The Harvard Graduate School of Education kicked off the 2006-2007 school year by welcoming 51 doctoral students and 602 master's students to its campus yesterday.
As part of the master's student orientation, Dean Kathleen McCartney addressed the new students about the exciting changes coming in their lives. "Some of you are feeling excited, because this is something you have wanted to do for a long time," McCartney said. "Some of you are feeling anxious, because you are not quite sure you belong here yet. But you do. The faculty does not make admissions mistakes here at HGSE."
Throughout the day, students got to know each other and familiarized themselves with the HGSE campus. Many new students were nervous and excited about the prospect of moving to a new area and beginning their studies at Harvard.
Emily Bright, an incoming Arts in Education (AIE) student, was finding it hard to absorb the HGSE experience since it is so new. But, she said she chose HGSE because of AIE's open-endedness, and is excited about the prospect of shopping for classes in the upcoming days.
As part of the orientation, students are encouraged to shop for classes in an effort to cater their yearlong program best to their aspirations. Classes will officially begin on September 19.
The 2006-2007 class-which is 77 percent female and 23 percent male-is comprised of students of dynamic and interesting backgrounds. The incoming class comes to HGSE from all over the world, representing 40 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 32 countries spanning as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This year's class consists of siblings, veteran public school teachers, and professionals from many different fields outside of education. In addition, many new students have international backgrounds, having worked in countries around the world.
Many of orientation's sessions addressed the different aspects of a graduate student's life including managing academics, financial aid, and degree programs. At a session geared toward international students, faculty members encouraged students to know that they have a role and place at the HGSE.
Lecturer Haiyan Hua shared his experience of coming to HGSE from China. "Twenty years ago, I was in your shoes," said Hua. "I know how nervous and excited you may be."
Hua encouraged international students to realize that they are important and valuable in the eyes of HGSE and to be ready to share their cultures, talk to each other and participate. "You can only make the school better and more competitive," he said.
Most students at orientation seemed to be eagerly anticipating the school year and everything that HGSE has to offer.
"Let the Ed School change you in ways you cannot imagine right now," McCartney encouraged. "Take time to explore, to experiment, and to reflect. I promise that you will find love in your work here, if you surrender a bit to the academic life on Appian Way."
Why I Came to HGSE?