Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year & New News for Our Graduate Programs!

Stockton has achieved many accomplishments and is continuing to grow. As the growth is occurring, the graduate programs are making advances too. Below are just some of the recent accomplishments that we would like to recognize programs for:

  • The Master of Science in Communication Disorders program has officially received accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology!


  • The Master of Business Administration has also received prestigious accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)!


  • The Master of Arts in Instructional Technology program is now offered completely online!


  • The Master of Arts in Holocaust & Genocide Studies program is now offered online as well as offering a new Genocide Prevention Certificate program!


  • The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is kicking off the school year with a new concentration in Administration and Leadership!



  • The Education program now offers many endorsements online including: Bilingual/Bicultural Education Endorsement; English as a Second Language; Special Education Endorsement; and the Principal/Supervisor Endorsement!



WE WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE ALL THE PROGRAMS ON THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!



To learn about all the opportunities that Stockton has to offer you can visit our website at the following link: http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=73&pageID=266.


-Steph J., Matt, & Steph W.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pet Therapy: The BEST Medicine


Meet my fur babies Chloe and Zoey đź’•

Chloe (my fist fur baby)

 Zoey (my second fur baby)


These two are the perfect stress relief to get through finals. I was actually reading an article the other day that dogs have shown to decrease anxiety and reduce blood pressure. I feel as though any cute animal can make anyone feel better. Here are just a few reasons why fur babies can help you get through stressful times like finals:

·         They know when you need a break from schoolwork.

·         Sometimes when they are up to no good, they make you laugh.

·         They are the perfect pillow for when you need a quick power-nap.

·         They are always there to listen...or help you when you cry.

·         They are always there for a quick hug or cuddle moment. 

Now, I am not saying you should go buy an animal, but maybe you could go visit a friends.Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, money, and time, but they are totally worth it. Sometimes playing with an animal is the perfect break you need from studying. It is good to just take a mental break and walk away for a little bit. Let's also not forget about food, sleeping, chocolate, and coffee- the essentials. I am so grateful to have my two fur babies as my mental break and to keep me sane throughout grad school.


GOOD LUCK ON FINALS!



-Steph J.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Semester is Almost Over- You Can Do it!

It is now time to finish the semester strong! I know going back to classes today was dreadful after having a nice little break because of Thanksgiving. But I was soon reminded that final exams are going to be soon approaching, so I have to stay focused. That is when I grabbed that extra cup of coffee in order to catch up on school work. Since finals are right around the corner, I want to provide you with some study tips that I have found helpful:
1.      Have time management- Even though you may feel that you have two weeks to study, it will approach really fast. You also need to make a schedule that works for you. Cramming may work for some people, but do you really retain that information? No. By making a schedule it can help you maintain your time management, so you are not that person that is cramming to remember information and setting your standards lower due to time restraints.
2.       Alternate study spaces- Studies have found that changing your study space can be helpful in retaining information. You also want to pick a space that you would be the most productive and feel comfortable in. For example, I am not good at studying in the library because I get distracted by people easily. Your personal study space preference could be different, but maybe change it up to find new spaces that may help you memory new information.
3.       Make a study group- I have found that study groups are the perfect thing to do before an exam. I know that myself and my peers will study separate and then come together into a study group in order to quiz each other. When working as a team, your friends could help you find a better way to remember information or provide you with a great explanation when you don’t understand something. Working in a group can also help you divide and conquer the schoolwork, like making a study guide.
4.       Make flash cards- I LOVE flashcards. This is the best way for me to remember information for a test and an easy way to quiz myself as well. Everyone has their own way to study though. I know other people who like to rewrite things over and over again. Personally flashcards are my go to when it comes to studying. I feel like flashcards are great because I am required to write down the information and then see it over and over again.
5.       Take mental breaks- Sometimes you brain needs a break! When making yourself a schedule, remember to include breaks. You also need to consider when you will be the most productive. Will you be more focused after eating a meal or following a gym session? I know that I will study for an hour and then give myself a break. Sometimes I just need to walk away, take a breath, and refocus myself before going back to studying.
6.       Don’t multitask- Even though you may think that you can multi-task- don’t! By only focusing on one thing, it can help you better retain the information. I remember in class participating in an activity that required divided attention and I learned how much information I was actually missing by trying to multitask. Even though I do catch myself trying to do more than one thing, I have found that when I do focus on one task it has truly helped when studying.
7.       Sleep!-I know that I will catch myself trying to stay up studying, wanting to just remember one more thing for the exam. That is when someone usually reminds me how important sleep actually is. As much as I don’t want to admit it, sleep is important and necessary. Just remember that finals are only going to be going on temporarily, so try to get a little extra sleep.
8.       Coffee and chocolate are essential, so keep them on hand :) - We all dread and hate finals! Always have chocolate handy for those moments when you feel a break down coming on. You also may find yourself drinking coffee a little- it helps!
Finals will be over before you know it! Hopeful my study tips above will be helpful. Please feel free to share any tips that you may have. The semester is almost over, don’t give up now!



