Posted Sep 13, 2021

The start of the fall semester is typically associated with change and transition. This year is no different. This fall, 59 new graduate students transitioned into the first semester of their first year of graduate school. Some of our graduate students transitioned into their last year or last semester of graduate work. Others, like the nursing graduate students who joined us in the summer, transitioned to the next stage in their graduate education. All these transitions bring with them the excitement of a fresh start, the challenges of a next step, and positive associations that accompany forward momentum. In addition to prompting us to look forward, times of transition provide the opportunity to look backward, assess where we are, acknowledge how far we’ve come, and anticipate what is to come.

It is likely that your decision to engage in graduate-level education was based on achieving professional goals: to transition to a new professional position or role, to enhance your earning potential, and/or change your career path. This makes good sense. Data reveals that advanced degrees pay off professionally. (Learn more, earn more: Education leads to higher wages, lower unemployment). Also important to consider is how the transition to and through graduate school can transform you as a person. Broadening and deepening your knowledge and expertise in your chosen field; grappling with the complexities associated with applying that expertise in changing, diverse contexts; and developing skills that facilitate good decision-making, position you to see and think differently than you did before. You likely notice nuances you hadn’t before. You may approach problems differently. You may become more confident undertaking new challenges. In addition, networking opportunities and relationships built with faculty and other students can lead to lasting professional relationships and friendships.

As we transition deeper into the fall semester, I encourage you to consider the various ways graduate education at Otterbein has impacted you so far.

Move forward with confidence, knowing that Otterbein graduate programs and their faculty:

  • Understand your professional goals.
  • Care about your intellectual and professional development.
  • Strive to provide the right balance of challenge and support necessary to help you achieve your goals.

We are committed to your success, and we look forward to your achievements.

A special note before closing: The Graduate School wishes to thank Barbara Schaffner, Ph.D., MSN, BSN, PNP, for her contributions and 10 years of leadership as associate provost for graduate studies at Otterbein. We recognize her work with gratitude and are fortunate to move forward relying on the strong foundation she established.

Bridget M. Newell, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Studies

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