Thursday, March 7, 2013

Searching for Schools

My current class is going swimmingly, A++++ and all that, but we've gotten to the point in the course when we start evaluating our future educational plans, and it's been a struggle.

I am certain that if I had savvier educational counselors working with me that I wouldn't be having a meltdown, but I really don't feel that I do. I don't want to complain about them, because they have helped me out a lot, and I wouldn't be enrolled and as far into my education as I am if it weren't for the often clumsy help of these generous people. Though they sometimes frustrate me, I still make a point of appreciating them because being is school is the best, and I need all the help I can get. Unfortunately it seems that none of these people have much experience with migraine-disabled, online-only students, although I have to admit, I am a minority within a minority in this case.

So, I'm going through the resources I do have for this educational plan-making, and I've built a spreadsheet of schools laying out their merits and potential paths of study. It's so tedious, and has been rather fruitless so far, I'm having visions of violence. I'm not even sure if I'm factoring in everything that I need to. Should I be interviewing disabilities departments? Do I just apply to ALL THE SCHOOLS and see what they say? And I'm guessing that if none of these schools has the perfect program for me that I can cobble together my own education from different institutions, but I have no idea how that works.

Right now, it's between finishing my AA in general studies at a familiar-ish school and figuring out the BA later, getting the AA in English at one of several choices of mysterious online schools (that I've never heard of but they have have the shiniest websites), and getting a technical writing certificate at a UC extension. Here's where the spreadsheet comes in, and I don't know if I'm helping or hurting myself with all this information anymore, but I've got success rates, class offerings, estimated transferable units, and several columns of formulas that break down how long it will take me to earn each degree, according to my estimates and what I could find on the schools' websites. Despite, or possibly because of, my hyper-vigilant researching, I'm overwhelmed and confused. Should I go for the Gen Ed AA since all the online English degree schools have comparatively crappy success rates? Or is it more important for me to get that English and writing education and experience in my pocket, since that's what I want to be doing for a living.

Did I remember to mention it here? That I chose technical writing as a career goal? I can't remember and I can't be bothered to go back and check entries because if I do, I'll get distracted and not post this for another few days. My brain is uber occupied by this career and education stuff and though I keep meaning to blog more frequently I'm surprised every week to find that so much time has gone by.

As it stands, I've emailed all the counselors some more; I've got one at my current school, another teaching the class I'm taking, and I'm working on picking up another at the aforementioned familiar-ish school, because if I'm going to cobble a degree together, that one is my best option, maybe. Hopefully one of these three people can help me figure out how to navigate these strange waters.