Congratulations! You have made the decision to go to grad school and applied to the schools that seem the most appealing. Now all that is left is making the final decision about which school will best meet your needs. It’s time to read through that pro/con list, analyze that spreadsheet and start ranking your schools so you can choose well. This is not a decision to take lightly, so it’s worth taking a little time to ensure you are selecting the right school. Here are some guidelines to help you do just that.
Consider Not Just the Quality of the Faculty, but Also Their Passion
A grad school would not make it this far in your decision-making process if it did not have a quality faculty. To differentiate between the schools and choose the right one, look beyond the faculty’s credentials, which should be exceptional. Look at the teachers and their passion for their work, subject matter, and students.
ACU Online has a dynamic team of professors who have caught the school’s vision for faith-driven service. Consider, as an example, Jennifer Butcher, one of the teachers in the School of Educational Leadership. With many years of education experience as both a teacher and a principal, Jennifer Butcher is a clear subject matter expert, but she is also zealous about the opportunities for online education that ACU Online brings.
Through ACU Online, she is able to connect with students around the country, using technology to establish face-to-face discussions while extending her reach as an educator. Ms. Butcher strives to keep connected with her students, building relationships that last even after graduation. She says, “I have a lot of former students who are superintendents and we still email and communicate because I don’t want to lose that relationship with the student.”
See What Actual Students Have to Say
Can you connect with students or graduates of the program you are considering? According to the Princeton Review, this is an excellent way to narrow down your options for grad schools. Find out if they enjoy working with their teachers, if the platform works well for their schedules, and if they feel the level of guidance and instruction was adequate for their needs. If possible, connect with students in the area of study you are interested in.
Student Spotlight: Keri Croy – Flexibility a Major Draw
At ACU Online, our students have many reasons for picking our online programs. Keri Croy, a student pursuing an MBA degree, cites a deep relationship with her professors as one of the draws of the program. In fact, according to Keri, the online program makes it easier to have that type of a relationship, because students are not able to slip in and out of classes without building connections. She also appreciates the faith-based education and indicates the online program is “allowing me the opportunity to become a strong leader.”
Student Spotlight: Aaron Maleare – Robust Education with the Right Worldview
Aaron Maleare, a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy student, has similar reasons for appreciating ACU Online. For Aaron, who was busy raising a family, the flexibility of an online program was critical. He also enjoys the Christian worldview, which was vital to his future role as a Christian counselor. Aaron stated that this Christian focus, “made it easier to have a kind of shared vocabulary in the way we envision the world.” He also found that the ACU Online internship experience for his degree field was more “robust and intense” than other comparable programs, giving him the hands-on experience working with real people that would be an asset to his future career.
Talking with students or reading their insights in the program will help you determine a school that aligns with your views and goals. If you are looking for flexibility, intense training, passionate instructors, and an education rooted in Christianity, ACU Online’s many successful students will encourage you to join them.
Consider the Worldview
When you attend grad school, your teachers and the overall course of instruction will have a tremendous and lasting impact on the way you think about and view your career and the world around you. This part of the decision-making process needs to be carefully considered. One of the factors that sets ACU Online apart from other online programs, and likely one of the factors that drew you to the program in the first place, is the Christian worldview of the school and its teachers. The graduate program’s goal is to develop global leaders who live a Christ-centered life. This philosophy inspires everything we do, from the rigorous educational requirements to the day-to-day instruction and interaction with our students and the disciplines we teach.
You’ve already submitted your application. Once you’ve been accepted, all that’s left for you to do is start class. ACU Online is ready to help you extend and expand your education through our rigorous curriculum, dedicated Christian faculty, and caring graduate support team.
Make ACU Online your grad school of choice. We look forward to welcoming you to our growing family of online students.