Monday, July 17, 2006

Welcome to the Graduate Student - Insider Blog

The New School: Arnold Hall Building
Well hello and welcome to the Graduate Student - Insider blog. I created this blog to share my insights and experiences as a graduate student in the M.A. in Media Studies at The New School in New York City and to hopefully provide enlightenment to new and future students. Also I hope that any existing students who are in the program would share their insights as well.

I've been in the program since Fall Semester, 2004, and I have been very happy with the program. I must say I couldn't have picked a better suited graduate degree that will help me move forward in my professional career. Not only that, but the program helps us think about the social impacts of the New Media and how it is changing the way we communicate worldwide. It's very exciting.

I originally planned to move to NYC to be an on campus student but decided to stay in San Francisco where I currently reside to complete the program. After seeing the cost of living in NYC, I thought I would stay where I was at and complete the program 100% remotely, as many existing students form all over the U.S.and worldwide are currently doing. Some are doing a combination of attending classes on campus and onsite; some are strictly on campus or strictly online, while others complete the program primarily online but complete the production sequence during the summer semester onsite which is another option, which is necessary for students interested in film, video, and audio production. It was easy for me stay remote since I chose the Web/Multimedia sequence to fulfill the required production sequence. There is remarkable versatility to what The New School offers in that regard and I must say this University is light years ahead of the traditional universities in making available an advanced portal system to provide a very high quality and esteemed graduate education. Saying it is "light years ahead" is truly an understatement.

One of the first I things I did as an online-only graduate student to feel connected was I flew to NYC to attend the graduate orientation in person in 2004. That single first act has made all the difference while I’ve been in the graduate program. It was extremely helpful to meet my professors and fellow graduate students and instrumental in helping me feel connected to the University these past two years. I've met many other online-only students from all over the U.S.and worldwide in my courses who felt removed and distant from the program, from the professors, and from other students for the simple reason that they physically are not on campus taking the courses. But what helped me was I decided at the onset to be proactive and over the course of two years in the program, I stayed connected by doing a number of things which I will share in my next post.

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