The long and winding road to a Master Degree in ANYthing starts with…..befriending the internet.
And thank goodness for it! I can’t imagine doing this in the pre-dub-dub-dub-dot days.
So, Step 1: Choose a program. Or school. Or both.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had the task of sifting through all the sub-degrees (I can’t imagine they’re actually called such a thing) of three Faculties – a Master of Education, Psychology, or Counselling – to find the one that was just perfect. Except, as I chugged along on the interweb, I realized I had to ensure they were Distance Ed or online in some way and that if it was at a school in a city far away from where I live, could I actually “attend?” On top of that, somewhere in the mix, I stumbled across the question of accreditation. Was the degree accredited? I think only like THREE of them were…so does that matter? Turns out maybe not. At least if the university is accredited it’s a start. Phew. Who’s exhausted already?
So, after looking all across Canada and the United States, and even the UK, for a university and faculty that fit the bare minimum needs listed above AND dangled at least a small carrot ofinterest, it turns out the ultimate fit for me is right in my backyard. The University of Calgary has an online Master of Education in School and Applied Child Psychology (how’s THAT for a mouthful?) with the most amazing sounding course descriptions EVVVVVVVVVER. (I may have actually started drooling as I leaned closer and closer and closer to my computer screen wondering if I could really believe my luck). Not only that – and this is a knock-my-socks-off-incredible part – it’s a NON-THESIS degree.
Yup, you guessed it, I do NOT have to do a giant research study or epic eight million page thesis-dissertation-essay-from-the-depths-of-hell AT ALL. Sure, it means I can’t apply to do my doctorate in the future but who needs it! Research does not appeal to me at all – I want to be IN there, living it. Not looking at standard deviations and sample sizes and variables and correlations – positive or negative! Psych 360 and Pavio gave me MORE than enough of that to last a lifetime.
Therefore, Step 1 is complete: Graduate program selected. Cha-ching!
It took ages and, really, Step 1 should really be called Step i. Like the Roman Numeral of the pages that nobody reads in a textbook. Non-existent. Negligible. Not contributing to moving forward. Just wait until we get to Steps 2 (or ii) through….of the admission requirements and application steps. Of which I have barely scratched the surface. Thank goodness for the practice of reams of paperwork and “permissions” and signatures and references and letters and phone calls that had to happen for my teacher exchange last year.