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Should I switch Grad Schools with a different program?

dcastomdcastom Posts: 3Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Graduate School
Hi guys,
I have been constantly researching and asking friends and families if I should move to a different graduate school with a different graduate program. I am currently in a CSU campus doing the MS Counseling Program(MFT)/PPS credentials. I love the program and the reason why I decided to go there in the first place is due to being a dual program in MFT and school counseling; however it takes me almost 4 hours just driving to school and coming back home. I commute two times a week, but I notice it is becoming a hassle, plus I am not sure if I will need to drive more than 2x per week next year due to class schedule conflicts. I have 2 part-time jobs by where I live so I cannot move near the campus, plus I cannot afford to move out due to financial reasons.

So I was thinking of switching to another CSU campus that is 20 minutes near where I live so I can save up the 4 hrs of driving back and forth. If I end up transferring there, I will apply for the MSW program since my main goal is to get licensed in order to become a therapist. In addition, I realized that if I become bored with doing therapy, I can focus in another occupation since the MSW degree is quite flexible compare to the MFT. I will also try to get the PPS credential since school counseling interest me a lot.

As for the cons, only 9 units will be transferrable to the MSW if I switch; which its okay since I am barely going to complete my first semester with 13 units (so I will loose 4 units). I also need to apply for the Fall of 2013 term, in which makes me feel like I wasted a year with my education. Nonetheless, the program I am doing now correlates the MFT with PPS credentials so I can finish in 3 years; while if I transfer, I am sure it will take me 3-4 years if I do the MSW and later get the PPS credential.

What do you guys suggest? Should I continue the long drives and stick with the program I am in now or transfer to the campus that is close to me?

I apologize for writing to much. :)
Post edited by dcastom on

Replies to: Should I switch Grad Schools with a different program?

  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,278Registered User Senior Member
    I am not going to tell you what I would do, but I'd like to throw out a few thoughts. Most importantly: if keeping all of your options open is causing you so much stress, it might be time to prioritize.

    What is your #1 goal? If you want to be a therapist, you won't need the PPS. At least not right now. You can always go back to school later if you want to change careers.

    With the PPS out of the picture, would you prefer the MSW or the MFT program?
    As for the cons, only 9 units will be transferrable to the MSW if I switch; which its okay since I am barely going to complete my first semester with 13 units (so I will loose 4 units). I also need to apply for the Fall of 2013 term, in which makes me feel like I wasted a year with my education.
    If you did transfer, what would you do for the rest of the academic year? Would you take transferable courses that count towards the MSW? Would you work a full-time job to save some money? Would you look for a social work-related internship to get a head start on your new career? Do any of those options sound appealing or would you not be able to get over the "losing a year" feeling?

    The way I see it, you would only lose 4 units. Not a full year, just 4 units. And 4 units (a single course?) mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.
    I commute two times a week, but I notice it is becoming a hassle, plus I am not sure if I will need to drive more than 2x per week next year due to class schedule conflicts. I have 2 part-time jobs by where I live so I cannot move near the campus, plus I cannot afford to move out due to financial reasons.
    If you do want to stay in your current program, I wonder if moving might not be a good option after all. Are you currently living at home or paying rent? How big would the financial impact of moving be? Any other ties to your current location (e.g. family)?

    I am wondering if moving closer to school and prioritizing school work over jobs would allow you to finish your degree faster. You might have to take out some student loans, but if you consider opportunity cost, that might actually be a sound financial investment. (Every additional year in school means a year of lost wages.)

    I certainly wouldn't stay put because of a part-time job. You can probably find part-time jobs closer to school if you were so inclined.
  • dcastomdcastom Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the reply!

    Well to be honest I will like do school counseling, but due to the job limitation in that field, I will like to become a therapist just because that field also interest me, plus there are more job opportunities.

    Before I decided which program I wanted to join, I was also stuck between the MFT and MSW. I knew both can get me into therapy, so I decided to do MFT because the program will mainly focus in therapy. However, now I am second-guessing myself to do the MSW because I'm afraid I will be overwhelm with therapy in the future and the MSW degree will be flexible enough that will allow me to change a different occupation if I want to switch.

    It is really hard to move out as I live with my parents. They depend so much on me since my mom is ill, therefore, I take her to doctor's appointments or any necessity she needs while my dad works; unfortunately she doesn't know how to drive. My parents are also helping me financially by having free rent.

    Therefore, I was planning on just continuing to work with my 2 part-time jobs, save money, and search for a social work job. I was also planning in getting a gym membership to make myself a little busy and improve my health. Actually now that I'm thinking about it, taking the semester off doesn't sound like a bad idea since I went straight from HS to Undergrad to grad lol. It will be a nice break.

    I still feel guilty that I will take the semester off since I haven't taken a break. But do you think it's a reasonable excuse to transfer?
  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,278Registered User Senior Member
    Don't look for "excuses." Be honest with yourself and make the decisions that will make you the happiest.

    If you want to stay home and help your family, it would certainly make sense to go to school closer to home. And if you do transfer, it would make a lot of sense to take half a year off from school: an internship in the social work area would give you some professional orientation (what kind of jobs are out there and which jobs could I see myself doing?), make your more employable after graduate school and allow you to benefit more from your social work classes. (You'll have a much more experience to relate to the theoretical material from your classes.)

    Just wanting a break from school would be a good enough reason all by itself. Many people take a break between college and grad school.
  • juilletjuillet Posts: 5,232Registered User Senior Member
    Commuting 4 hours round-trip, even only twice a week, for two years is exhausting! You have every right to feel like you want to transfer programs.

    Personally I think an MSW will be more flexible than an MS in counseling, and will get you to your goal with less hassle and stress. And if you decide you want to work in schools, you can work as a school social worker. Personally, I would transfer - but only you can decide.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Posts: 9,278Registered User Senior Member
    And if you decide you want to work in schools, you can work as a school social worker.
    Not without a PPS credential... At least in California.
  • dcastomdcastom Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Thanks guys for your responds!

    I have definitely seen the pros and cons for each side and I feel the best decision is to apply for the MSW program in my local university for Fall of '13. Hopefully I will be able to get accepted so things can go as plan. :)
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