Questions and Answers with Career Expert Dan Rosenfield
Please note: On a somewhat infrequent basis, Quintessential Careers asks noted career experts five questions related to their expertise and publishes the interview in the current issue of QuintZine, our career e-newsletter. Those interviews are archived here for your convenience.
Dan Rosenfield, a former college counselor, dean, and director of admissions at the secondary school, college, and graduate school levels, publishes Web sites and a newsletter on the topics of going to college and graduate school.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What are the most important factors in choosing a grad school?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Typically, graduate school students work far more closely with faculty, especially in research-oriented programs, than they do at the undergraduate level. Thus, the interests and experience of individual faculty should be a student’s primary consideration in selecting a graduate school. Obviously, overall academic quality is also of primary importance, as are reputation, the availability of a strong job-placement program, and the existence of a strong alumni network within the profession for which a student wishes to prepare.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||To what extent should students incorporate career planning into their decision about what college/grad school to attend?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||Students are well served by choosing an undergraduate institution with a counseling center offering a comprehensive range of career and graduate school counseling services. Because many students enter college without a clear career choice, and many others change their career goals several times during their undergraduate years, it is critical they have access to professionals who can advise them on course and program selection as they relate to job and graduate school preparation. When selecting a college, students should be mindful of the fact that their interests and career goals are subject to change and consider most seriously institutions with a variety of strong programs. Students should be very cautious about choosing a specialty institution unless they are absolutely certain of their career goals.|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What’s the biggest “reality check” students face once they successfully make it into college or grad school? What surprises them most?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Students tend to overestimate the importance of co-curricular activities in the college admissions process. While activities can be a “tip factor,” particularly with colleges who must select a small number of students from a large applicant pool, program rigor, grades, and SAT scores are, by far, the most important criteria colleges consider in evaluating applicants, as they most accurately predict success in college.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What do you feel is the most disturbing trend in college recruiting today?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:|| Many students are reducing their options by considering only colleges relatively close to their homes and/or institutions whose names are familiar to them. Most students (85 percent) attend colleges within a three-hour drive of their homes, failing to even consider potentially good choices farther away.
Similarly, many parents and students assume that colleges whose names they do not immediately recognize offer less prestige and/or educational programs of lower quality than schools whose names they have heard more often.
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>Q:||What do you feel is the most exciting or hopeful trend in college recruiting?|
|ica” color=”black” size=”+4″>A:||The Internet has given students instant access to a wide range of information about colleges, college admission, and financial aid. In moments, students can review individual college Websites, perform free scholarship searches, learn SAT and ACT test-taking tips, sign up for college admission and scholarship email newsletters, and request information from colleges.|
Dan Rosenfield, a Dean at a major university, has worked in education for 30 years and has created websites to assist traditional and adult students seeking information on scholarships and adults looking for online colleges where they can earn a degree without interrupting their careers.
Check out all our interview with career experts in Quintessential Answers: Q&A’s with Career & College Experts.
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