"Should I go to grad school?" is one of those questions that students ask me, often. Many of them ask this question while they are ALREADY in graduate school! This tells me that much more needs to be done to help students make these important decisions about their education. This is especially important at this time, when the student loan debt in the US has been described as a "$1.5 Trillion crisis".
I was recently interviewed by Ilana Kowarski for an article on U.S. News and World Report about the differences between college and graduate school. In it, I was quoted as follows:
"Luz Claudio, a tenured professor with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, says graduate school typically requires an abundance of motivation and personal accountability, since students are frequently asked to work independently."I tell college students that one of the keys to success in graduate school is self-discipline," Claudio wrote in an email. "There's generally no 'homework,' quizzes and few exams. Students need to learn how to learn class materials without such close guidance from a teacher. However, most graduate programs have a long-term project that students must complete, such as a research paper. These require a different kind of relationship with a teacher. For these, the teacher becomes more like a mentor and the student is more like an apprentice."
Other educators in different fields from educational institutions from across the United States were also cited in the article. One, for example, was Thomas Plante, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California. He said: "Too often, college students or people who only have had a college experience somehow think that graduate school is going to be more of the same, and it's not,".
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