Excited and nervous

I’ve made a big step today. I applied for the masters in art program at CSUS, and notified my advisors at Chapman I would be dropping out of the masters in education program. I’ve already completed my credential program there. I want to take a nine-week refresher biology course at a community college as soon as my current masters in ed course is over, instead of the next masters in ed course. This biology class will help me become “highly qualified” to teach science. I love biology.

I’m crossing my fingers that this redirection won’t cause any complications in my credential application. I’m also bummed that I have a final test on the night of my 40th birthday in a class I’m not planning on using anyway. It’s too far along in the term to simply drop the class. I also want to get an A to keep my 4.0 GPA at Chapman.

I’ve wanted a masters in art for a very long time but was daunted by the fact that a couple of the lecture classes are in the afternoons instead of evenings. Frankly, I pursued a masters in ed because it was available in the evenings. I’ve been talking with an advisor at CSUS, and she says that aside from the two lectures, the studio classes are primarily done at home. This is very appealing, especially now that I’ve set up a studio space in my house. If I get rehired at the school where I taught last year, I bet the principal will arrange my schedule to allow for a one-day-a-week afternoon class when the time comes. At first, I’ll start with the studio classes.

Here’s the statement of purpose I submitted along with my application to the graduate program today:

I am working full-time as an art and drama teacher for grades six through twelve in the rural town [name removed]. I live in Sacramento, about [removed] miles away from CSUS. I have an internship credential through Chapman University. I enjoy teaching immensely, and I have been told I am very good at it.

I would like to pursue a masters degree in art studio for three purposes.

First, I want to build on my existing artistic skills in drawing and painting. I feel that while I have a great degree of technical skill, I have a lot of room for growth in terms of technique, composition and conceptualization.

Second, I want to open up my teaching options. I am highly qualified to teach art, drama/English and technology. I am working toward adding biology to that list through additional college credits. I also have a background in teaching web and graphic design at Sacramento City College. It is my understanding that if I want to teach fine art at the college level, I need to obtain a postgraduate degree.

Third, quite frankly, a Masters degree will increase my salary as a teacher at the secondary school level.

I am a very driven and dedicated student at this point in my life. I maintain a 4.0 GPA at Chapman University, where I have just completed my credential program. I am wrapping up the final steps required before applying for my credential. This includes a lengthy lesson report and video project called “Task 4,” and an exit portfolio. I expect to complete these and apply for my single subject credential in art (and a secondary credential in English) by the end of March 2007.

My teaching blog can be viewed at:
My art portfolio can be viewed at:

Thank you for this opportunity!

I am so excited with the prospect of finally taking art and biology classes again!

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.

Good news! I can drop out of Chapman at the end of this class and not affect my ability to apply for my credential. This excerpt is from an email from the Education Program manager:

I am not surprised about your decision. Although, we hate to lose you as a student. I suspected you might want to be able to teach at the college level at some point.

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

One reply on “Excited and nervous”

I am in an awesome program at George Mason (Fairfax, VA) It is a Master in Arts in Teaching Art Education. ( includes several studio classes – it has been great – I student teach next fall. I have enjoyed following your blog – thanks,

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