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Considering taking a masters

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My ds has certain disabilities ( autism, SPd, add, )
He receives services but he learns the most from me, the more I learn, the more he progresses

Ashford university has online programs, I could do a masters in speech pathology , they they the intensive is one class every 5 weeks and I could get the title in 18 months.

The word intensive scare me. I know I shouldn't complaint, my son is with dad twice during the weekday and every other weekend. But when I am with him it is about him, he needs me after all
He only sleeps fro. 10 to 7 so studying after he goes to sleep is not an option

I have not thought about finances, because I need to figure out if I can do this thing.
I work full time and I have a 45 min commute each way.

They estimate I need to dedicate 10 to 12 hours a week, does that sound right?

I think this Weill allow me to help my son better, plus, on the personal selfish side, I am really wanting a change in careers I to something that relates to children.

Ashford also has a bachelors in child development.. Same amour of time... On the intensive

What do you think? Or better question is, how do I determine if I have what it takes?

Thank you!
post #2 of 16

Hi mama,


I'm about to start my online Masters' in distance education. I think the assessment you provided with regards to time commitment is low, but perhaps your program is different than mine. In my program, we are told to dedicate 6 to 9 hours per week, per course (3 credit courses). Since I will be taking 3 courses per term, I expect to need to dedicate 27 hours per week. Seeing as my DD is in daycare every day, that won't be a problem.


Oops scratch what I wrote. I just saw that you need to do one course per 5 week period. Then the 12 hour per week assessment seems right. Say you divide what you need to do over a 7 day period, you would need to put in a little less than 2 hours per day, every day. Is that do-able for you? Does your son attend daycare? How many hours per week is he with his father?


You could do a calculation over a period of 2 weeks (14 days), factoring in those that week-end where your DS is with his father, along with the hours during the week where he's with his dad. How many "free" hours does that give you, and are those enough to devote to your program (you would need 24 hours of studying/reading over a period of 2 weeks)? What about the other things you need to do...exercise, cooking, laundry, miscellaneous activities?


I would be careful in jumping into a program such as this one if you don't have free time during the day, and especially if your son is unable to spend time alone. It might end up with you being super frustrated. Have you determined what sorts of jobs you will be able to get once you have this degree? Are jobs such as those available in your area?


Don't get me wrong, I'm all for online programs leading to a career change. It's just a good idea to make sure that you'll have the time, energy and money to complete the program.

Edited by Halfasianmomma - 4/3/12 at 10:17am
post #3 of 16

I'm going to grad school and the amount of time and commitment are intense.  I work part time, making my own hours as a research assistant, which means I get to work on my project and get paid for it.  Next semester I'll have to teach....


Anyway, if I were you, I would either drop to part-time status at work, or quit and live off the university financial aid package you'd be awarded.  My DD doesn't have add or autism, but when I am with her, she needs my undivided attention.  It would be unrealistic to think I could get some work done while she's with me.  I've tried, tried giving her beading work, drawing, painting, etc.  just doesn't work, she wants Mami to do it with her.  And that's alright with me because I really love spending that time with her.  So that leaves me with very little time for homework and housework and a life.  It has really helped to just accept that as a fact and now I don't even try to do work while I'm with her.  That time is all about her now, and we have so much fun since I can turn off the "student" part of Mami.  I do laundry at night after she goes to bed, do some homework, catch up on emails/facebook.  I use my little spare time for a social life....it's only a few hours a week, but it's something and it gets me out of the house/library/coffee shop where I am most of my time doing homework (and posting on mothering  ;).   If you are a GO GO GO!! kind of person, you mind wing it, but if you are more relaxed/less active, it might not work out if you stay working full-time.



post #4 of 16

oh geeez, I just realized that you currently work FT. In that case, I would really consider dropping your job and living on student loans. I will be leaving my well-paid FT job in a month to start my degree, but this is after carefully budgetting and saving a good amount of money (also, I live with my parents so my expenses are very low).

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I really don't plan to use of my son's time for studying... Unless we are talking about posting a question or anything under 15-20 min

My son is with dad every other weekend and also tues and Thursdays nights. I do house work with my son, takes longer but it gets done and we do it together, including laundry, cleaning up, picking up etc, my house is low maintenance and now I'm on a 350sqft so it should be easier, still unpacking and settling though

So it means that when I don't have my son, and I'm not working, I could dedicate to studies.
I'm a go, go, go very focused and organized kinda person, but still afraid to do jump into a 20hr week commitment! Specially because I would need to do about 30hrs one week and only 10 the week when I have him on the weekend!

That is for example 3 hours tuesday night, 3 hours on Thursday nights and 24 hours on the weekend! Sounds insane!

I vote for saving a bunch of money... I have a lot of fine tuning needed for my budget, then in octuber is my last car payment and my last card debt payment, God willing. That would be a good time to find a part time job, ( or try with , my current employer) and apply for student money...

I think that might be more sensible?
post #6 of 16

Is the program accredited with ASHA? http://www.asha.org/careers/professions/slp.htm


If not, you probably won't be able to get a job as a speech pathologist. I'd be leary of an entirely on-line speech pathology program, as a very good portion of the education is done in a clinical setting. I do not see Ashford listed in ASHA's programs list. ASHA is pretty much the be-all, end-all of licensing for speech paths.


I am going to start school in August to become a speech pathologist. I have zero college education, and I have two kids. I have decided to live on campus in family housing and hopefully just live on student loans/grants/scholarships. I'll be there six years.


