By: Erin Kelly
When deciding to pursue a graduate degree, an important part of the decision often involves whether to enroll as a part-time student or a full-time student. While part-time enrollment is the more popular option at Teachers College, I happen to be one of our full-time students.
I am currently in the second year of my Master of Science degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Since the academic and clinical demands of this program require that we enroll full-time, I didn’t have to worry about making that decision. Today, I’m going to share with you a little bit about my experience as a full-time student, so hopefully, you won’t have to worry either!
In the beginning of the program, we took the bulk of our classes. We typically had one class a day four to five days a week, but occasionally we had two to three classes on a given day. By taking the majority of the required classes towards the beginning of the program, we are able to have more availability for clinic and field practicum experiences. We can be in the clinic or in the field anywhere between two to five days a week (depending on our schedule and the rigor of the assignment) and then in class anywhere from one to four nights a week (again, depending on our schedule). In the long run, I find this structure to be the most beneficial because there is no better way to learn than to apply it in real life.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Do you ever not do school?” Well, I’m happy to say that the answer is yes! Since starting at TC, I have held a student position in the Office of Admission, which I absolutely love. Many other full-time students I know also have jobs on campus, such as working in research labs, or even have off-campus jobs. In addition to having a job, I also get to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer, which is pretty much anything and everything under the sun!
Being a student can be really stressful, so my advice is to find something you enjoy and make room in your schedule for it. You will probably think you don’t have the time, but I promise that you do, and more importantly, your future self will thank you for it!
I truly feel that being a full-time student was the perfect path for me. If you are in the process of deciding whether to enroll as a part-time student or full-time student, I hope that reading about my experience has helped. Even more so, I hope that whatever choice you make, you are just as happy during your time here at TC as I am!