In case you don’t already know, I have a Master of the Arts Degree in Public Policy with two concentrations – one in nonprofit management and the other in community economic development. Since I have this degree (it’s called an MPP degree for short), I’m allowed to teach undergraduate courses in Public Policy and related disciplines.
Well, since I have some bills that need to be paid (i.e. student loans) and since I always thought that I would make a great teacher or Professor, I decided to accept an adjunct teaching post at the local college. It’s a lot of fun and you can usually come to this blog to read some of my observations with respect to teaching today’s undergraduate students.
Everything seems okay thus far, right? Good!
Well, one of the perks of teaching at the local college is that you can take a certain number of credits for free during the semester that you teach. Again, as I racked up over $120 thousand in student loan debt on my way to my MPP degree, it’s very hard for me to turn down the possibility of taking free classes that will ultimately lead to a graduate certificate in a discipline that I am interested in pursuing as a future career. Further, it is hard to say no to these free classes when they might also lead to me receiving a second Masters Degree in this same discipline. And yes, that would be a free Masters Degree…
Anyway, the unnecessary complication that is related to this scenario is the work that comes along with being a graduate student! I should fully explain this, though. I’m not suggesting that graduate students should do less work. In fact, I would argue that graduate students should do a higher difficulty level of work than the undergraduate student population. Makes sense, right? And I’m not saying that the work that I have to do in this graduate program is either too hard or too remedial. Actually, the two professors that I’ve chosen to take most of my classes with are excellent, former real world practitioners who “get” that graduate school isn’t about busy work. They assign projects that are of real use in the real world – and that’s really important if you ask me.
However, I think that I get a bit exasperated with the work that is assigned because of the fact that I already have an advanced degree. Maybe it’s an inner elitism or a subconscious knowledge that I don’t really need the additional graduate certificate or potential Masters Degree – I don’t know. On a conscious level, I do know that I don’t particularly have the time in an already overcrowded schedule to set aside hours for researching and writing papers.
But that’s what you get when you enter this type of program, so I won’t complain about the work associated with the classes too much. I will, however, complain about some other observations that I’ve made while being in this program…more on that to come in a future entry!