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I'm thinking of going back to school

Old 08-20-05, 06:55 PM
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I'm thinking of going back to school

My kids are both old enough to be left with a sitter now so I'm thinking of going back to school. I'd like to be a teacher, maybe teacher 3-7 grade. The biggest problems are that 1. I suck at math, 2. my handwriting would make a pharmacist cry and 3. I'm not sure how to pay for college.

I'm 33 and I did graduate from HS and even did a few classes at my local community college. Any of you out there have experience with going back to college as an older adult?

What would be the first thing that I would need to do?
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Old 08-20-05, 07:01 PM
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Why not start out at a community college? You can take some basic math classes there and get your feet wet. I think some CC courses might run you $200-$400. Not bad for a semester's worth of classes.

Not sure how I'd handle #2, but I think a lot of essays are now submitted electronically.

In regards to #3, you'd be suprised how many grants are available -- maybe you can qualify for one. Plus in-state school without room & board is maybe $9-12k a year.
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Old 08-20-05, 07:06 PM
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Just be ready for sticker shock when you gotta pay for books. You might have to sell one of the kids
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Old 08-20-05, 07:12 PM
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Go for it, KD!

As Abs said, I would look into taking courses at a Community College first, then transfer later on.
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Old 08-20-05, 07:13 PM
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I'm 30 and am going back.....well, going for the first time, really. I quit my job a few weeks ago, am signed up full time and am ready to go for it. I'm hoping the program I take will have some more adults than teens in it, but I'll deal.

Anyways, I'd say pick up a calendar from your local college and check it out. Take a couple classes to get in the swing of things and just go for it.

Oh, and don't worry about your handwriting....as long as you can read it, it doesn't matter...if you really want to change it, take up calligraphy...but most of the things I've had to hand in were either typed or by email.
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Old 08-20-05, 07:37 PM
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Go for it. College education is better savored by the non teenage drunk.
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Old 08-20-05, 07:53 PM
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Right. Older drunks get more out of it.
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Old 08-20-05, 08:19 PM
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I went back to school part-time at 38. I'm full-time now at 40 and it's great. GO FOR IT.

And always buy your textbooks online. I recommend overstock.com, but always compare to Amazon. Sometimes overstock is a little more. Sometimes it's a LOT less.

Or better yet, buy the previous edition of the book for $5 or $10.
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Old 08-20-05, 08:21 PM
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Well being that you have kids, you should get plenty of money, and once in a few years, you will be able to get scholarships as well. Go for it, you would be surprised at how it all comes back and the math will come together. Dont worry about handwriting, they have these newfangled contraptions called computers and the are all the rage now ...
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Old 08-20-05, 08:22 PM
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I suggest trying to talk to someone like a college advisor about this and start sketching out a possible study plan for what you'll need to do to teach K-12. Also start looking into the requirements for a teaching certificate.
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Old 08-20-05, 08:24 PM
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Thanks, everyone. I can't go this year since my toddler needs special education (speech therapy) and my older boy is in soccer (and I'm the assistant coach) but I will get started on looking into something for next year. I'd like to be able to do something here at home but to be honest, I doubt I'd get much done with my kids, the phone, my husband....lol

Thanks for the support and the great ideas.
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Old 08-20-05, 08:24 PM
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You can start now with online courses. Many community colleges offer than.
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Old 08-20-05, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobinson
You can start now with online courses. Many community colleges offer than.
That could work if my kids would actually go to bed before midnight. I'm not sure trying to do a class at home would work. Besides, half of the reason why I want to go back to school is so I can get away from these people!
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Old 08-20-05, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobinson
I suggest trying to talk to someone like a college advisor about this and start sketching out a possible study plan for what you'll need to do to teach K-12. Also start looking into the requirements for a teaching certificate.
I agree with what jrobinson posted. You need to know what type of requirements you need to have/obtain to get your teacher certificate.

After being out of university (college) since 98, I'm going to be a full time student again. I already quit my full time job and come September, I'm going back to school to get a teaching certificate. My situation is a little bit different than yours Kittydreamer, since I don't have any children to support but I can see your hesitation in regards to the financial burden that going back to school may cause. My financial situation is going to be tough to say the least. Let me just say that for the next eight months (this is how long the program last), my standard of living will be at a bare minimum. I can see one of my main food staples being Mac and Cheese.

