Representatives from more than 60 institutions were on hand Monday, Nov. 3, in a fair to guide CSUN students through the application process to graduate school.
Patricia Gaynor, assistant director for the Career Center’s Senior Year Transition and Employment Services, said the event ‘- officially dubbed ‘Graduate and Professional School Info Day 2008” ‘- would be of some use to students no matter their academic standing.
‘We have different, specific graduate programs’hellip;’ said Gaynor, ‘it’s not just for seniors.’
Participating organizations included the Kaplan Test Prep ‘- a firm offering services to those preparing for graduate school entrance exams like the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Outreach Coordinator, Brooke Ueable, who was manning the Kaplan booth said she was there to shed some light on the test procedures and to assist students.
‘We are a resource for any questions a student might have about grad school.’ said Ueable.’ ‘We are here to help students with grad school choices.’
Ueable also said she spends most of the time on campus trying to help CSUN students by holding free events, services and seminars.
Mariana Garcia, coordinator for the Alliances for Graduate Education in the Professoriate (AGEP) for the University of California, Irvine says she was at the event to tout her school’s biological science courses.
‘We want to make sure CSUN students learn about our doctoral programs’hellip;’ said Garcia, ‘the AGEP focuses on underrepresented minorities on stem cell discovery.’
Garcia called UC Irvine’s stem cell research program the ‘strongest’ of their biological science programs.
Speaking about the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Garcia said that her university is the only school specializing in computer sciences in the University of California system and has almost $6 million in additional funding for their research programs.
Therese Bagsit, senior director of admissions for the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, stressed the upcoming deadline for applications to her school’s graduate offerings.
‘You have to apply now,’ Bagsit said, referring to USC’s spring admission deadline. In spite of the choices available, some CSUN students in attendance were left less than satisfied with the event.
‘I am surprised USC’s engineering (department) haven’t showed,’ said civil engineering major, Mo Molai, 23.
Yang Wang, 23, who is also a civil engineering student expressed his disappointment as well. However the pair later discussed options with a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute representative.
Gaynor spoke about the relevance of holding a master’s degree.
‘It could be what brings you on top of the pile,’ said Gaynor. She added that the importance of holding a master’s degree also depended on a person’s ‘field of interest’ and timeliness of the application.
‘Historically, when the economy goes down people go back to school,’ Gaynor said.’ She said the economic downturn meant that ‘loans are limited,’ so now even if people did want to pursue a master’s degree it might be more difficult than before.
However Gaynor, who herself returned to school after a hiatus, said this should not dishearten students.
‘It’s never too soon or too late,’ Gaynor said.