Long Time Lurker Looking for Advice on Choosing a Program

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Library Mouse, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Library Mouse

    Library Mouse New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I've been lurking around these forums on and off for a few years now, and I finally decided to join.

    I will graduate in December from San Jose State University's online MLIS program, and I am hoping to begin work on a second degree by Spring 2019. I am little conflicted about what type of program I want to do, as there are many areas that I am interested in.

    I believe that I have it narrowed down to:
    English (Professional or Technical Writing Emphasis)
    Instructional Design/Educational Technology

    That said, I have a few schools in mind. My priorities are:
    - Regional Accreditation
    - Reasonable Cost
    - Completely Online
    - No GRE

    I appreciate any help or advice. Especially in terms of Instructional Design programs, as I have done the least research on those.

    I'm pretty interested in the following programs:
    University of Wisconsin--Stout M.S. In Professional and Technical Communication: http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/mstpc/index.cfm
    (I could also complete the Grad Cert in Instructional Design as a part of the program.)

    Tiffin University Master of Humanities (Either English or Communications Option): https://go.tiffin.edu/masters-programs/master-of-humanities/

    Boise State Master of Educational Technology: https://edtech.boisestate.edu/programs/masters-edtech/
  2. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    My advice is to repeat your questions in the topmost forum as they may not be much seen in this forum.

    @Library Mouse
  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Welcome! I'm moving this thread to the main forum so it gets more views.
  4. Library Mouse

    Library Mouse New Member


    I'm also curious if anyone can tell me whether there are more opportunities/less competition for adjuncts in communications than there are in English. I know English is very competitive, I am just wondering whether Communications is less so.
  5. sube

    sube Member

    Hi Library Mouse,

    I can't answer your question, but I am curious what you think of the San Jose MLIS program because I've been thinking of applying myself. Thanks,
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    A degree program, like any other educational program, is nothing more than a tool to help you reach your goals. You just went through the time and expense of picking up a MLIS degree when apparently it wasn't your goal to be a librarian. So before you jump in and do something like it again, ask yourself what it is you really want to do. When you know that, which program to take -- if any -- should be much more clear.
  7. Library Mouse

    Library Mouse New Member

    I actually do want to be a librarian! I currently work in an academic library at a community college (paraprofessional position, not as a librarian), but I am looking to move to a four year college when applying for professional librarian positions. The colleges in my area require a second masters degree in order to achieve tenure, which I would like to do. This is why I don't have one particular degree in mind - because I (almost) have the masters degree that I need to be a librarian.

    With the second masters, I wouldn't mind trying to pick up adjunct work on the side when and where possible. Sorry for the confusion, I suppose I should have made my purpose for getting the second masters degree more clear! It is to supplement my current path, not to find a new career.

    As with many online programs, it is what you make of it. I have enjoyed SJSU. I like that there are many electives that support a wide range of interests. Most of the faculty members that I have worked with have been great, and I've taken some very interesting classes. I have also had a couple of duds. The student organizations are quite active, so it makes it easier to be involved and to feel like a part of the community.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Hi Library Mouse, welcome to the board.

    Regarding your question, I'm just a guy on the internet, so take my reply for what it's worth. (I feel uncomfortable giving people career counseling.)

    But as you no doubt know, libraries are going online big-time. But many of the older more established librarians have more traditional library backgrounds. Which suggests that lots of libraries may want to hire individuals who know their way around computers and can help them with their online delivery. That's an even more pressing need for university libraries that are trying to meet the needs of thousands on online learners in their schools' DL programs.


    So I'm guessing (that's all it is) that you might make yourself more employable if you go with the Ed Tech program.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  10. Library Mouse

    Library Mouse New Member

    Thank you all for the advice so far. I took all of this into consideration, and now it is time to make some decisions.

    I was accepted to:
    University of Wisconsin-Stout Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication
    Boise State's MET in Educational Technology

    U-Wisc: I will complete a certificate in Instructional Design as a 12-credit concentration in the program. After that, I will only need about 6 more classes to graduate. There are enough English courses in this degree that I could potentially pursue any of the following:
    Instructional Librarian (#1 job goal!)
    Instructional Designer/Technologist (#2 job goal)
    Continue to work in the publishing industry.
    Supplement any of the above by adjuncting English

    Boise State:
    Instructional Librarian (#1 job goal!)
    Instructional Designer/Technologist (#2 job goal)
    Continue to work in the publishing industry.

    The Boise State program might be more well regarded than the U-Wisc. program.
    The Boise State program is slightly less expensive.
    The U-Wisc degree can be completed in a shorter amount of time, since the instructional design certificate is accelerated.
    Can I get a job as an instructional designer (if I end up going that route while looking for a library job) with only the U-Wisc instructional design certificate?

    Right now I am leaning toward U-Wisc, but I keep second guessing that this will be the right choice. I am afraid that by opening one door, that I am closing others. I'd appreciate anyone who has any thoughts or opinions on either of these schools or programs, or any opinions about what degree might be the most useful.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

  12. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    It looks like adjuncts are fighting back.

Share This Page