I'm not sure how the admission process of US Teacher's colleges works but here in Canada, your extra curricular activities (volunteer, coaching, teaching experiences) are as important as your grades (sometimes more) to get admitted to the program. Thus volunteering in your son's soccer team and being an assistant coach is a good start. You may need to do more of those types of volunteer jobs to polish your application. Plus the competition here for admittance is intense and any extra qualification helps.

Just remember one thing, you are never too old to learn or go back to school and if you think that being a teacher is something that you would like to do, go for it. That's what I did and if I can do it, you can too. All your obstacles can be cleared.

Good luck in your future studies.
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Old 08-20-05, 11:12 PM
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You need a college course to do what you do

j/k good luck at whatever you choose
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Old 08-20-05, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LorenzoL
Remember one thing: you are never too old to learn or go back to school. If you think that being a teacher is something that you would like to do, go for it! All your obstacles can be cleared.

Good luck in your future studies!
Great advice. Go for it Kitty! There is probably some $ available to help with your tuition, too, if you look for it.
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Old 08-21-05, 02:05 AM
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Go for it!

Since you're in Oregon, be sure to check out the Ford Family Foundation scholarships. They have programs for scholars (high GPA), Opportunity (single parents), and Restart (older people going back to school.) I actually qualified for all three, and got a scholarship for 90% of my unmet need as an undergraduate the second year I applied. They'll even pay for 80% of my grad school (and grad school funding is very dear).

It's worth a shot and worth reapplying if you don't get it the first time. There's an Oregon scholarship form that has those and tons of other scholarships on it, though most are really specific to certain counties, jobs, high schools, etc. If your community college has a scholarship workshop, I'd recommend going. Mine had a workshop, and then a special workshop for people who got to the interview phase of the Ford Family scholarships. I think it must have worked, because I saw a lot of faces from the interview workshop at the luncheon for the new recipients.
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Old 08-21-05, 04:12 AM
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Good for you! I applaud you going back to school.
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Old 08-21-05, 05:41 AM
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Good for you KD. I should do the same thing.
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Old 08-21-05, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tasha99
Go for it!

Since you're in Oregon, be sure to check out the Ford Family Foundation scholarships. They have programs for scholars (high GPA), Opportunity (single parents), and Restart (older people going back to school.) I actually qualified for all three, and got a scholarship for 90% of my unmet need as an undergraduate the second year I applied. They'll even pay for 80% of my grad school (and grad school funding is very dear).

It's worth a shot and worth reapplying if you don't get it the first time. There's an Oregon scholarship form that has those and tons of other scholarships on it, though most are really specific to certain counties, jobs, high schools, etc. If your community college has a scholarship workshop, I'd recommend going. Mine had a workshop, and then a special workshop for people who got to the interview phase of the Ford Family scholarships. I think it must have worked, because I saw a lot of faces from the interview workshop at the luncheon for the new recipients.
Score! Thanks. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that me going back to school next would be a really good thing.
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Old 08-21-05, 10:42 AM
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I almost hate going against the grain here, but I would not recommend getting started at a community college. If you already know that you want to teach, get in touch with the education department of a four-year university and learn your options.

The standard of education is going to be a lot higher at a university, and you'll be surrounded by more committed students than you would be at a community college.
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Old 08-21-05, 11:04 AM
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Old 08-21-05, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Penny Lane
I almost hate going against the grain here, but I would not recommend getting started at a community college. If you already know that you want to teach, get in touch with the education department of a four-year university and learn your options.

The standard of education is going to be a lot higher at a university, and you'll be surrounded by more committed students than you would be at a community college.
That just isn't true anymore. Community colleges can have smaller class sizes, and professors who are committed to teaching, not research. They
frequently use the exact same textbooks as the 4 year universities, and the labs are often taught by the professor, instead of a TA.

I went back to community college to take some science courses, and I was able to get into medical school.

The last time I took a course at a 4 year university was a long time ago, but as I remember it the classes were HUGE (like 200 in freshman chemistry at the 4 year vs 12 in my biology class at the CC).

Plus, the cost is significantly less at the CC.
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Old 08-21-05, 04:46 PM
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Yeah, I agree. Four-year schools are losing their quality pretty quick and are becoming very expensive mainly because of increased attendance rates and departments being more interested in attracting research funds instead of teaching. For example, when I started school four years ago, the freshmen English and math classes were no bigger than 25 kids each class. Now the freshmen English and math classes have an average class size of about 1,000. But at least the higher level classes are smaller.

You said that you have weak math skills so at least start out the math classes at community college.
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Old 08-21-05, 11:07 PM
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Thanks, Ranger. I think that's a good place to start.
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