Posts tagged as:

graduate school

So if you’re a senior like myself and are considering going to graduate school to continue your education in whatever field you’d like, you probably haven’t had a whole lot of direction.  One of my professors just came to one of my classes on Monday to talk about it and didn’t even answer all the questions I still have brewing in the back of my mind.  So let’s break it down:

  1. MAKE A LIST: Normally, I’m not a list person, I’m not going to lie.  But since it’s gotten down to crunch time to getting applications and transcripts and letters of recommendations and test scores together, I cannot stress this enough. MAKE A LIST. Thinking about applying to a few different schools? MAKE A LIST.. Order them by top choice to considering but unsure. Thinking about all the things you want to look at when looking into schools? Programs, location, cost, etc. MAKE A LIST. School’s websites normally have lists of things you need to send and to apply to school, but are you going to keep that page as your desktop background? Probably not. MAKE A LIST. Have a bunch of schools you transferred from and need to send transcripts to all the places you’re applying? MAKE.A.LIST. Seriously this will help you out tremendously and keep things kinda organized, okay? Trust me.
  2.  WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT/LETTER OF INTENT/ETC: I still honestly don’t know what these consist of but among the 4 or 5 schools I”m looking at, they require these to apply.  Check out the schools application processes and see what they’re looking for in these letters and essays.  Some schools are picky about it and some just want the general information. Who you are, why you want to do what you want to, and why you are looking at the specific program at the specific school. The professor who came to talk to us on monday in my class, whose in charge one of the graduate program admissions, said to stay away from cliche words like PASSIONATE, LOVE, WONDERFUL, EXCITING, ETC. Schools already know that you’re passionate about it or love it ok you’re applying to the program. This doesn’t mean that you can’t put your story about your grandma being in the hospital for a long time or what got you into art, etc, just don’t make it a typically store. What makes you stand out.  The OWL at purdue has some great advice for writing personal statements and there’s also great information for letters of intents here as well as tons of other sources you can find from searching it on the web.
  3.  WRITE A RESUME: If you’re applying for a grad program, some schools and even some of the professors you ask for letters of recomendation will ask for a resume.  The typical resume is about 1-2 pages. This website has alot of great information on how to write one.  The kinkel center can also take a look at your resume and tweak it to be perfect.  I don’t suggest following a microsoft word template of a resume because they’re sometimes hard to work it.
  4.  ASK FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Most often schools require you to send them 3 or 4 letters of recommendation from an advisor or professor.  Most schools prefer that you ask professors in your program because they often know what kind of things schools are looking for to hear compared to a boss at a job or your favorite person in the admissions office.  When you go to ask, bring a resume to give them an idea of what kind of things you do outside of school as well as a stamped and labeled envelope for them to just put the letter in and send off. Easy as that!! Sometimes it’s nice to write them a thank you letter too later on for writing a recommendation.
  5.  GET STARTED EARLY: Don’t wait until last minute to apply.  Grad school applications can take several months to process so it’s better if you get started early on in the fall semester.  Take the GRE (which is usually required for most schools) in the summer before your senior year or August or September before things get busy.  Most applications require you to send everything in by December or January and at earliest, you can hear from them by April or March.  I’m a procrastinator like nobody’s business, but getting this whole process started in September was the best decision I ever made.  It’s early October right now and I’m almost done with everything! It’s such a relief.
  6. TAKE THE GRE: What is this even? It’s like the ACT of grad school. A pain in the butt 4 and a half hour standardized test that costs an insane amount of money. ($195). But don’t let that scare you.  Some schools don’t require it for applications, but most do.  Do yourself a favor and take a class to prepare for it or rent a GRE prep book.  They’re inexpensive and will help you out when it comes down to test day.  Sign up for the test date at least a month from when you start preparing.  I know this seems like too much time to prepare, but trust me, you won’t regret it. There’s never enough time to prepare for this.  Have your schools in mind for after you take it. It asks you at the end what schools you want to send your scores to and it’s free to send it right then and there after you take it.  It tells you that you can send your scores later for a fee, but I don’t recommend it.  It’s $27 per school. Ridiculous, I know. It’s not like going to school is taking enough of our money already…Anyway, the test center will provide the materials you need as well as a locker to put your things.  You’ll have a ten minute break to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or eat some snacks you brought. Good luck!!

I could go on with various tips about applying, but I think these cover the majority.  Applying is a scary and expensive process, but if you have everything organized and prepared, it’s nearly as not stressful as it seems to be.



Balancing Act

by Karen on September 16, 2015

in Academics

When I set my sights on obtaining my master’s degree there were many things that I had to take into consideration. How would I achieve this and still maintain my life and those things that are important to me? I call it a balancing act, for I must strategically act to keep my life in balance. I had to set a schedule and strategy in place that would allow me to dedicate time for worship, family, work and schooling. It seems like a lot, but it can be done with discipline first then dedication and determination. Attending Fontbonne with their flexible schedules and blended class options has worked perfectly for me.


