Sunday, January 12, 2020

Reply to Query: Towards a Much Higher Education

The academic tasks of graduate school are just a third of the entire thing. Here you are tasked to read and critic journals, answer questions in front of your classmates who are practitioners too, research, prepare and present concepts and cases, review, synthesize and pass regular exams then prepare exit requirements that are like an undergrad thesis.

The second 3rd is the comprehensive exams which are also called the great divider, coz the results will determine whether you can go on to the last 3rd. Here you have to prove that you remembered all the concepts in all the major subjects you took, somewhat like the board exams. Passing ALL the subjects in the compre would mean taking to the next level (but of course, for non-thesis masters degree students, an industry paper and added subjects in the compre would be the difference).

Then comes the preparation of the 3 concept papers which takes several months and weeks of waiting for acceptance. Once one of the 3 is approved, a proposal for research is expected which would take another semester (for some, years). Then comes the proposal defense, facing the panel to convince them that you are indeed equipped to finish a research that would add to the literature or produce answers to some of life's questions or solutions to some of life's problems or implications to some of the existing policies and concerns. The results may either be accepted, rejected, or subject for re-examination and/or re-defense. Once accepted, you go through the rigorous research process for a year (for some, years) then go through the same panel defense again.

The doctor's degree is another thing, which somehow would take the same process, only that it would be much more comprehensive. Readings are doubled or tripled, presentations much longer and wider in coverage and exams more nerve-cracking.

Fast forward to comprehensive exams then dissertation work... For some universities, a public forum or plenary presentation is required before you are allowed to have your proposal defense... and a publication in an international journal is required before you are allowed to go through the final defense of your 3-part or 4-part dissertation which you are also bound to present in public for dissemination and utilization.

Graduate school is not for everyone (what I really meant was, it is not for the faint of heart). It is not even only for those who have high IQ... it requires higher EQ and FQ and AQ and SQ and whatever else. What's more challenging is the mandate to always produce scholarly works or else feel like you are not deserving of your degree... and the call to always be humble and see people and circumstances in a much wider and deeper perspective. If you know of some who do not act that way, and possibly didn't go through the same process but acts like a know-it-all, then it's a personality thing :) After all, there are public servants who do not serve the public and church people who also defend the violators of the 10 commandments. Ganun lang

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