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Re: [teacherartexchange] graduate assistant


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Apr 04 2007 - 06:31:29 PDT

>I have been offered an assistantship at the local
>college for Art Ed PhD program but the stipend would
>be only $10,000 a year. In making the offer, they said
>'not many teachers can accept this.' Duh! I wondered
>how other people possibly made this work in some
>creative way. I want to do it but it is such a huge
>pay cut. I have a family to consider as well as
>myself. My bit of research is even more
>discouraging--it shows this to be a typical stipend
>for graduate assistants. It is not even enough for
>rent! Does one get grants to supplement this?

I saw graduate study as an investment in myself and my future. Graduate school is not a job that pays a living wage. Assistantships may be best for those without prior teaching experience. I also had a family and a good teaching salary before starting work on my final degree. I had already completed the masters (using summer courses). After calculating the cost of three years on assistantship pay, I took a pass on the assistantship. One year of full-time course work to meet residency requirements for the degree was a better deal for me.

Find out what the residency requirement is. In many programs you can get a Ph.D. with one year in residence plus course work in the summers. You can get some dissertation credit for research work while you are back on you regular job--getting regular pay.

I was lucky that my employer was willing to grant an educational leave for one year so I could return with full salary after one year. As an experienced teacher the graduate assistantship does not add many resume points for teaching experience.

Some offer tuition grants because they need more good students. Some give tuition grants in exchange for help on their research. The research may count toward your dissertation work or it may give you resume credit if you can publish peer reviewed articles in journals with joint authorship shared by you and one of the art education professors.

Check on the time limit allowed to complete the degree. Many schools have a limit on the number of years allowed.

There are many factors to consider. How much do you want it? How many years will you and the world benefit from your increased abilities? What sacrifices will you have to make? None of us knows how long we will live, but if you have enough years left, the salary alone makes education a good investment.


Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art Emeritus
Goshen College, 1700 South Main, Goshen IN 46526
studio phone: 574-533-0171??

"Art is me when I am myself." ... a kindergarten girl when asked, "What is art?"
"You can't never know how to do it before you never did it before." ... a kindergarten boy working with clay for the first time.


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