Master of Education—Administration and Leadership in Education
Research Adviser: Dr. Renée Kuchapski
Program Entry Date: September 2016
The purpose of my research study is to explore the perspectives of three urban high school principals on the implementation of policies that support the goal of “Ensuring Equity” —identified as a key goal in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s new vision Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario (2014). Achieving Excellence is framed around the notion that the systemic barriers and discriminatory biases that exist in Ontario’s education system have created an environment that prevents students from achieving their full academic potential.
What made you choose Brock?
I chose Brock because of its multifaceted graduate programs and its renowned reputation for its Faculty of Education. From the moment that I explored the Brock University website to my first day on campus, I have received an abundant amount of support from faculty, staff, and administrators. It was without a doubt that Brock would ensure that I could accomplish my goals with the necessary support needed. As well, the welcoming atmosphere on campus provided me with reassurance that Brock would provide the best environment for my education.
What have you learned in your graduate education that you would share with future or current students?
While in my graduate education I have learned the profound lesson to look at every situation I encounter with the intent to change the mess into a message. Similar to an undergraduate program, the graduate program will provide sleepless nights, struggles as well as many successes. Despite any obstacles and set-backs, I encourage you to enjoy the moment you are in because you will never get to relive the same experiences with the same individuals. Enjoy the conversations held in lectures and the learning process that you will undergo as a student. While in your journey, align yourself with the pathway to be able to share with others how you have overcome the challenges faced, to be the individual you are today and will be in the future. In all situations, ask yourself how you can change the mess into a message.
What services have you used to help you overcome any challenges?
The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation is a service that has helped me strengthen my teaching skills as a Teaching Assistant. The Centre offers a variety of workshops and resources to help students address areas of improvement. Through the workshops, I obtained the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Certificate which assisted me in the challenges I faced as a Teaching Assistant.
What are your tips for thriving in grad school?
Two tips that have helped me thrive in my graduate studies are as follows:
- Create a plan—but do not solely rely on the plan
I am a firm believer that creating a short-term and long-term plan is essential for accomplishing the goals you want to achieve as a graduate student. One thing I learned in my academic journey is that life does not always go according to plan. Do not limit your aspirations to the initial plan that you create. Create a plan b, c, and d to ensure you are prepared for the surprises that may come along in your journey. Practice the ability to be flexible and open-minded to change without compromising your goals.
- Get involved
Get involved early in your academic journey at Brock and not for the intent of adding a filler on your résumé or CV, but because you are truly invested in what you are doing. Find a cause or activity either on campus or off campus that you are passionate about. The Brock community has established a great network of contacts and resources that will meet a variety of your needs. I consider my education to be important but by growth and development as an individual is equally as important. Volunteer opportunities with the Graduate Student Association and presenting at the annual Mapping the New Knowledges Conference are two prime examples to meet your needs as a student and a researcher.
Do you feel your degree has prepared you for your plans academically and otherwise?
My degree has tremendously prepared me to be the researcher and adult educator that I am. While in the Master of Education program, I obtained a well-rounded portfolio of knowledge and transferable skills. Courses offered by the faculty provided a wide variety of theoretical knowledge that supported my curiosity and areas of research interest. I was challenged to go beyond the confinements of a classroom to seek alternative solutions to dilemmas in the education system. I am thankful for the opportunity to have strengthened my writing, public speaking, and qualitative research skills through the guidance of prominent professors and educators.