 Thank you for reading!
-Steph J.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Have an Escape

Graduate school is going to hit you with its fair share of work (who woulda thought?). At the end of some school weeks, it will feel like Monday was a month ago. We all know what we signed up for and that requires us putting in major time and major effort to accomplish our goal of acquiring a higher degree. Putting in hours and hours of time on school work daily is stressful. When you feel that you have put in enough time (for now), you need to have an escape. The purpose of having escape is so you don’t absolutely lose your mind.

An escape can be a reward for all the work you have done or an escape can be something that is physically needed for you to continue on with your work a couple hours later or the next day. Everybody has a different escape plan. Some people escape to the gym to work out frustrations and let the mind be free, while others go out for ice cream with some friends (treat yourself!). Other escapes can be watching a movie, going for a walk, or the ultimate escape, sleeping.
I have several escape plans myself. Whenever I feel my stress boiling over I know it’s time to put one of them into effect. One of my favorite stress relievers is singing. I usually call up my friend who plays guitar and we sit around for a few hours and sing whatever comes up. They say music is good for the soul and I think there’s no better way of describing it. When I have the time, another escape of mine is cooking. There’s nothing better than having a home cooked meal. Cooking a good healthy meal is rewarding and takes your mind off of everything else temporarily. When you eat good, you feel good.
Finally, my last escape is my internship. Every couple Sundays I take the trip up to East Rutherford, New Jersey where I intern for the New York Jets. Walking into Met Life Stadium absolutely clears my mind. I grew up a huge Jets fan, so it’s still surreal to me that I get the opportunity to work for them. Being within that atmosphere and witnessing the games is the ultimate escape for me (although this season hasn’t gone as planned). The perk about my final escape is that I also get to see my family when I go North for the games. When you think you have had enough, go to your escape, and then come back with a determined attitude ready to take on whatever is next.



 
No better escape than spending time with your dog!
                                                                                                                    - Matt

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Feel About Your First Day of Graduate Classes.



Anxious, nervous, excited, worried; as I mentally prepare myself for my first day of graduate classes starting this September, I have felt all of these emotions. Do I really want to put myself through two more years of writing papers, late night studying, and everyone’s favorite in-class presentations? And time and time again my answer is… yes.

As the first day approaches, the usual jitters are normal. Remind yourself that you got into grad school because of what you have accomplished so far as a student and an individual. These combinations of emotions are all acceptable. As an undergraduate moving on to graduate school, you are jumping into the ‘unknown’.

The ‘unknown’ is scary, but it’s also awesome! If you think of every new step you have taken in your life you can look back and truly see how far you’ve come. If you are anything like me, you have anxiety about everything. I get anxiety thinking about anxiety. The one thing I have learned however, is that you cannot let anxiety dull who you are. Have a voice in class, be professional, and remember to take everything in before it’s all gone. This will also translate to who you are as an individual in the real world. You can feel how you want about the first day of graduate classes, but the fact is that they’re right around the corner.

You can have all of the feelings and emotions in the world, but alongside these sensations, what you should feel is READY.

Go get ‘em!

                                                                                                         - Matt



Monday, August 29, 2016

What You Can Expect: Undergrad vs. Grad

Since this is my first time posting on the blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Jurkovic and I am a student in the Master of Science in Communication Disorders program at Stockton. In addition, I currently am a Graduate Assistant (G.A) in the Office of Graduate Studies. I began my graduate school journey a little under a year ago. It is crazy for me to think that a year has already gone by! One thing I remember asking my friend (who was already a year into the program) was what to expect this coming year. I now can tell you from experience that graduate school is different than undergrad, that’s for sure. Graduate school is different for a few reasons, and here is what you can expect:

1.     Graduate school occupies a lot of your time
You will feel that your social life has disappeared and all extra time is spent doing work. It is okay though because those around you will understand. Also, you aren’t going to be getting a graduate degree for the rest of your life, so this is only a temporary sacrifice. The time will fly by!

