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Getting into a Master's Program with bad GPA


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So I *might* like to pursue a Master's in Early Childhood Ed someday, with the goal of either just being a really deep preschool teacher ūü§£ or possibly teaching teachers (probably thru workshops). There is no practical need for one, but I am curious and interested, so who k ows.¬†

Anyway...My college GPA is abysmal. C average, roughly. I don't feel a quality program would take me. But--maybe? I don't think I could do very well on a GRE, either. 

Suggestions? I already take virtual workshops. 

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Possibly an Online school like Western Governors or Arizona State?   I remember looking at the Western Governors web site a year or 2 ago and if my memory is correct, they had a bunch of Education things. I think some of them were at Masters level.

Good luck and Shalom!

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At least in my state, teachers eventually have to get Master’s degree in education, so the programs are not competitive to get into at all and are happy to take anyone’s tuition dollars. Unfortunately, I’ve never met a teacher here who thought they were worthwhile. My sister used to teach as an adjunct for one in another state and said the same thing. She was actually appalled at the low standards. But I’m sure there are some quality programs out there.

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Depends on the size of the gap between undergrad and grad school. Someone who worked and wants to bring that experience back to class discussions is a more attractive grad student candidate over someone fresh out of undergrad with the same GPA. 

 

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11 hours ago, JanetC said:

Depends on the size of the gap between undergrad and grad school. Someone who worked and wants to bring that experience back to class discussions is a more attractive grad student candidate over someone fresh out of undergrad with the same GPA. 

 

40 years enough of a gap? lol

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Have you done any practice GREs?  You might do better than you think, especially on the verbal section.  I picked up a GRE practice book a couple of years ago and was surprised that the verbal section looked easy.  I would be lost on the math without some serious review, but I am confident that I could pull out a solid verbal score.

Also, does it have to be a Master's right away?  Could you take some undergrad classes first to show your current level of readiness?  

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Are you sure you need to take the GRE?  Some schools accept the MAT.   

Life experiences and recent standardized test scores are likely to count more than a GPA from 40 years ago.  Many schools will allow you to take one or two classes at a time without being formally admitted to a program.  Do that for a couple of semesters and then apply for a degree program.  

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I've gotten two master's degrees in the last several years after a significant gap.  I didn't have an undergraduate gpa because my college didn't give grades--instead, I had narrative evaluations that ranged from "this is the best student I've ever had" to "I only passed her because I was feeling nice," with a lot of mediocre ones in between.  I wouldn't say that either master's program was of the highest quality (second string state universities), but I found that I could beef up the experience significantly on my own.  I am proud of the work I did for those degrees and believe that the experience that I forged for myself was of the highest quality.

I'd contact the programs you are interested in and explain your situation.  They may be willing to work with you.  I was admitted "provisionally" into each of my programs because of the lack of gpa thing.  For the first one, I had to get a certain gpa to remain in the program.  For the second, I had to take the GRE and get a certain score.  What was funny was that the second program admitted me provisionally even though I had a 4.0 from the first program.

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On 2/16/2020 at 10:40 AM, Chris in VA said:

I don't think I could do very well on a GRE, either. 

I just saw this.

If you read at a lower division college level and can do middle school math (this is what is tested along with a bit of statistics), you will probably do better than you think.  Take a run through the practice book and see.  

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On 2/18/2020 at 9:52 AM, EKS said:

I just saw this.If you read at a lower division college level and can do middle school math (this is what is tested along with a bit of statistics), you will probably do better than you think.  Take a run through the practice book and see.  

I don't think this is an accurate description. There's no trig or calc, but there's plenty of algebra and geometry and more than a bit of statistics. 

Algebra is used in about 23% of questions, geometry in about 21%, stats and probability in about 20%, and you can see the rest in the link below (note that there's overlap so more than 100%). 

 What Kind of Math on GRE

 

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35 minutes ago, katilac said:

I don't think this is an accurate description. There's no trig or calc, but there's plenty of algebra and geometry and more than a bit of statistics. 

Algebra is used in about 23% of questions, geometry in about 21%, stats and probability in about 20%, and you can see the rest in the link below (note that there's overlap so more than 100%). 

 What Kind of Math on GRE

 

Having both taught middle school math and recently taken the GRE (officially), I disagree.  The math on the GRE is at a lower level than the math on either the ACT or the SAT (I've taken multiple practice tests for each).  Note that I include Algebra I and basic geometry in my definition of "middle school math."  I was astounded that the math was so basic.

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2 minutes ago, EKS said:

 Note that I include Algebra I and basic geometry in my definition of "middle school math."  

I thought that may have been why you said that, but the majority of American students do not take algebra and geometry in middle school. 

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Just now, katilac said:

I thought that may have been why you said that, but the majority of American students do not take algebra and geometry in middle school. 

The majority of American students don't go on to graduate school either.

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7 minutes ago, EKS said:

The majority of American students don't go on to graduate school either.

No, but I don't think you would find a super strong correlation between early math and grad school for programs  for programs that aren't STEM. Heck, I'd be rather surprised if anywhere near a majority of students even in STEM grad programs had early math - it's not prevalent, and middle school is pretty far in the back mirror by the time you apply to graduate school. My dd did not complete either in middle school and did not have calc in high school. Still, her freshman calc class was full of STEM students who had done those things, because most of them retake calc. Early math or no early math will make no difference for the vast majority of potential grad students. 

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39 minutes ago, katilac said:

No, but I don't think you would find a super strong correlation between early math and grad school for programs  for programs that aren't STEM. Heck, I'd be rather surprised if anywhere near a majority of students even in STEM grad programs had early math - it's not prevalent, and middle school is pretty far in the back mirror by the time you apply to graduate school. My dd did not complete either in middle school and did not have calc in high school. Still, her freshman calc class was full of STEM students who had done those things, because most of them retake calc. Early math or no early math will make no difference for the vast majority of potential grad students. 

Other than calling Algebra 1 in eighth grade "early," I agree with this.  It is obviously why there is such a huge discrepancy between the level of math and reading expected on the GRE. But I stand by my statement that the GRE quantitative section is essentially a middle school math test.

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I'm in grad school for a M.A.T. degree in Science Education.   At my school (University of South Florida), a student whose undergraduate GPA isn't above a 3.0 can take three specific courses from the program and be accepted into the program with a 3.0 GPA in those courses.   Prospective students take the General Knowledge Test from the Florida Department of Teacher Certification Exams rather than the GRE.   The math on the GKT was basic algebra, geometry, and statistics.   I was expecting it to be more difficult.

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