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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
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I think I've almost got it - June 23rd 2015, 04:43 AM

Hopefully this will be one of the last threads I post about this, I know there are way too many of them. I've narrowed down my degree options from 4 to 2 and I'm leaning towards one, but it's driving me nuts.

Option 1: M.A. in Human Development and Family Studies with a certificate in Disability Studies and Community Inclusion.

Pros:
a. Faculty from counseling program think it's an excellent fit
b. It will accept 2 and up to 4 of the credits I already have
c. I might qualify for an assistant-ship which would give me a stipend and a full tuition waiver and if I don't it's still somewhat affordable
d. I don't have to take the GRE

Cons:
a The employment isn't that great because employers want social work or counseling degrees (I was in the better program before)
b. I would have to do a thesis, I'm not completely opposed to this, but it seems like a lot of work for a degree that isn't worth much
c. I would have to take stats again, but it would be similar to what I took in undergrad

Option 2: Masters in Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the same university

Pros:
a. Degree is actually worth something
b. Seems like I would be able to combine my mental health and physical health interests without needing as much math or social skills while relying on my strengths in research
c I would be eligible for financial aid
d. I might qualify for a GRE waiver given my extremely rare circumstances
e. I'm familiar with the campus (I would feel safer/more comfortable I often get lost due to my learning disability)

Cons:
a. This program is not accredited yet, but should be by October of this year (I can't start until January anyway)
b. Won't take any of my existing credits
c. I have to take stats again
d. I would have to do a practicum (my downfall in the counseling program) even if it's different, I'm scared of it now.

Option 3: General Masters in Public Health from a different university
Pros:
a. I can go to a school 30 minutes closer to me and live at home (reducing costs)
b. The program is accredited
c. I'm not limited to a specialization which makes my electives more flexible

Cons:
a. The campus is unfamiliar to me and it's not the safest area
b. I would not be eligible for financial aid
c. The program is "flexible" for working students, but I don't know if the structure and limits would work for me
d. I would have to do a practicum
e. I would have to take stats that I may be unfamiliar with
f. I would have to take the GRE
g. No tranfer credits accepted
h. They strongly suggest (but don't require) at least 2 years of work in the field which I don't have.


I still plan on contacting the program coordinator for option 1 because the counseling faculty care and suggested it so it's worth considering.

And there's an information session for option 2 next month which I might talk my mom into taking me to. I'm leaning towards options 2 and 3 (more towards 2), but the extra expense because of the distance is a major drawback.


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Re: I think I've almost got it - June 23rd 2015, 06:00 AM

Hi there, Kate. I know how hard it is to pick a college major, I've changed about 6 times already myself. The important thing is to follow your heart, and go with what you want to do not letting anyone else change your mind. <3


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Re: I think I've almost got it - June 24th 2015, 01:16 AM

What career would you prefer to be doing? That depends on whether or not I'll recommend you do the Family Studies vs Public Health. Family Studies is a lot more like counseling, shown by the credits transferring, and may be a better fit if you want to go down a Social Work type path. Public health may be more "marketable" but only if you want to do a public health like field. If you're thinking nonprofit stuff, either one would be good, maybe public health being a bit better but it depends on the nonprofit. I'll be starting my M.P.H this fall (in social/behavioral actually), so I know a lot about this process. If you have to do SOPHAS, you're welcome to ask me questions about that shit show. Personally, if go you for public health, accredited is better than non accredited. You said they will be in October, but I'd really be careful about that. It's harder to get some types of certifications when you go to an unaccredited school, and the education doesn't fit the same standards. In terms of GRE, does it have a minimum/average you need to score around?


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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
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Re: I think I've almost got it - June 24th 2015, 01:42 AM

The counseling faculty pretty much told me that anything involving human interaction/therapeutic relationships is out, it's the one limit they placed on my recommendations so I can't go into social work instead or I would just switch schools and do that. Because every employer wants social work and/or counseling I feel like the Human Development and Family Studies is pretty much useless even if it's the better option right now if it's not worth anything then there's no point. Honestly, they pitched it as my only option and part of me thinks it may have been to avoid a lawsuit. I would never do that, but I wouldn't put it past them trying to protect themselves. I was 100% prepared to do it until I learned it's not going to get me anywhere. Any degree I get has to be worth it at this point.

Public Health seems to fit both sides of my interests without requiring mass amounts of interaction with people or the math and chemistry required for the medical field. I've always leaned towards non-profit or even a research-type job. I'm not really picky, but I have a unique set of challenges I have to account for.

The school has completed everything on it's end for accreditation and is waiting for the final decision from the board (which it expected to have 6 months ago) The board's website says it's expected to decide in October, I would be willing to wait since the one closer to me doesn't feel quite right, but I don't want to put anything off for too long.

Whether they listed specific GRE scores or not depended on the program, but I've NEVER done well on standardized tests because of my learning differences and they don't accurately reflect my ability. If I can avoid taking it, I will because I won't score high enough regardless.


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