Philly’s Neumann University Dean Finds Advanced Degrees Open More Doors
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The education system in our nation is going through some changing times right now, but one thing is still certain, people with college degrees earn more than people with high school diplomas (about $800,000 to $900,000 more in the course of a lifetime) and suffer less in periods of high unemployment.
Dr. Alfred G. Mueller II, the Dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Communication and Media Arts at Neuman University, Dr. Mueller, elaborates on the importance of receiving a good education and how it will benefit you for the rest of your life.
What degrees did you obtain in order to become a teacher?
“To teach full-time at the university level, I pursued my Ph.D. To teach in an elementary or secondary school, one needs only a baccalaureate degree with state certification in a particular area of education.”
What is the most challenging aspect of teaching in the classroom environment?
“For me, the most challenging aspect is learning how to get today’s students to understand the importance of the skills that I teach in the classroom. Today’s students often lack solid reading and writing skills and instead want to use a PowerPoint or Prezi and call it a day. After years of being told that they were “A” students because they learned to incorporate important elements of writing into a first draft, they find notions like “revising” difficult to grasp.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to enter into the teaching profession?
“If people are thinking about entering the teaching profession, I would recommend they do a reality check for themselves. First, a good teacher is a servant. If you are not interested in putting the needs of your students first, your career in teaching will be short-lived. Second, a good teacher needs to be self-motivated. After 20 years of teaching, I think that nothing beats the experience of watching a student grasp a concept that was giving him or her some difficulty just moments before. Lastly, I think that a good teacher is someone who walks into the profession knowing fully of what the reality of teaching entails.”
Do you feel a master’s degree in education would be helpful in your day-to-day career?
“I think the empirical evidence shows that those who do not pursue higher degrees get left behind in the market. The higher the degree, the more doors open for the job seeker. Beyond the economics of it, though, advanced degrees enable one to delve more deeply into a specific aspect of the field.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.