A Silent Success: Master's Education in the United States

A Silent Success: Master's Education in the United States Master s degrees have often been relegated to second class or consolation prize status by administrators and faculty in higher education But the first major study of master s education in than thirty years recently made headlines by calling the degree the silent success of American higher education In a lead editorial about the study, the Washington Post agreed that the master s degree is academia s secret weapon and an important bridge to the rest of the world In A Silent Success, Clifton Conrad, Jennifer Grant Haworth, and Susan Bolyard Millar present the results of their ground breaking study of master s education in the United States Basing their discussion on interviews with nearlypeople in a variety of fields, the authors identify key decisions that shape master s experiences and develop a typology of master s programs In doing so, they establish the surprising extent to which students, program alumni, faculty, and employers value master s education They find widespread agreement about the positive outcomes of master s education refined analytical skills, big picture perspectives, connections between theory and practice, and improved communication and professional skills A Silent Success concludes with a discussion of the characteristics of high quality programs and with specific recommendations for strengthening master s education The authors urge administrators to recognize the importance of master s education and terminal master s programs They call on state and federal policymakers to provide greater financial support for master s students particularly in fields such as nursing, education, and environmental studies They encourage employers toprovide flexible and supportive leave policies, as well as strong financial and in house support Finally, they invite students themselves to shape their master s experiences by joining student organizations, organizing colloquia, and nurturing collaborative learning experiences


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