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The Nuts and Bolts of Applying to Graduate School AISES National Conference Minneapolis, MN November 10, 2011 Kellie szczepaniec, MSW Serra Hoagland, MESM Thomas Reed, PhD Candidate
Roadmap for today… Why Graduate education Choosing a program Applying Post application Activity: Uniqueness Developing Your Skills Goals and vision Funding Calendar resources
Why Graduate Education • What is graduate school? • Expectations are different Kellie Szczepaniec
Why Graduate Education URMs represent approximately 25% of total population URMs represent 17% of the STEM bachelor’s degrees earned URMs represent 6-10% of the STEM graduate degrees earned • Need for AIAN in STEM fields and pursuing graduate education Kellie Szczepaniec Source: NSF, 2009
Why Graduate Education Percent of doctorates earned by racial/ethnic minority U.S. citizens, 1998 & 2008 Kellie Szczepaniec Source: Survey of Earned Doctorates, Summary 2007
Why Graduate Education Percent of AIAN doctoral recipients in specific fields, 2008-2009 Kellie Szczepaniec Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac Issue 2011-2012
Why Graduate Education • Is it right for me?! Yes Specialize Gain skills Career advancement Contribution to field Increase earning power No Stalling Not ready or don’t want to work yet Everyone else is Want to gain experience in industry Support family Kellie Szczepaniec
Why Graduate Education Half of all STEM workers earned $70,600 in 2007 Workers with STEM degrees earn more than workers with comparable levels of education Unemployment was 9.7% nationally, but only 5.5% for STEM workers (9/09) Source: Science and Engineering Indicators, 2010 Kellie Szczepaniec
Why Graduate Education Average earnings by educational attainment, 2009 Thousands Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac Issue 2011-2012 Kellie Szczepaniec
Choosing a program • Choosing a program – creating a vision and goal for yourself • Additional things you can do now • “Research professions that are of interest to you and determine if a master’s degree is needed for that field.” • “Many students pursue a graduate degree that is entirely unrelated to their undergraduate degree.” Kellie Szczepaniec
Choosing a program • Evaluating programs • What is important to you in a program? • Cost • Financial assistance • Focus of program • Location • Support systems • Faculty to student ratio • Research or ask questions • Compile a list of requirements for each school that makes the cut Kellie Szczepaniec
Applying What you’ll need • Transcripts • Admissions test scores • Letters of recommendation • Resume • Statement of purpose • Interview – some schools Kellie Szczepaniec
Applying Tips • Apply early • Seek outside assistance and criticism • Plan, write, edit, rewrite, and carefully proof your essays • List accomplishments, leadership, and community service • Create a calendar of due dates and do to by dates Kellie Szczepaniec
Post-Application • Pick top 3 choices • Make a decision • If you haven’t heard from your top choice but need to notify other schools – ask for extension • Notify all schools of this decision • Pay deposit • Research area • Solidify financial aid from school • Waitlisted? • Not admitted? Kellie Szczepaniec
ACTIVITY What makes you unique?
You Are Unique Just as a fishing lure, you are exactly what some graduate department or scholarship office is looking for. Know yourself. Find out how you stand out among your peers. Look for ways to improve yourself in key categories
Uniqueness Workshop • Purpose: To find your traits which few others possess that will be valuable in your scholarship search. • Step 1: My Own Uniqueness • Write 5 words or phrases that describe you • Example: • Hopi • Electrical Engineer • Tennis • Ukulele • Puns
Uniqueness Workshop (Cont’d) • Now let’s compare to our key areas: • Attending a specific school • Academic or Exceptional Performance • Need-based • Group-related: Ethnic groups, Gender, Veterans • Major Area of Interest: Computer Science, Biology, Music • Special Interest: Hobbies, Skills, Interests, • If you didn’t have any items that fit into this list of criteria, let’s add at least two more words or phrases to the list relating to the key areas.
