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GE@AP: Attending graduate school offers students competitive edge for future

By SHAY GORDON | Staff Writer
Junior and senior students were invited to the “GE@AP” (Graduate Education at Austin Peay) event in order to learn more about the graduate programs offered by APSU.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, the event offered students information about graduate programs in a student’s chosen discipline at APSU would give students an edge in the job market.

During the event, students listened as various professors and graduate students in multiple programs gave accounts of the graduate school experience.

While many feel as if graduate school just is not an option due to high costs, professors explained that financial aid is available for students planning to attend a graduate program.

Students have the option of working as a graduate assistant or teacher assistant, which would function as a work-study option.

Students working as a graduate assistant or graduate teaching assistant recieve a scholarship that pays tuition fees, up to 10 credit hours, and a stipend for working 20 hours a week.

Senior English major Lori McKellar plans to attend APSU’s English graduate program in Fall 2011.

McKellar has always wanted to be a professor and has a passion for the studies in humanities.

She feels obtaining a master’s degree in English is the next logical step in her educational process.

McKellar’s friend, Sherri Person, will join her in the fall in the English graduate program.

Person is also a senior English major hoping to one day attain a doctorate in English.

Person will be pursuing a tenure tract and would like to teach a college-level course dealing with medieval era literature.

While the two are nervous about the drastic change they will face going from undergraduate to graduate students, McKellar and Person look forward to the program and classes.

Clark Maddux is an assistant professor in the language and literature department at APSU and was available for undergrad students to answer questions about graduate school.

Maddux offered a realistic picture for students wishing to gain a doctorate in the humanities.

“The Ph.D. program [for any of the humanities] is rigorous … I would encourage students to start publishing works soon,” Maddux suggested.

Undergraduate students that plan to attend grad school should prepare for a large difference in workload.

While it is typical for students in any graduate program to take up to nine hours of classes, the amount of work that goes into one class is greatly increased.

However, the work from classes varies according to the professor teaching the course.

The GE@AP event included a raffle giveaway for an iTunes gift card and free pizza lunch.

During the lunch, students were allowed to speak with any of the participating professors or grad students in their area of interest.

Professors at the event were open to any questions and offered advice to undergrad students interested in graduate studies.

GE@AP concluded with students gaining information and contacts for the future. TAS

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