When it came time for me to earn my master’s degree, I looked at several criteria that would help me decide where to earn it. After some tough choices, I ultimately decided on Holy Family. Holy Family’s master’s program worked for me for several reasons.
Practical: As an educator working in a leadership role at my school, I was well aware of many of the facets involved in holding a leadership position. The main one was being willing to accept the responsibility of working in a position where you make suggestions, compared to working in a position where you make decisions. As a school leader, you quickly learn that making decisions carries much more weight than making suggestions. The Holy Family School Leadership program offered us course work and collaboration that was practical and very relatable to our job experiences that helped with making those heavy decisions. This varied from legal issues to budget concerns to managing a large group of educational professionals. The information presented and discussed helped me open the door to many different perspectives before making decisions. The program also offered opportunities to work with other like-minded professionals who have been, or were going through, similar experiences. There was not any “fluff” work: It could all be easily related to real-world educational experiences.
Class Size: This one was important to me. I did not want to feel like a number. I wanted to feel like a colleague and a student. The smaller class sizes allowed for more individual attention while still maintaining a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences to learn from. This not only included the face-to-face meetings, but the online discussion boards as well. By the end of the program, I could honestly say that I became friends with each of my classmates, and that I still maintain a relationship with them today, over a year later. With that, we still lean on each other as resources as our job experiences grow.
Schedule: The online/in-person blended format gave us the best of both worlds. The online CANVAS aspect allowed me to budget my time based on course work, completing assignments from different locations, and easily accessing much needed resources. The face-to-face sessions were few, but frequent enough to prove effective, and they provided essential opportunities to collaborate on a different level. The education field requires you to be personable, and the class sessions gave us the opportunity to practice those skills without becoming boring or overwhelming.
Proximity: This one may be unique to my experience. The Holy Family campus is only a 10-minute drive from my school. This close proximity allowed me to commute to the classes with minimal travel. Also, the proximity made it easier for me to go to campus to deal with the registrar and bursar offices. I realize that this may not be the case for everyone, but it definitely made my time at Holy Family much more efficient.
Cost: With a bachelor’s degree paid in full, and a first master’s degree paid in full, I did not want to acquire any loans while working towards a second master’s degree. Also, with life’s monetary obligations hanging over me, I wanted a program that I could afford. With a minor tuition reimbursement from my current job, I was able to pay for the master’s program without building up any debt. The cost of Holy Family compared to other educational leadership programs was just one more thing that made my decision easy and aided in the enjoyment of my experience.
There were other factors that contributed to my recommendation of this program, but these were the ones that jumped out to me immediately. My current school has three educational professionals enrolled in the Holy Family Master’s program as we speak. From working with them daily, I can honestly say that they have the same feelings I do when it comes to the practicality, class size, schedule, proximity, and cost.