(Much) older student needs academic reference.
January 2, 2011 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm applying to graduate programs for a MA in counseling. I'm closer to 50 than 40 and haven't been a student in nearly 20 years. One program wants "at least one academic reference" among my three letters of recommendation. Does this person necessarily have to be a former professor of mine?

In my career I've taught and worked at universities, among other places, but I haven't been on the student side of the lectern in a long, long time. My professors are dead/very old/very retired. (My original field, in which I have a BA and two master's degrees, was languages/literature). A couple of my former supervisors have PhDs and work at universities, but I've never been their student. I've worked alongside many other people in academe, but ditto. What's an older person who wants to apply to grad school to do? Any suggestions welcome. Thanks!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy to Education (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Call the program and tell them your story. If they don't come up with a good answer, then is it really a program you want?
posted by Etrigan at 6:22 PM on January 2, 2011

An academic who has been your professional supervisor would be a-OK at the place I used to work, where the average age of incoming master's degree students in counseling was 42. Ask the admissions counselors at the places where you're applying, but I would bet they would say yes.

Something many returning students do is to take a course as a non-matriculated student and get a recommendation from that prof, but I doubt it would be necessary in your case.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:23 PM on January 2, 2011

If you work with other academics then they may work for references but a former professor would be best. Considerings you are applying for a program outside your original BA/
MA field taking at least one undergraduate course in this field would probably be a good idea.

I've seen too many people with Masters in other fields enter my field and completely fail - now the review committee is being a lot more selective.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 8:42 PM on January 2, 2011

« Older Whitewater kayaker seeks wintertime outlet for...   |   Legally reinstalling Windows 7 without the disc Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.