The summer has begun! For many of us that means picking up extra hours at work, taking summer classes if need be, and trying to squeeze a little fun into the long, warm days. My little bit of fun this year coincides with my search for the right master’s program. In the last three years, I have plowed through my associates, jumped right into my bachelors, and with any luck, I’ll head right into my master’s after graduation. As someone in pursuit of an Art Therapy degree, finding the right master’s program can be tricky and limiting. The job market in the area of license must be considered, otherwise that license is just a fancy piece of paper. I’ve done plenty of research and, in a few short days, will be heading up to San Francisco! I’ve never been to northern California so this trip is especially exciting.

Setting up a tour with the college was very easy, and the informational packet they sent me reminded me a lot of Fontbonne. It’s a small, private college as well and emphasizes small class sizes to give a higher quality instruction to the students. This is very important to me because I feel like small classes really do work the best. I’ll have to take the price of the college into account as well as earning any possible scholarships. Drowning in debt to achieve my goal is not exactly at the top of my list. Checking out the program that they offer in my major is the most important thing. I want to make sure that they offer what I need to become licensed and an effective Art Therapist.

It won’t all be tours and checklists though. Northern California and San Francisco especially, offers so much to do! From Chinatown and the Warf, to the Golden Gate Park, Haight and Ashbury, and amazing seafood I doubt I will have a dull moment downtown. I will also be crossing hugging a redwood tree off my bucket list. Redwoods are an iconic symbol of the west coast and I feel like everyone should have the opportunity to stand in awe of those majestic trees. There will also be plenty of chill time on the beach and, hopefully, in front of a fire pit with a great bottle of wine. I’ll be sure to give a full report next week! Cheers!!


Alumni Posts


by Alumni Posts on March 18, 2015

in Academics

On Monday, I had the good fortune to take my PRAXIS examination. It’s the exam all students wishing to obtain licensure to become a speech-language pathologist have to take. It’s nerve-wracking because it’s expensive, and taking it again is a depressing prospect. You can take it as many times as you have to but you can only take it so many times; once you use up those “lives”, you have to wait until the next cycle.

I have been studying speech-language pathology for many years and one thing I definitely learned is that I’m not a standardized test taker. It’s terrifying. One would think that multiple choice questions are easy… not so for me. I am generally bad at math, so no wonder probability isn’t often on my side.

But God was that day. God always is. With a mix of prayer, practice tests, support, and studying, I passed the PRAXIS. And it felt great.

Standardized tests make up a large number of application processes. To be accepted into college, you have to take the ACT or the SAT, or some equivalent. Some students have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language). Of course, in our classrooms, our teachers are merciless when it comes to tests. When you’re thinking about graduate school, signing up to take the GRE is a dismal sign that you’re growing up.  Then, certification requirements often include PRAXIS or other tests to make sure you’ve got the chops to be a licensed whatever-you-are-studying-ist.

Yes, those tests are necessary. I understand why they are. It just makes paperwork easier, and the process is simplified. These tests are an objective measure that can be used to determine eligibility. BUT it does not make you who you are. Never forget that. You can pass or fail a test, but it does not define you. That’s not to say, don’t try your best! I think you can trust that you know more than you know… and that you are receiving an education at an amazing institution that prepares you well for all of those tests you will need for your future.

Best wishes!


Let’s Fight Against the Seasonal FLU!

by Kathy February 6, 2015

Hello Fontbonne students and faculty, How’s everyone doing? I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break and is now full of energy to work and study hard in this semester! Since I am a graduate student studying nutrition, this semester I would like to share some of my useful and interesting nutrition knowledge for you all! […]

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The Next Step

by Alumni Posts April 30, 2014

It’s the last week of class . . . where has the time gone?   I know that everyone is excited that summer is nearly here.  Unfortunately, we still have that week of stress known as “finals” standing in our way.  Ugh! Anyway, for many students, these last two weeks are the final days of school […]

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“Back to School” for the Last Time

by Alumni Posts January 20, 2014

This is my last semester at Fontbonne. Wow. Though it feels like I’ve been waiting for years to be able to say that, actually saying it feels strange. I finished all of my courses required for my various biology programs in December, so now I’m just finishing up my theatre minor and taking a couple […]

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A Word about the Library…

by Alumni Posts December 9, 2013

I must admit that during my undergrad studies I went to the library to A.) Print a paper when my dorm printer didn’t work, B.) Find a book to use as a cited source when the professor required it, and finally (my favorite) C.) Take a nap!  Now, college students, I am not saying this […]

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Leadership shadowing

by Alumni Posts November 26, 2013

This semester, I took a leadership course for graduate students (HES535 Leadership Development for Professional Practice). In this class, we talked about different leadership styles based on theories. There were many meaningful assignments we needed to do for this class. One of my favorite projects is to shadow a CEO or president in a non-profit […]

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Advising week

by Alumni Posts November 26, 2013

Last week was our advising week, which is a very important week to prepare for registering for classes. Next semester will be my last but not least semester at Fontbonne, which is sad but very exciting news. I will take my last three graduate courses: marketing for non-profits; administering programs for children and families; the […]

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