Education Graduate Programs: Tips and Tricks for Success

Michelle Bouslog
Michelle Bouslog
EdTech teacher; M.A.Ed. in EdTech, Concordia University St. Paul, MN
Women students ask their teacher a question, who is leaning over to look at their computer.

Why Seek Education Graduate Programs?

There are many reasons educators pursue a graduate degree and education graduate programs. For starters, it helps further one’s knowledge on pedagogy, curriculum, and helps teachers become better equipped to meet the needs of their students. This isn’t to mention that an education graduate degree makes teachers more marketable and qualified to transition into an administrative role if so desired.

Additionally, a graduate degree can earn a teacher between $2,760 and $7,358 more a year. A typical teacher’s salary can significantly increase earnings, especially as the teacher climbs the pay scale. Once you have your mind made up about seeking an education graduate program, what are some tips and tricks for enrolling, managing, and obtaining your degree?

Education Graduate Programs: Tips and Tricks

Budgeting

One could look at the price tag on graduate school programs in one of two ways. Those people with a glass half full mindset may see it as significantly cheaper than undergrad and thus feel good about investing without giving it another thought. Others may see it as another substantial payment on top of already steep student loans. Regardless, budgeting is something that one may need to think about. It is worth the time to look into any financial assistance that may be available when continuing education.

Additionally, low interest loans or payment plans would be another valuable way to think about financing for your graduate program. If this all seems overwhelming, keep in mind that you will start seeing the benefits of your investment within two to three years and after that it is just extra change in your pocket.

Set Goals

For some, goal setting comes easy, but for others, it can be quite difficult. Either way, goals are a great way to stay focused on your purpose.

You can set:

  • Daily goals: get this assignment finished and this lecture listened to by the morning
  • Semester goals: obtain an “A” in this course or write a paper on something you normally wouldn’t be interested in
  • Program goals: finish the work-at-your-own-pace program in one to two years

Keep your goals visible, and don’t be afraid to revise and revamp them when needed. This helps keep goals realistic, obtainable, and fresh.

Networking

Networking can be equally as valuable as the coursework itself. Who you know and the connections you make will open up doors and lead you down paths you may otherwise not have had the opportunity to take. Put time into building relationships with classmates, professors, and anyone you meet within the graduate school of education. You never know when these friendships and connections could help further your career or get you into a setting you desire most.

Utilize Your Resources

Make an effort immediately to familiarize yourself with your institution’s resources. For example, many colleges have writing support that can be very valuable. Ask the writing team to proofread your papers or check that you are off to a good start. Use office hours to ask questions and stay on track with the professors’ expectations. Most colleges and universities have a truckload of support in place, so be sure to ask questions and know what is available to help guide your graduate program journey.

Stay Organized

Starting your education graduate school program with a good organization strategy can help as you progress through the program and for the years to come. Use Google Drive or similar learning management systems to file and store your papers with clear titles and labels. Keep emails filed in a similar way so you can easily refer back to them if needed.

You never know when you may have a topic to present on at a staff meeting that you already have resources for, or a person you met in graduate school that you want to reach out to. Finding coursework and contacts quickly can save you a future headache.

Try to Relax

Graduate school programs can be challenging, but they should also be fun. For some, this is the last formal degree you will obtain. Find enjoyment in the topics, articles, and lectures you attend and complete. Be social with classmates and learn from them. Try to use strategies to manage stress (exercise, deep breaths, journaling or visualization, etc.) so you don’t become overwhelmed. Keep your eye on your goals and remember why you are working so hard to receive this degree. It will be worth it!

There are many reasons for pursuing an educational graduate degree and continuing education for teachers. For whatever your reason may be, if you follow tips and tricks such as budgeting, setting goals, networking, utilizing your resources, staying focused and relaxed, your journey will be a smooth and successful one.

Now is the time to pursue your graduate degree! Check out our 190+ available masters, doctorates, endorsements, and certifications to advance your career today!

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