Welcome to the Young Adult Graduate Student Path

The Young Adult Graduate Student Pathway was created by Ranjita Padalia. A Young Adult Graduate Student herself, Ranjita, who excelled in the Bachelor of Education program had been hopeful to find her own classroom upon graduation. However, as many young graduates find, it can be difficult to find entry-level teaching positions. Inspired to continue though graduate work, Ranjita enrolled in a masters of education program to increase her knowledge base and to expand her occupational identity. This type of scenario is common for many of the mentees who may be discovering this pathway.

Within the context of the Virtual Mentoring Office, the Young Adult Graduate Student Pathway is meant to guide graduate students within the Masters of Education program, but particularly students that have recently graduated from a undergraduate degree, a teaching degree, and/or are under the age of 25 years old. This pathway is meant to help young adult students who may not have optimal experience within the workforce and/or are confused about what their goals are for their future career.

This pathway within the Virtual Office for Mentoring and Coaching Graduate Students program has several exercises dedicated to the young adult learner on a graduate level; “It’s time to talk about achievements and aspirations,” “The Time Management Grid,” “Using The Program as a Catalyst For Identifying Future Goals,” and “A Key Competency in the Graduate Program – Determining Credible Research.” Young adult learners at the graduate level are encouraged to complete these exercises to reflect on what they will learn, what they need to learn, and what they would like to learn in order to better themselves within their graduate degree attainment and/or within their personal lives. The goals and objectives created in the modules pertaining to young adult learners will also be determined by what the learner wants to achieve and/or succeed in through the completion of the pathway.


Exercise 1: It’s time to talk about achievements and aspirations

The first exercise in the Young Adult Student Pathway is called “The Self-Reflective Journal Entry.” In this exercise, you are asked to write down and/or type out a journal entry that reflects on their past educational, career, and/or social experiences, any academic or personal achievements, any aspirations that you may have, and what you think are the particular hurdles that you may need to overcome in order to narrow the gap between current reality and your aspirations. Therefore, this activity serves as a self-conducted needs assessment in order to critically think about any discrepancies amongst your achievements and goals.

The Self-Reflective Journal Entry

Your first exercise is be to write a self-reflective journal entry that discusses the following:

  • Past educational experiences
  • Past career experiences
  • Past social experiences
  • Any academic or personal achievements
  • Any aspirations that you may have
  • Any particular hurdles that you may need to overcome in order to narrow the gap between your current reality and your aspirations

By the end of this exercise, you will have self-conducted a needs assessment so that you are aware and able to critically think about any discrepancies between your experiences and aspirations.

*Feel free to complete this exercise again whenever you need to re-evaluate the above criteria!

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Exercise 2: The Time Management Grid

The second exercise in the Young Adult Student Pathway is called “The Time Management Grid.” This exercise will assist the development of your time management skills! As the semester continues, you may need to prioritize your time!

Here is your challenge! You have been given your course schedule for the week (.docx, 84 kb), but you also have assignments due and a part-time job. In the following exercise, you must be able to:

  • Attend class
  • Finish your assignments on time
  • Eat
  • Sleep for at least 7 hours a night

*Remember to take all factors into account! (e.g. time in transit, prior commitments, etc.)

**You must also explain WHY you chose to prioritize your time in this way.

On the course schedule for the week (.docx, 84 kb), you can see your schedule for the week! Good luck!

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Exercise 3: Using the graduate program as a catalyst for identifying future goals

The third exercise that will be done in the Young Adult Student Pathway is called “Establishing Future Goals.” During this activity, you will be required to think critically about why you are in this current program at the University of Ottawa and how this program may be useful in attaining your goals outlined in the first exercise. In this exercise, you are asked to:

  • (Re)establish goals pertaining to your academic life
  • (Re)establish goals pertaining to your personal life
  • Choose the top three goals that you think are or will be the most attainable based on your current academic and/or personal lives
  • Justify why you have chosen these as your top three goals and why you believe these goals are more attainable than the others

Here are a few resources that you can use to determine what other career aspirations are also realistic based on your education to date. These resources are meant to be a starting point for any future career research you may do!

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Exercise 4: Determining Credible Research: A Key Competency

The last exercise in the Young Adult Student Pathway is called “How do you know if an article is credible?” The following exercise is a great resource for students that are considering a change in an academic career path from a Masters in Education (without a thesis) degree to a Masters of Arts in Education (with a thesis)!

Regardless of career path, it is very important for a graduate student to have the skills to be able to identify credible and ethical publications.

During this exercise, students will be required to:

  1. Watch a YouTube video discussing what open access publishing is and how easy it is to be tricked in using a fraudulent publication: Jeffrey Beall on Open Access Publishing: How publishers dupe authors
  2. Access the University of Michigan’s (2015) research guide about a criteria of judging article quality: Criteria for Judging Article Quality: Quality Criteria

*Feel free to use these resources to assess any future publications that you wish to cite during your graduate degree!

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