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Academic references - July 5th 2016, 05:43 PM

I need to have 2 academic references for my Master's in Education. I only have one and I can't think of another one I have my academic advisor writing one of them.

I was thinking of having my counselor write one, but I don't know if that's the right way to go. I met with her many times while in school and she got to know me well. But I don't want to have a counselor as a reference in an Education program. I still feel there's a stigma on mental health and I don't want to mess up my chances as a teacher.

I wasn't close with any professors and I'm sure none of them remember me (I graduated a year ago). I don't know who to go to. Help?
   
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Re: Academic references - July 5th 2016, 06:41 PM

Have you been employed or done any volunteering recently? You may be able to ask current or past work places for a reference. If not, I'm sure you could try any other professor and, if possible, email them asking if they would be ok to give you reference and include a CV or something so that if they aren't clear who you are, they have something to go on.

I understand not wanting the counsellor to give a reference. But having had counselling or mental health issues shouldn't prevent you from teaching, and I've been advised, that it's good to be honest if any of those questions come up (I want to be a teacher too, so I know the stigma).


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Re: Academic references - July 5th 2016, 07:03 PM

When they say academic reference, they usually mean a professor. Having your academic advisor for one of them is alright, but I'd highly recommend the other one be one who saw you as a student (and preferably has a PhD). Consider asking a professor who you excelled in their class, or who you had engaging conversations with! The more time you spent with the person, the better.


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Re: Academic references - July 7th 2016, 05:32 PM

Most masters require 2 academic references unless it's a professional degree such as an MBA or MSW, in which case it's usually 2 academic 1-2 professional or some such combination. I would reach out to a professor who's class you did well in and explain your situation and that even though you didn't get to know them well you still had a good experience in their class and would they please say something about your academic performance. You can always sit down with them for coffee for a chance to lay out your plans as well as send over essays and such that you wrote for the course and that way they can speak about more than your grade. If you try several people it should pan out, and one will surely say yes.




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Re: Academic references - July 7th 2016, 06:46 PM

It's never a good idea to use a professional who treats you as a professional or academic reference (unless it's an extremely rare circumstance), Your best bet is to reach out to the professor whose class you did best in and/or liked the most and explain your situation. They get requests for these all the time. I'm sure there will be some who will be like "haven't heard from you in X amount of time, so no", but honestly, most who at least vaguely remember you will probably agree to do it.


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