2.       You have more responsibility
In graduate school, it is up to you to decide when you are going to complete assignments. You will receive the syllabi the first day and it is your own responsibility to know what is due when. You will also have to re-evaluate your time management skills because you will have more work on your hands then before. Your professors definitely hold you to higher standards in graduate school.

3.       Procrastination is NEVER a good idea
In undergrad you could probably get away with procrastination-everyone does it. Even waiting until the day before to study for a test. In graduate school, procrastination is not something that is recommended. In the end it just causes you way more stress than it is worth in the long-run.

4.       You will have a new definition of the word stress and flexibility
There will be times when you will look back to your undergrad years and think about how you whined about assignments: you will now see that those task where easy. You will also put your  multi-tasking skills to the test. You may find yourself eating, doing homework, while also completing another task. Whenever you get the chance, you will end up working on an assignment.
 

Don’t worry though, plenty of people have made it through the adjustment. You just need to stay positive and know that you can do it!






Keep checking our blog for tips on how to survive graduate school.

 Thank you for reading!

-Steph J. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Journey of A Lifetime




It is hard to believe that after 2 years and 3 months, my journey as a graduate student has come to an end. There have been many stressful moments, late night study sessions, missed social events/time with family & friends, sacrificed relationships, pig out sessions, and so much more but, it was all worth it!!! I am proud to say that I have passed my speech-language pathology praxis examination, my comprehensive program examination, and have officially completed my Master’s Program as of August 10th! I would have not made it through this journey without the support of my amazing cohort, family, fiancĂ©, work family, and friends. It takes a village to conquer graduate school! 

I have officially accepted a tenure track position as a speech-language specialist in an elementary school, where I will be working with children from preschool to 5th grade. It is crazy to think that this coming fall I will be starting school as a professional instead of a student! Talk about a major role switch. Before I leave, I wanted to leave you all with some tips that helped me pass my praxis, comprehensive examination, and overall how I got through my graduate school journey.

Passing the Praxis

Don’t wait until the last minute but, do not over study!!! So, like most of us, I am not a good standardized test taker and tend to give myself a lot of anxiety. You want to make sure that you study yes, but you don’t want to over study to the point where you confuse yourself or forget what the difference between morphology and syntax is (this happened to me one day lol). With the stress of finishing school, completing assignments, applying for jobs, and everything else your brain is already in overload.

The praxis book recommends studying at least 15-30 minutes a day. What worked best for me was studying in 20-30 minute increments. For example, I set aside one whole day or block of time (4-5 hours) and would read a section/take the chapter quiz, and then go watch television, play with my dogs, take a nap, make a snack, go for a walk, or just browse the internet. I did anything to help relax my brain and step out of the “praxis world”. This is key, because it truly can consume you if you let it. It is all a mental game, and you need to believe in yourself.

 About a month and a half before my test date, I started studying. First, I read the chapters where I didn’t have my classes yet, and then moved to areas where I felt I needed the most refreshing. After each chapter, I took the chapter quiz and gaged how well I understood the material. If I did well, I moved on, if I did not do well, I marked it and went back to it later. About a month before my exam, I started studying with one of my friends. We would meet twice a week and take a chapter quiz together (all pre-planned and organized so we would review the material prior). THIS REALLY HELPED! You don’t realize how much talking out a question and seeing someone else’s perspective helps you. Soon after that I started studying with another one of my friends who I have studied with throughout my entire program. This was an even bigger help for me because, she truly is my balance and helped me to not “over think” questions, which is a big part to taking the praxis. When taking the praxis and answering the questions here are a few things that helped me:

1.     Think of the answer that the Praxis Book would want, not what you learned in school and your clinical practicums. This is hard but, remember the people who wrote the praxis book also wrote the praxis. This is the same for if you take a test for a class, you would give the answer your professor would want.
2.     Take your time when you are taking the test. I read each question 2-3 times, especially if I don’t understand it. 
3.     DON’T RUSH! You have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete 132 questions, you have time!!!
4.     Believe in yourself and remember that you know more than you think. Trust yourself!

Passing Your Comprehensive Examination of Your Program (COMPS)

            Studying for my praxis really helped me with my comps. The information that you have learned in your classes and from your Praxis book will all begin to overlap. This helps the information really stick! Additionally, the week before the test a few people in my class and I all met up and divided up courses from each semester, and comprised a study guide. This was one of the best things we did because, it really helped break down the important sections from each course. You learn so much in your program sometimes it is hard to remember all of the key sections. Finally, the key to successfully passing was NOT STRESSING OVER IT! I went in with the mindset that I knew more than I thought, I passed my praxis, and I know I can do this. Remember to take a deep breath and reflect back on how well you did in all of your courses. Plus, as you are reading your comp questions you will be amazed at how much information comes flooding back to you!

