An Inside Look at Mason’s Accelerated Master’s Program

Linnea Monson, Senior at George Mason University
Linnea Monson, Senior at George Mason University

By Kayla Kearse, Patriot Blogger

Thinking about getting your masters degree? I’ve talked with Linnea Monson, my wonderful roommate and a fellow Patriot who is happy to give us an inside look (and some great advice!) at one of George Mason University’s graduate program options, the five year Accelerated Master’s Program!

Thank you for being willing to share your experience! First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a senior majoring in Integrative Studies with a double concentration in International Studies and Education, and a double minor in Leadership Studies and Music. I am also working on my Master’s degree for Elementary Education through Mason’s five-year Bachelor Accelerated Master’s Program. My hobbies are singing jazz in the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble and Soundcheque, as well as dancing in Azucar, Mason’s salsa club.

Why did you decide to do the accelerated masters program?

It was the main reason I chose to attend Mason, actually. I want to be a teacher for kids who are learning English as their second language. The program gave me the chance to get certified and obtain my master’s in teaching in only five years rather than six. It gives me many internship opportunities and connections with Fairfax County Schools, which are some of the best schools in the country.

What experiences have you had so far within the program?

I’ve had two internships. The first one was at an elementary school in Falls Church where I observed a third grade classroom and ESL (English as Second Language) classroom, and worked on a culminating project that included a research-based case study.

The second internship, which I’m currently doing, is at an elementary school in Alexandria. It gives me the opportunity to look at ESL from a different perspective through working with a team-taught third grade class. It’s my first chance at officially making lesson plans and teaching them to the kids all semester.

How is this program different from a regular master’s program, other than being a year shorter?

The program uses a cohort system, which means that I take every master’s class with the same group of students throughout the two years of the program. This is an advantage to me because I am able to work with people who have the same goal in mind as me and collaborate on research projects and experience-based learning. Also, it allows me to take classes from different disciplines while pursuing my master’s degree.

Do you have any advice for people who are interested or considering doing the accelerated master’s program?

Talk to your adviser early on so that you can make sure that your courses are lining up with what you need. If you can, find some kind of experiential learning in the field before you start (such as internships), so that you can get a feel for it if it’s something you’re interested in doing. Also, stay on top of your application deadlines!

For more information on the program, please visit:
https://www2.gmu.edu/academics/accelerated-masters-programs

This article orginally appeared on patriotlife.gmu.edu