Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Penn GSE

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It's almost Thanksgiving and we at Penn GSE are looking forward to celebrating with family, friends, food, and a few days of rest and relaxation! This year we are thankful for YOU - the diverse and talented group of individuals considering Penn GSE as a place to share and develop your passions. We hope you have a very happy holiday!

Please note, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday the Penn GSE Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will be closing at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 and will remain closed until 9:00 AM on Monday, November 30, 2015. We will respond to your emails and phone calls upon our return.

If you also have a break from work or school, consider using this time to work on your application to Penn GSE! Remember, you only need to upload your personal statement, resume, and information for your references before you click "submit". Your remaining materials, including transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation may arrive later.

If you are applying for a doctoral program or one of our master's programs with a deadline, make sure your supplemental materials are submitted by the due date. Your file will not be sent for faculty review if it remains incomplete. Monitor the status of your application materials through your ApplyWeb homepage.

As always, see our complete application instructions and Frequently Asked Questions for more detailed information, and contact the Admissions Office with any remaining questions or concerns - admissions@gse.upenn.edu or (215)898-6415.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) Program Still Accepting Applications

  • Are you an educator in a formal or informal setting? 
  • Are you interested in fully-online or blended learning environments? 
  • Do you want to develop proficiency in facilitating these learning environments and integrating technology?

Did you answer "yes" to any of these questions? If so, we encourage you to check out the Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) program at Penn GSE. This certificate-program is completed entirely online with both synchronous and asynchronous components in only two semesters of coursework.

VOLT is accepting applications for the Spring 2016 term until December 10, 2015.

Individuals who hold Instructional I or II certification in Pennsylvania may earn PA State Department of Education Online Teaching endorsement upon successful completion of the program.

For more information about VOLT, see the program website or contact the program at volt@gse.upenn.edu.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Q&A

It's almost the weekend, which means it's the perfect time to answer some of the common questions we received this week!

Q. Bob asked, "My application account shows that my application status is "ready for review". Does that mean the review of my materials has already started or not? Is this the final status before a decision has been made by the admission committee?"

A. Thanks for your question, Bob! "Ready for Review" indicates that your application is complete and has been sent for faculty review. The status will not change until you receive your official decision letter. If you are applying for one of our Ph.D. or non-executive Ed.D. programs, the file review will begin December 8 (the application deadline) and decisions will be released in early- to mid-March. If you are applying for one of our master's programs on rolling admission, your faculty will be reviewed as soon as it is complete ("ready for review") and a decision is usually rendered within 6-8 weeks. You will receive notification of your decision electronically; we do not mail paper copies of letters. Good luck!

Q. Anne Marie asked, "I am concerned because I ordered my GRE score report to be sent to your office in September but it is still not reflected on my online application checklist; could you confirm that my score report has been received?"

A. You're not alone, Anne Marie! If your personal information on the GRE (or TOEFL) test score report does not match the information on your application exactly they will not automatically match in our application system. ETS does not allow for spaces in names so if your first name on your application is "Anne Marie" and the first name on your GRE report is "Annemarie" they won't match. The same is true for last names. Fear not! This is an easy fix! Simply email admissions@gse.upenn.edu and provide us with your birth date and approximate test date and we can manually locate and match your scores to your application file.

Q. Sarita asked, "I am applying for a Ph.D. program at Penn GSE. I scheduled an appointment to take the GRE on December 10 which is after the deadline. Will my application be reviewed by the admissions committee before my GRE scores arrive or will my application not be considered for this year?"

A. Sarita, this is a common question at this time of year. Our application deadline for Ph.D. and non-executive Ed.D. programs is December 8, 2015. Only applications which are complete by that date are guaranteed a faculty review. We still encourage you to submit the scores and complete your application because occasionally the faculty will choose to review applications which are complete shortly after the deadline, but it is not guaranteed. Our advice to all applicants is to plan ahead and complete all of the necessary components of the application in advance of the deadline to ensure the application will be reviewed. If your file is incomplete and misses the review deadline we will hold your materials in our office for one year, in case you wish to re-apply next year and use the documents. For those definitely interested in pursuing a graduate program next year, we encourage you to consider submitting an application for one of our master's programs which operate on rolling admission.

We hope these questions and answers were helpful to you today. Keep submitting your questions via the blog comments or by email to admissions@gse.upenn.edu and we'll answer more next week!

Have a great weekend, and keep working on those applications!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

...And We're Back!

We've missed you!

Let's re-cap what has been going on at Penn GSE since our last update:

  • The school year began! We welcomed nearly 700 new graduate students from across the globe to our 30 different programs. To see a snapshot of the new class, check out our class profile.
  • Among those new students are our wonderful Admissions Graduate Assistants! These students from various programs will be blogging throughout the year to give you an unfiltered, inside look at what student life is like at Penn GSE. Their blogs are linked on the right side of this page, but you can see more information about the students here. Feel free to leave comments or ask them questions through the blogs! 
  • In September and October the Admissions team traveled across the country to meet lots of prospective Penn GSE students; New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, and everywhere in between! Did we miss your city? Leave us a comment to suggest locations for future visits.
  • We've scheduled several online events to connect with you, wherever you are! Upcoming events include a virtual information session for our master's programs on December 3 and a web chat with current students on November 18. More online events can be found on our website.

A Few Quick Reminders of Upcoming Events
  • Our annual Open House will be this Saturday, November 14 from 1:00-4:00 PM on Penn's campus in Philadelphia, PA. This year's event features a welcome and school overview, mock class session by Dr. Shaun Harper on equity and diversity in higher education, a Q&A with a current student panel, program breakout sessions, and campus tours. It's not too late to register - we hope to see you there!
  • The deadline to apply for Fall 2016 admission to our 8 Ph.D. and 4 non-executive Ed.D. programs is December 8, 2015. All application materials must be received by that date to guarantee a faculty review. More information on this process in an upcoming post.

Until next time, keep working on those applications, and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

GSE Students Engage in Summer Fieldwork

Even when classes are not in session, GSE students such as Shruti Bhat are engaged in their field of study. This summer, Bhat, who will receive her degree later this month, traveled to Afghanistan through an internship with the International Education Development Program, a recent Penn News piece states. 

Bhat’s work this summer has involved developing a curriculum for young students alongside the Aga Khan Foundation and the Institute for Professional Development. The news piece notes, “Together, they will create the Grade 0 curriculum which is designed to help non-native Tajik speakers in Tajikistan make the transition from programs taught in Pamiri, the local language, to Grade 1, where the instruction is given in Tajik, the national language.” 

Bhat has kept a blog chronicling her time overseas, in which she has referenced the ways in which her GSE education—which helped her prepare for the trip—has played a role in her summer work. “The theme that I encountered so often in many of my classes at Penn of how ‘Context Matters’ really became apparent through this field visit,” she writes in one post about her first time at a school in Tajikistan. 

Check out the full news story—as well as Bhat’s blog posts—to learn more about her summer adventure.