Getting Through Graduate School

Some of the main things that helped me get through graduate school included:
1.     Support from my family, friends, and fiancĂ©. This was crucial for me because some days you will find yourself asking why you did this or how you will make it through. It’s nice to know that people are around you and supporting you every step of the way. 
2.     Having a positive mindset. You have to tell yourself the reward will be worth it in the end and that you can do anything you put your mind to. I took each semester class by class and towards my last semester It was day by day lol. The work always gets done, you will always do well if you try, and you just have to believe in yourself!
3.   My cohort was a big help!! Knowing that I wasn’t alone and having other people to turn to for clarification, help, and support was a blessing. Not to mention, I met some amazing people who have become close friends and was able to go through this journey with one of my best friends.
4.   Rewarding myself! When I finished a big assignment, a midterm/final, or a semester i treated myself to a night out, ice cream, a wine night, a night of no work at all, and so forth. All work and no play will drive you crazy! Take the time to reward your successes, no matter how big or small!
5. Taking time to Reflect! Their will be times you ask yourself why you did this, times you want to cry, and times you want to just give up. DON'T! Think back to why you did this, what made you embark on this journey. Most of all remember this, if it was easy everyone would do it. You were chosen to be a part of this graduate program for a reason. Just keep on pushing forward day by day, assignment by assignment. The work will always get done and the grades will come!





Your graduate career is going to come and go, take the time to enjoy it and be proud of all of your accomplishments. It has been an honor sharing my stories with you for the past 2 years. I hope my experiences and advice have helped you in your graduate programs. I have no doubt you will all do amazing things. Even though this will be my final post, I know you will be in good hands with Stephanie and Matt. I look forward to reading their experiences in their programs! 

Remember, you are stronger than you think and braver than you could ever imagine!! Best of luck in all you do and thank you for letting me share my graduate school journey with you!




<3 Jessica 



Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Survive Your “Breakdown Moments” in Graduate School!


             Being in Graduate school pushes you to limits you never thought existed both mentally, physically, and emotionally. The long nights of studying, stress and anxiety of tests and homework, and most of all the always being busy with school work and having to give up you social life time. After a while you start to miss being able to do whatever you want on the weekends, coming home from work and kicking your feet up, and being able to go with the flow of life and attend BBQ’s, parties, family events, and have nights out with your friends without planning ahead. In the chaos of it all, we often find ourselves saying phrases such as: “why did I do this to myself?”, “Why did I think this was a good idea?”, “I am so over it!”, “I just want to be done!”, “I don’t care anymore, I am so over it!”, “I just want to give up, I am so tired!”, and more.

This is when we have to look in the mirror and give ourselves the reality check we need. When all else fails, have a vent session with your parents, best friend, sister, brother, significant other, whoever your person/people are. How I personally get through my “breakdown moments” is by either venting with my best friend who is also in my program which is amazing because, she understands first-hand, or I call my mom! We are human and this happens! It is so easy to get distracted by the stress of the now and forget why we are doing this. This is when you have to remind yourself of a few things:

1.       Your reason for going to graduate school in the first place.

2.       How having your doctorate or master’s degree will better your life in so many ways.

3.       If it was easy everyone would do it!

4.       In the long run all of your hard work is going to pay off so just keep on pushing!

When all else fails some things that I do to help me when I feel like I just want to give up and have lost all motivation are:

·         Working out: Working out just makes you feel better on the inside and out and personally helps me focus better.

·         Take a break: I take a break from school work and go enjoy myself for a day. All work and no play makes for a very unhappy person.

·         Look up inspirational quotes: This sound cheesy I know, but sometimes I just need a little pick me up about life.

·        Indulge: I will treat myself to a nice dinner, ice cream, cake, and so forth. I work by butt off and shouldn’t deprive myself is what I tell myself to make me feel better lol.

·         Watch a movie: sometimes escaping into another world is just what my mind needs.

·        Vent: I am the type of person where sometimes I just need to get it all out. I let my frustrations, anxiety, and stress build up and if I don’t vent I will simply blow! This is when it calls for a serious mom call or chat with my best friend.

Most of all remember that you are not alone, we have all felt like this at some point during graduate school and ITS OKAY!!!

          These are just a few things that help me get through my “breakdown moments”. I would love to hear what helps you get through your “breakdown moments?”
 
 

                                                                                                                                -Jessica