Yesterday I ventured to a couple of local universities, because as you may know, I have been sitting on my laurels rather than trying to figure out what the next step in my educational quest might lead. So I went to a local four year and talked to someone in their middle school education program. At first, things sounded great. My classes should transfer. She gave me both applications that would need to be processed and talked about the admissions process. I asked, candidly, the age range of most of the students because to be honest, I don't want to be the mother hen in the program. Average age range - well I should be okay. They have a student who is in her sixties... But then she had a phone call that interrupted our discussion. She came back from the call - it was her daughter's school. We started talking about raising middle schoolers and then she told me - the program is extremely aggressive and that the students have a hard time trying to maintain jobs (you take an average of 18 hours a semester) and that they've even seen some students get separated and/or divorced while in the program. Now let me ask you....does that sound appealing to you? Because right then, I felt a big "OH NO" forming in my brain. We talked a little bit more and then I left the office and decided to drive downtown to check out my options at State.
I texted Hubs and told him I wasn't sure this was the best option for me...or for us as a family. He called me and we talked. I told him that I was coming downtown - he told me where to park when I got there. We talked a few more minutes and then I got on the interstate and headed north. I proceeded to find the College of Education building and talked to the receptionists there. They both told me that the program classes are basically from 9-12 each day and that you get assigned to a cohort and take all of your classes with those people. That's pretty much the norm. They told me about the application procedures. Gave me the department handbook. I left there feeling much more confident about that as an option than the first school that I visited. There's an interview process and a writing sample that has to be submitted. I failed to ask about the average student body...again, I don't want to be in classes with kids that could actually be mine so I need to call and ask a few more questions.
Today I am going to check into the program that is offered where I just graduated from in December. It's not where I want to go - but I am going to see how it works with my family and our schedule. Then there's still the university where I was supposed to start this past January ... you know, the one where they told me that I needed these four classes - and then came back weeks later and said I didn't. The only reason I would consider them is if I can take my classes at the satellite campus just one county over. I've also received some calls from the school that is offering the degree in Special Education but I'm not sure that's the field that I want to pursue. To be honest, there program structure worries me a little bit and I'm afraid that there could be some problems in getting the classes that I need. But I might consider it as an option at this point. I'm trying to stay focused on state colleges right now rather than private ones - I don't want to have to take the additional courses that are required and I don't want to even begin to think of the cost!
So the past twenty-four hours have been mind boggling to say the least. I waited around yesterday afternoon till he got off of work and drove home with him rather than coming on home and him catching the bus. We talked about options. I asked him if it would bother him if I took classes there and he thought it was a good idea. We talked about my options for driving in or catching the bus. We talked about the other options as well. The one that offers the middle school program - well I would have to travel to various middle schools every Wednesday, some over an hour from here - and would have to be there at 7:30 in the morning. What would we do with The Bug? He suggested that I sit down and pray about it and make a pros and cons list. That's what I'm about to head off to do. To be honest, I don't want to waste the application fee by applying to place after place after place when I'm not sure. My GPA is almost a 4.0 so I'm not worried about meeting the academic requirements for any of the schools.
Boy, I am really rambling today aren't I? It just goes to show how uncertain I am of the next step I'm going to take. Not to mention the fact that our state is laying off teachers left and right now because of the economic downturn that we are living in. I feel like I need to go somewhere and find a quiet corner and just really pray that God will lead me to wherever He wants me to go. In the meantime, if you've made it this far in reading, what questions would you be asking these colleges if you were me? What would you do? Any and all input is greatly appreciated.
Have a thrilling Thursday today.