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Inequities in Education System Led Alumna to Educational Research [Alumni Case Study]

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Inequities in educational system led to new career

I relocated from Minnesota to Atlanta in 2004 with my husband and children to be closer to family. Shortly after arriving, I started working as an environmental planner for Georgia State’s Department of Transportation. After three years, I began to do a lot of soul searching because there was no promotional opportunities. I decided to become a researcher, specifically because I saw inequities in the education system and wanted to impact the local system. I wanted a career I loved, and being able to research and come up with solutions to existing problems is something I thought I would love to do.

Taught to think critically and challenge the norm

As I researched potential graduate programs, I stumbled upon Georgia State’s Educational Research master’s program with a concentration in Research, Measurements and Statistics. I loved the combination of those three critical components and knew the degree would empower me to reach my career goals. Every class was an eye opener, every methodology I learned I could see an application for it. I loved how the program challenged me to think critically, not except the status quo, challenge the norm, and see how we can affect change.

New position aligns perfectly with master’s degree

One month after graduating I prepared to interview for a new position for Georgia State’s Department of Juvenile Justice by listing all the courses I’d taken on my resume. This was instrumental in being offered the job because the interview panel referenced the courses during our discussion and they were perfectly aligned with the skills needed for the position. In my new role, I work with teachers, program specialist, administrators, and program evaluators to measure the educational outcomes of youth in the state’s Juvenile Justice programs – which ties together a lot of the tenets I was exposed to in the master’s program.

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