Uniqueness Workshop (Cont’d) • Example: Adding to my list • Seattle, WA • UCSB • GPA 3.9 • Parents income $45,864 • Home Video Production • Step 2: What is most unique about me? • Rate the phrases you listed about yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most unique) • Identify top phrases (ones that have 4s and 5s) • Note: Income-- FAFSA
Uniqueness Workshop (Cont’d) • Example: Most Unique Traits • Hopi, Elec. Eng. With 3.9 GPA, Puns • Step 3: My Unique Search • Spend 20 minutes doing a Scholarship Search using your top two or three unique attributes. (NOT JUST ONLINE!) • O.K. . . .Websites for scholarship search: • Fastweb.com MEH… • Collegeboard.org > Student > Scholarship Too General …
Uniqueness Workshop (Cont’d) • Step 3: My Unique Search • Use Your Uniqueness • Network with others • Search Professional Orgs • Example: IEEE, AISES, SACNAS • Go to your advisors • Example: BYU Multicultural Advisor – AIS, AISES • Example: UCSB cultural resource centers have a scholarship booklet for native students • Example: Local native listserv – AIM, Chumash Tribe • Google It! (use general search instead…) • Scholarships less picked over • Your specific search terms will generate more hits (not just $$$ sponsored hits)
What If I’m Not Unique? ‘___’ • Working smart is always going to be a unique trait. • Seek to stand out by working hard in school • Get enrolled in your tribe (if necessary) • Gain useful skills, attributes, & experiences in your major • Learn to write/communicate well—scholarship essays and interviews can be powerful ways to help you stand out. • Get involved on campus—join clubs, participate in sports, take on leadership roles, learn as much as you can
Developing your skills What are the secrets to getting into grad school and winning scholarships?
Developing your skills 4 step process Work HARD in school! Get involved in activities Get some experience NETWORK!
Bzzz Vision is a Buzz Word Bzzz Bzzz • Future Uncertainty: • You have options • No one else can decide your path • Come up with a vision • An idea of what you want your life to look like in all its aspects. • work, family, social, personal, spiritual, community • Goals, without a vision, is like flying a plane without a destination • Make short/long term goals that lead to your vision • Example: To get a B.S. in Physics you have to start with Physics 101
Vision Example • Creating a vision—how will the future look? • Educational—I will graduate with a M.S. in Materials Science, with little or no debt, Summa Cum Laude, job connections. • Work—I will have a job with flexible hours, good salary, nice office, doing creative work, with a supportive boss, and retire someday • Family—I will have a happy relationship, happy family, 4 kids, home that provides comfort/safety, respect family • Social—I will have friends, attend social events • Personal—I will be healthy, have hobbies, work hard • Spiritual—I will connect with the Creator, have values • Community—I will serve the local community, know my neighbors, serve my Native community
Express Your Vision • Essays for Scholarships/Admission should include parts of your vision. • How will you contribute to society after graduating? • How does your major fit into your vision? • How have your past activities contributed to your vision? • 60 Second Activity: • Take a moment to write down 3 parts of your vision.
What type of funding is available? Many types!! Scholarships Fellowships Other awards/grants/loans
AI-in-STEM Scholarships AIEF: American Indian Education Foundation AIS: American Indian Services AIGC: American Indian Graduate Center Tribal On-Campus Scholarships Graduate Research Fellowships AISES Scholarships Travel Scholarships NSF, Ford Foundation Fellowships
There’s more…..HINT: Write these down! AICC: AI Chamber of Commerce ITC: Intertribal Timber Council Industry Awards: Raytheon and Lockheed Diversity Awards CTD: Catching The Dream TWS: The Wildlife Society (Native Peoples Working Group Student Professional Development Grant) AAIA: Association of American Indian Affairs MEP/MESA awards Daughters of the American Revolution IHS/Tribal Clinic awards Your local Indian Health Clinic Local Indian Education chapters (i.e. County Indian Education Programs) Additional resources: http://graded.sdsmt.edu/docs/130036.pdf
AI-in-STEM Scholarships On-Campus University Fellowship Academic Scholarship Need-Based Scholarship Financial Aid/FAFSA University Multicultural/ Diversity Scholars Departmental Fellowship Your Field AI/Minority Rare Alumni Endowed Scholarships (Women too) Fraternal Organizations Tribal Scholars BIA Funding AIS AIEF Corporate School for Work NSF/DoD/DARPA Fellowship AIGC Fellowship Ford Foundation Diversity in Industry AISES
AI-in-STEM Dates/Deadlines In general but not always, eligibility is as follows: ≥¼ blood, minimum GPA (>2.75 or >3.0), require full-time status and FASFA forms
CLOSING THOUGHTS Why graduate school AIAN in stem fields What makes you unique? Develop your skills Vision A Strong Application Funding resources
Our contact info • Kellie Szczepaniec • email@example.com • Serra Hoagland • firstname.lastname@example.org • Thomas Reed • email@example.com You can find this presentation here: buder.wustl.edu Thanks for coming! Good luck!