or ending a six month term every month; maybe things get a bit tight around the end of the month if people are all trying to hurry up and finish? I haven't really experienced it though.

They also allow retake exams, though I can't remember needing to take advantage of that.

If feel like this is kind of bare bones education but if you need an accredited degree with maximum flexibility it is a system that works.

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1 minute ago, maize said:

WGU doesn't work on a traditional semester/term schedule, so there isn't really a crunch time. There are people starting or ending a six month term every month; maybe things get a bit tight around the end of the month if people are all trying to hurry up and finish? I haven't really experienced it though.

I can see how that would help. 

Some of my sections are 8-weeks with staggered starts and some are 16-week.

The people that have issues are trying to take an exam in the second half of October when the 16-week and some of the 8-week classes have deadlines or during exam week in December. But even the face-to-face testing centers have problems then. There can be lines to get in at the larger campuses. 

 

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It's getting more and more real that I'll be a student again! I've paid my tuition, applied to a few research assistantships, and there is finally a prof's name listed for my course. I may even know her from when she did her Master's. It's a small world!  I start my course the first week in Sept. Should be a fun experience.

 

 

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I had my Grad student orientation with the Education faculty. It was very well done, and something I would have really appreciated when I was first a grad student 24 years ago.  I've learned how to connect to the university wifi, how to access my web-based course, and how to get some research assistantship even as a part-time student. And my first prof is a fellow Masters student I knew 20 years ago. I'm very pleased!

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I actually decided to back off on college classes. I got a part-time job that is 8-39 hours a week, and on further investigation, I found that I could self-study for a professional certification and do just as well. I can buy access to a website with practice questions that will be far less time and aggravation. 

So I'm going to do that.

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