Doctor of Arts and Letters
Q. You’re a full-time teacher, yes? Have your studies informed your work in front of the classroom?
A. Absolutely. During my short time at Drew, I already have become a better teacher. It is easier to help students bridge knowledge gaps and make connections, from the class material to seeing conceptual relationships and the bigger picture. Put simply—the better educated I am, the better teacher I will be.
Also, the Caspersen program affords a tuition reduction to full-time teachers; without it I would not be able to afford this unique academic opportunity.
Q. How are you finding being on the other side of the desk?
A. I feel I am a better student now largely because of the support and encouragement of the Drew professors. Whenever I have had a question or some other unsure moment, I’ve always been offered help or guidance. The professors not only have mastery of the material they teach, but they really care about the success of their students.
Q. Do you believe this to be a unique combination in higher education?
A. Yes! Most universities seem to care more about the enrollment numbers and not the actual education in the classroom. Drew really does value the student’s experience in the classroom more than anything else. You are taken seriously as a student, not just a student ID number.
Q. That’s high praise, indeed! What of the program itself?
A. The first thing that struck me was the breadth and depth of the curriculum. It allows me to choose subject matter that is both interesting and different every semester in order to tap into an understanding of the humanities. I don’t know of any other program like this—it’s truly unique and perfect for people who consider themselves to be life-long learners.
Q. What led you to the program?
A. My undergraduate study in philosophy was very narrow and specialized. I didn’t come away with a lot of knowledge about the way the world works, not to mention about history, economics, literature, religion and poetry. It was a big school, one that really did not have a sense of community. I was searching for a program that would fill these two voids, when I came across the doctor of arts and letters program at Drew.
Q. How’s the void-filling going?
A. So far so good. First semester I took a class that dealt with different types of historical literature—a daunting prospect since I’d never taken a graduate literature class. The chosen novels were both accessible and sufficiently challenging, and the professor’s instruction guided me to new avenues of thought. I had a similar experience the following semester in a class on the modern history of the United Kingdom. At the end of the class I was left with a certain satisfaction: I’d been exposed to a new world of knowledge and information that I had previously known nothing about.