Graduate Study Challenges

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Graduate Study Challenges and Strategies for Success Today’s graduate students face several challenges. They are completion of assigned tasks, effective time management, mastering APA guidelines successfully, and balancing home, family, work, and school. Coming up with effective strategies for managing each will be addressed in this paper.
The first challenge is to complete all assigned tasks in a timely manner. A good strategy is to create a list of ‘need to do’s’. This gives the student a reference point for beginning any assignment. For example, if one were to go through and check off each task as completed, there would be a better chance of keep oneself organized and focused on the goal. (Krammer, 2007) Keeping a journal is another strategy for staying on task. Writing down thoughts and ideas when one has them ensures that they will be available when the student goes to compile them in an organized way. A journal can be a sounding board for one’s ideas. As the student thinks of new ideas and writes them down, he or she can come back to the journal at a different time, and make corrections with a clear, independent outlook. (Perna, 2004) Time management is perhaps the most important challenge to overcome on the quest for completing graduate school. Many times, the graduate student finds himself or herself with a full time job and family obligations, in addition to the awesome requirements of graduate school. The ability to manage each successfully will make the job of succeeding at each more rewarding. Journaling may support development of critical thinking, which is very important for successful completion of online graduate studies. (Astleitner, 2002) Critical thinking is a mental activity. The practice of critical thinking involves writing, engaging coworkers and family members in one’s thoughts and ideas. Including one’s boss in the decision to return to graduate school, may allow for an easier time with rearrangement of work schedules to meet



References: Astleitner, Hermann. (2002). Teaching critical thinking online. The Journal of Instructional Psychology, 29(2), 53+. Perna, Laura W. (2004). Understanding the decision to enroll in graduate school: sex and racial/ethnic group differences. The Journal of Higher Education, 75(5), 487+. Krammer, Linda Weston. (2007). A personal reflection: Graduate study challenges and strategies for success. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 26(4), 158-159.

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