According to everything I've read, in order to get this master's degree, you must have a bachelors in communication disorders or a related field (I'll be getting mine in speech-language-hearing, as that is what is offered at my school) before beginning a master's program. I strongly suggest you really, really look into this before spending money and time getting this degree, if you intend to pursue a career as a speech path.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you Penelope, it is not!
It has to be university of Phoenix for example

Now, I just felt totally in love with an occupational therapy masters , but it is in California!!,
University of southern California
OT is not something you can not do online greensad.gif I'm heartbroken, the other one I really like is in Canada!

Meanwhile I am just saving money and paying off all my debt.
I trust the Lord will show me the correct path. I would love , totally love to go to California to study, but I will not leave my son, nor can I take him with me....
post #8 of 16

Aw, I'm sorry, NewMom. Is there really no other school where you can get this degree? Do you mind saying what state you live in, maybe I can help you look. I know in my state, I can find four colleges/universities to study speech pathology (not sure about OT, I only know of two but haven't checked into it much). I'm in a rural midwestern state. I chose the school that I did for the family housing on campus. There is also an on-campus daycare, and scholarships available, for children under six. They also have a special-needs preschool/daycare center, although I have no idea what is involved in enrolling a child there.


Anyway, what I'm trying to say is to look closer at what is in your area. You might be suprised by what is around you.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
You are an angel Penelope!

I am in Florida,,, Broward county, but I can go easily to Miami-dade and palm beach counties.

I found 2 OT masters in driving distance, it is just that the program is very medically oriented, meaning, more emphasis in anatomy and phisiology than on healing therapy practice, like the one in CA..
post #10 of 16

No problem, NewMom! I'm glad to help, really, since I am just starting this journey, too. It's so overwhelming!


I will do a little digging tonight when I get home from work. :)

post #11 of 16

NewMom, I'm assuming you have a bachelors, what is it in? Unless it is medically related (or communications, should you decide on speech pathology) I'm guessing that you will have to take at least a year of pre-reqs before you can get into the master's program. Is this something you would be able and willing to do?

I suck at Florida geography, so you'll have to check to see if any of these locations work for you.



You'll want to look at this website:



Lots of OT schools in Florida!


Here are two that I thought were interesting:

The University of Florida has an OT program. They also have family housing on campus, if you are considering relocating. It seems pretty affordable.
OT department: http://ot.phhp.ufl.edu/academics/mot/program-description/

Family Housing: http://www.housing.ufl.edu/facilities/gradfamily/ratesgrad.php



Barry University sounds interesting. It's a private, Catholic college, so budget could be interesting (although you never know, they often have lots of money to give away) but this is the description from the OT section:  "On-campus occupational therapy courses are scheduled on two weekends each month in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, so that adults may continue to work or raise their families while preparing for a professional career."


There is no family housing available, however.



post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
You are awesome
You could considere blogging your experience for other moms!


You are right, my bachelor is in computer science and I called and I will need 8-9 pre reqs, which, yes, I'm willing and I should be able to take most at community college

I cannont move more than 50 miles from the dad because he has joint custody,
So I think my options are:

Barry, weekend program
I called dt augusting and they are planning to start a flex weekend program
Then there is nova, super expensive..
I need to cal golf coast, it's 3 hours from me, if Thelma have flex I could do it

It it is a flex plan I can keep my day job, it will be hard, but Doablr

Financial aid is very limited though, it's easier with technology and busies degrees

Thank you thank you!
post #13 of 16

New Mom, I have totally considered blogging my experience. I looked and looked to see if I could find anyone else who had already blogged it, but there is no one. I do think it would be helpful to people! Thanks for the encouragement.


Most of the financial aid I'm getting is loans, which is not very fun. If we wanted to be engineers we'd be in the clear! Lots of financial aid for that.


I hope you find something that works for you! Good luck with your journey.



post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

You'd could make some money that way BUT I have not done it myself.
I'm considering blogging my experience moving to a 350 sq ft and see if I can get some traffic
If I do, I'll let you know!!!

Meanwhile see if what Rosalind Gardner did resonates with you.

And you are totally right, engineers, business or some technology and we would be made!
For what i have found out for occupational therapy I would need to bleed some heavy " community leadership" and "academic excellence" plus navigate a maze of paperwork with no help to get 'up to' $5000 from different sources combined.

Not that I wouldn't appreciate $5000 but that doesn't cover tuition and I don't have the time or energy to become the woman they need me to be to fund me.

So, it seems I will get some financial aid (stafford ) but always needing to complement with student loans , yuk. But what can you do. Dreams must be honored!

what is it that your degree is in!?
post #15 of 16

NewMom, I have no degree yet! I graduated high school in 2001 and never went to college. I am starting from scratch. I'm planning to get my bachelor's in speech-language-hearing, and then go on to get my master's in speech pathology. It's a huge long undertaking, I'll be in school for at least six years. (Almost as long as my first-born has been alive!) But I am seperating from my husband and need to be able to support myself and the kids. In the short term, financial aid will do that, and in the long term, I'll be able to support us with my new degree. :)


Off to see who Rosalind Gardner is...

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

An update,

I decided not pursuing the masters
Full time job, small kiddo on ese, not realistic to expect help, and such a demanding program..
Plus I talked to the local universities and financial aid is very limited, I will for sure need to complement with personal loan.

I know I am meant to do something on the wellbeing area, but it won't be thorugh a masters.

So, I keep exploring!
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