I took some courses after my BA as an independent student. How should I describe this on my resume?
January 12, 2012 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I took some courses after my BA as an independent student. How should I describe this on my resume?

I am currently enrolled in a Faculty of Education and I will be applying to school boards in Ontario soon. When I started my BA, I knew I wanted to be a high school teacher and I majored in a subject that is now my main teachable subject area. I also took the appropriate number of courses to suffice as a second teachable subject, and graduated. After graduation, I changed my mind about my second teachable and took another 5 courses at a different university, in order to be able to register in teacher's college with my preferred second teachable subject. My question is how do I frame this extra stint in school on my resume for a teaching position? Do I just call it "independent study"? And how do I approach the degree that I am currently working towards? Do I say "expected graduation in 2012?" Is there something I should I say instead of:

First University
Honours BA in Subject, graduated 2008

Second University
Independent study, 2010

Third University
B.Ed, expected graduation in 2012

Thanks so much!
posted by to recite so charmingly to Education (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
BA with Honors, 2008:
First U

Additional coursework (prerequisites for teaching program), 2010:
Second U.

B.Ed (expected), 2012:
Third U
posted by Madamina at 11:30 AM on January 12, 2012

Thanks for your comment, I just realized that I should add that the "Honours BA" is not to indicate that I recieved honours, or was on the Dean's list, or anything. Here it is a type of BA that lasts four instead of three years, and is a requirement to go on to any post graduate work.
posted by to recite so charmingly at 11:34 AM on January 12, 2012

I would call your second stint "'post-baccalaureate,' coursework in education."
posted by rumposinc at 11:41 AM on January 12, 2012

"Independent Study" has a strong "outside of classroom setting" connotation, not the "outside of a structured program" setting that you want -- "additional coursework" is also how I would phrase it.
posted by brainmouse at 11:43 AM on January 12, 2012

Wouldn't "continuing education" be the usual term in education circles, or is that a US thing?
posted by tyllwin at 1:06 PM on January 12, 2012

At my (Canadian) school, continuing education referred to non-credit courses for personal enrichment and professional development, so I wouldn't use that term either.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:14 PM on January 12, 2012

I was what the University of Iowa officially terms a "special non-degree student" in both high school and after I got my BA--the first time around to take Latin, the second to take some courses toward getting a teaching certificate. I listed it on my resume as

University of Iowa
Special Non-Degree Student
Latin 1992-1994
Education 1999-2000

In some cases I listed specific courses, depending on the purpose of the resume. If your school doesn't have an official term, I like "Additional coursework," as Madamina suggests.
posted by newrambler at 1:23 PM on January 12, 2012

I wouldn't use continuing education or independent study - in ontario, 'continuing education' sounds like evening classes you did for self interest, and independent study sounds like 'non-traditional education'. Like you decided to read some books on your own, or something.

(Also, from a format point of view, i'd recommend listing the name of your degree first, not the name of your school. The degree you got is the primary thing that matters to the person reading it. And you don't need to say "graduated 2010", people will know that the year indicates a graduation.)

And keep in mind that when you apply for teaching positions, you are going to be sending your transcripts along with your application, and ultimately that's where the people in charge of hiring are going to look to get an understanding of your schoolwork, rather than your resume. Focus your resume efforts on describing extracurricular, jobs, and achievements that exists outside of grades. (I am not a teacher in ontario, but both of my siblings and several of my friends are!)

I would do this:
- Honours BA in Subject, First University, 2008
- Brief description of focus of study or any particular achievements

- Teachable coursework, Second University, 2010
- Completed 5 Bachelor level courses in Teachable Subject
- Brief description of focus of study or any particular achievements

B.Ed, Third University, 2012
posted by Kololo at 1:33 PM on January 12, 2012

What are the teachable subjects called in Canada? In the US, I would say 'coursework towards an endorsement in 2nd subject' because a 2nd subject is called an endorsement in my state.
posted by eleanna at 2:05 PM on January 12, 2012

I use "Additional Coursework" on my own resume to show clumps of courses that might have gone toward a major in other circumstances. Specifically, I majored in voice performance, and I completed the coursework necessary for a major in music history, but I couldn't declare a double major in the same department. (Jerks.)

However, I still like to list that, just as I list "Extensive coursework in English" (my major, pre-transfer) under my listing for the liberal arts college at which I spent my first two years. It was a critical mass of stuff that had a purpose, such that I want future employers to know I did good work.
posted by Madamina at 5:35 PM on January 12, 2012

What Kololo said:

BA (Honours) in Goat Yodeling, First University, Date of completion.
Unclassified studies in Ostrich Ballet, Second University, Date of Completion.
BEd, Third University, Date of Expected Completion.

If you want to underscore the purpose of the unclassified studies, list the courses you took:

Unclassified Study Courses (OB 110: Introduction to Ostrich Ballet, OB 220: History of Ostrich Ballet, OB 420: Seminar in Ostrich Toe Shoes, OB 578: Senior Thesis), Second University, Date of Completion.

This stresses that you've got the second subject well in hand and stops them thinking you were just farting around because you didn't know what to do. Yes, they have your transcripts, but they may not wind up looking at them!
posted by jrochest at 1:59 AM on January 13, 2012

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