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  • Western Governor's University

    I could not find anything here about this university's online Masters program in ESL.

    http://www.wgu.edu/index.asp

    It looks legitimate / accredited. Would the degree be useful in Japan?

    Any comments welcome.

  • #2
    On-line Master's degrees are not prestigious. Are you thinking of getting an advanced degree to get university work? The competition is stiff-- everyone seems to be getting these on-line degrees recently. You should try to go to Temple or Columbia [both of which have campuses in Japan] if you want to be ahead of the competition.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nightfly
      I could not find anything here about this university's online Masters program in ESL.

      http://www.wgu.edu/index.asp

      It looks legitimate / accredited. Would the degree be useful in Japan?

      Any comments welcome.

      I have a whole list of accredited distance learning courses on the following site.

      http://www.teachinginjapan.com/continuinged.html

      If you are looking for TESL/EFL related courses the only ones i know of in the US that offer courses are SIT in Vermont

      Personally I would avoid any distance courses in the US as they have such a bad rap when it comes to being recognised overseas.


      Degrees are only useful if employers accept them and you feel you got your money's worth.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Johnny Tsunami
        On-line Master's degrees are not prestigious. Are you thinking of getting an advanced degree to get university work? The competition is stiff-- everyone seems to be getting these on-line degrees recently. You should try to go to Temple or Columbia [both of which have campuses in Japan] if you want to be ahead of the competition.
        I have looked into both of these programs before and they sound great. The biggest obstacle for me is coming up with the tuition money. I think it would stretch my budget to the absolute max... and that would be if I did it over four years or more.

        When I read these forums (about how competitive university jobs are in Japan), it makes me really wonder if it is worth all the financial sacrifice to get the Masters. I mean, even if I got a Temple or Columbia degree, it's no guarantee that I would have an easy time finding a university job, right?

        Just curious... if anyone else has gotten a Masters from Temple or Columbia, how did you finance it? $20-30,000 is quite a lot of cash if you're just working as an ALT (I mean, that's like half your salary per year if you do a two year program). Another fear I have is the idea of running out of cash or losing my job halfway through the program and not being able to finish.

        One last thing if anybody can help... can you use such a Masters degree in other countries. If so, are there any online resources that tell you what kind of jobs are available (for example, in the U.S., Europe, other Asian countries).

        It seems like a lot of money and time just to *hope* I can get a university level job after I graduate. Maybe better just to keep on working as an ALT until I am sure the payoff is there for the higher degree.

        Honestly, I love Japan more than anybody, but the long term "career" prospects here seem bleak. The happiest people seem to be the ones who enjoy a few years here and then go home. It's a sad reality I'm having to face now that I have already invested a number of years here. I like my life but don't seem to be going anywhere career wise, and investing money toward a degree just for Japan seems like a gamble at best.

        Am I being too cynical here? What do you think?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nightfly
          Honestly, I love Japan more than anybody, but the long term "career" prospects here seem bleak. The happiest people seem to be the ones who enjoy a few years here and then go home. It's a sad reality I'm having to face now that I have already invested a number of years here. I like my life but don't seem to be going anywhere career wise, and investing money toward a degree just for Japan seems like a gamble at best.

          Am I being too cynical here? What do you think?
          I'd say that if you think of staying in Japan purely in terms of teaching English at a college then yes, the future is pretty bleak.

          If you really love being in Japan you might want to think about what other jobs there are that you'd like to do. If you aren't fluent in Japanese I'd suggest that any time and money you have might be better invested in building up language skills rather than doing an MA in TEFL. Language teachers are two a penny nowadays but people with fluency in Japanese are still, remarkably, quite rare.

          Just my opinion, only you know what's best for you.
          Last edited by Danger Man; 2007-07-24, 08:26 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nightfly
            I Just curious... if anyone else has gotten a Masters from Temple or Columbia, how did you finance it? $20-30,000 is quite a lot of cash if you're just working as an ALT (I mean, that's like half your salary per year if you do a two year program). Another fear I have is the idea of running out of cash or losing my job halfway through the program and not being able to finish.

            I completed the Masters at TUJ in 1994. it now costs a bout 2 million yen over 3 years to complete the degree. One 3 credit course is 200,000 yen.

            You can take up to 5 years to complete the Masters and the average length of completion is 2.5 years. You basically pay as you go and work on completing one course at a time. if you dont complete it credits are transferable to other universities.


            One last thing if anybody can help... can you use such a Masters degree in other countries. If so, are there any online resources that tell you what kind of jobs are available (for example, in the U.S., Europe, other Asian countries).
            TUJ and Columbia are recognised worldwide and also Birmingham recognised my TUJ degree to enter a PhD program. For jobs worldwide go to the jobs list on http://www.chronicle.com

            It seems like a lot of money and time just to *hope* I can get a university level job after I graduate. Maybe better just to keep on working as an ALT until I am sure the payoff is there for the higher degree.
            If you do that you will be waiting a long time as people over take you while you are still swimmming around in circles 5 years later. No one will wait for you to make up your mind for you. Jobs here I agree are getting harder to get and the bar is getting hihgher, but seriously do you still want to be an ALT or working at GEOS when you are thirty as you cant get into higher paying jobs?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Flying_Dutchman
              Jobs here I agree are getting harder to get and the bar is getting hihgher, but seriously do you still want to be an ALT or working at GEOS when you are thirty as you cant get into higher paying jobs?
              And there's no guarantee that by the time you do get an MA that there will still be better money in university teaching than in eikaiwa.

              Look at it this way: universities are losing students and money, and native English speakers will work for pennies. Plus, aren't jobs that used to be offered up for full time faculty lately being auctioned off to dispatchers?

              I've got 2 MAs and didn't find it easy to find uni work in the town were I had to live in order to be with my SO. I'm working for peanuts at a vocational school now, after passing up 2 uni offers (1 in niigata and 1 in yamanashi) that both paid slightly more than JET. Not very good money if you think about how much I paid/worked for my education.

              I agree with DM. Strengthen your language skills and see what other fields you can get into.

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              • #8
                For what it's worth, Western Governor's University is accredited, and it is a popular school among American teachers looking to further their education.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frontman
                  For what it's worth, Western Governor's University is accredited, and it is a popular school among American teachers looking to further their education.

                  WHO is it accredited by... thats the big question. Who accredits the accreditors?
                  Last edited by Name Deleted; 2007-07-24, 10:53 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Flying_Dutchman
                    WHO is it accreditted by... thats the big question. Who accredits the accreditors?
                    I`m not sure even after reading this:
                    http://chronicle.com/live/2006/09/mendenhall/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Danger Man
                      If you aren't fluent in Japanese I'd suggest that any time and money you have might be better invested in building up language skills rather than doing an MA in TEFL. Language teachers are two a penny nowadays but people with fluency in Japanese are still, remarkably, quite rare.
                      Thanks for the advice, Danger Man. I've never heard it stated like this, but definitely something to think about (and maybe it will inspire me to study harder).

                      I do agree that looking at a future in Japan only from the perspective of English teaching is not too exciting. I doubt many base their decision to stay here longterm only on teaching. For me, it is a job that I can live with in a country where I'm very happy.

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                      • #12
                        I am surprised to hear this but then again Japaneses know to be stub urned.

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