Counseling students through the application process is an essential service that the school does not currently provide.
Before I even knew I planned on attending the University of Tulsa, I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school. Ask Dr. Hindman — I pestered him about it before I even finished my application. But I never knew how overwhelming and complicated the process actually is. You need to be prepared before you even know that you plan on pursuing graduate study.
Take history as an example. As a student leaving this May with a certificate in classical studies, I was interested in ancient history as an option for graduate school. However, I found out way too late that, at least for this past year, I needed extensive language training in Latin and Ancient Greek for the school to even consider me.
It’s a financial and educational investment that many students are not aware they might have to make. Political science is a similar situation: at TU, all of the political science professors emphasize qualitative over quantitative methods. To the unaware, which included me, the field of political science is turning quickly into a glorified statistics conference, and I found myself left out in the cold this time around in applying, not to mention down $1,200.
My point for this is not to relay my bitter frustrations at the University of Tulsa. My advisors did the very best they could, but they have been out of the application process for graduate schools for decades. Students who plan on pursuing graduate degrees in programs outside of TU need to have structures in place to assist them so that my mistakes are not repeated in other students’ careers.
We need counselors to guide them through the steps they need to consider, direct them to appropriate classes to open up their options and help students find programs across the country that align with their interests. Students who are exceptionally trained and prepared for the graduate process can help resurrect the university’s reputation nationally as an academic institution and potentially attract even more students for TU.