Interveiw with Dean Charles Tate, Assistant Dean of Admission for the MBA and M.Ed programs at University of Mary Washington who offers insider insights to applying to a M.Ed program
Counseling potential students, reviewing files for admission, and recruitment of potential students take up most of my day, but as a member of the UMW community, I am involved in a great deal of committee work to help ensure our processes are efficient and student-friendly.
The essays required for the Master of Education program are valued by the faculty members making admissions decisions. We counsel students to take time with the essays to demonstrate the ability to write in correct English prose. For our M.Ed. program we advise that the essays should be about 2-3 pages double-spaced and well-supported.
We like to see applicants who are seriously interested in teaching. We counsel students that going into teaching is a serious commitment—applicants should consider the responsibilities of becoming a teacher before beginning a program like ours. An essay that conveys an interest in teaching so you can have summers off is something I hope to never see again.
Students should take time with their application, especially the essays, and apply early enough so that their transcripts can arrive before the filing date. In order to license a teacher in most subjects, the Commonwealth of Virginia, for example, requires a student to complete a specific group of subject area courses. If a potential student is unsure of whether he or she has completed those courses as an undergraduate they should contact our office and we will review the transcripts.
The admissions process and the faculty review are set up to admit students, not turn students away. Frequently, the Office of Admissions and the faculty members who review applications end up being student advocates and making the case for the student to be admitted.
The faculty is certainly looking for well-rounded students and while things like GPA and test scores are very important they are not the only factors considered. Schedule a pre-admission advising appointment and let us walk you through the process and options. Often there are things a potential student can do that will strengthen an application: getting the application in on- time, proof-reading essays, and scoring well on standardized tests to name a few.
Through the pre-admission advising process, we help applicants who are inadmissible now, understand ways to find success later—revising essays, strengthen a low GPA through additional coursework or retaking standardized tests help to strengthen an application.
For the MBA program the GMAT or GRE in combination with grades are good predictors of academic success. Standardized tests help to level the playing field for students from different universities. The MEd is a little different since Virginia requires Praxis tests for admission into our program.
While every institution is different, UMW uses a recommendation form to evaluate a student’s potential for success in the program. Integrity, communication skills and motivation are some of the factors considered on the recommendation form.
It is highly recommended that graduate business students have work experience. Education students must demonstrate an understanding what it is like to deal with young people. Those experiences are invaluable.
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