Online Education

Last Friday, I decided to take an on-line course for my TESOL (Teaching English to Speaks of Other Languages) certification. It’s a “100-hour” course and I opted to do it without a tutor. When I finish studying the 20 lessons (and filling out the 20 worksheets because I’m diligent like that), I will take their final test. So long as I complete the test within 24 hours of downloading it and pass the test, I will get  a certificate valid for 10-years.

I decided to go through the ITTT program because my friends have used it and I found it mentioned on a couple of forums (not just through their website). The material is pretty uninteresting and a review from what I already know, go figure. I guess that comes with my teaching experience, all the classes I took for my Teaching Certificate, and the fact that I have a Bachelor’s in English. (I don’t need the certificate to work in Korea because of my background, but I’m hoping it will give me an edge for when I apply to universities here.)

In addition to taking this class, I’m back to looking at graduate schools. I don’t really want to go to a ‘on-line school’ but, obviously, I’m in Korea and attending and being a traditional student is basically impossible. (I have little to no interest in becoming a student at a Korean University.) Anyway, this time around, the programs I’m looking at are through actual Universities in the States. While I cannot attend their campus, I can still get a Master’s degree through their distance learning and/or on-line programs.

In researching programs, I’m having to really think about which degree I want. I don’t want to spend $20,000 for a degree I don’t want or can’t use. The programs available on-line are fairly limited, which makes it more difficult to find exactly what I want. On the plus side, it means I have less choices to narrow down. I have thought about continuing my education in English, but I have decided that I don’t want to have a focus on literature. I’d rather have a focus on writing, editing, or communication (something along those lines). While I was researching various English programs, I encountered a major that caught my interest: Web Strategy and Design.

For my potential future career, I don’t want to have a limited Master’s degree. I thought about getting a degree in teaching English as a second language, or teaching adults…but I don’t know if I want that career and those degrees are difficult to apply to other fields. English degrees are, of course, flexible, but I don’t really want to deal with literature any more (that and acquiring books in Korea is pricey). There are, fortunately, a few universities that offer different concentrations in English. The Web degree appeals to me because I’ve toyed around with the idea of doing free-lance work. Being able to create my own website to promote my writing, or even offering services in web design in addition to writing, would be awesome.

Anyway, I don’t have a future clearly chosen for me, and I guess it’s why I’ve put off making a decision about graduate school for a while now…well since my previous application attempt last summer. If I want to start in the Fall, most deadlines are around July. I’m still currently researching different schools in and programs. It’s a bit overwhelming and I’m not sure if I’ll apply for the Fall or if I’ll wait until the Spring of 2013.


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