Hello! Just a quick word of introduction: my name is Andy Smyser. I am a first semester masters student in the adolescence education program with a concentration in social studies. That means I am studying to earn my teaching certification and my masters of science of education so that I can teach high school history. You can do this program if you only want to earn your initial certification to teach. You don’t need to do your masters at the same time. I am also the new graduate assistant for my program – which is a great way to help offset some of the costs of grad school, if you can make it work.

It’s been four years since I was last a student and the adjustment has been somewhat difficult. Balancing the real, everyday concerns of adulthood with homework is no easy task, but it certainly can be done! The graduate education program here at Canisius is pretty intense. I have only been on campus for three weeks and already information on being fingerprinted for certification and student teaching placements are being discussed. This is particularly crazy for me, since I moved to Buffalo with my wife in August, so I am not overly familiar with the local schools.

Despite this, the department’s faculty are really friendly and go out of their way to make new students feel welcome. We had our “professional seminar” on Monday afternoon which was a little bit of information overload, but now that I have had a chance to process it all, it was very helpful. In the next semester, I will be blogging regularly about my experiences in class at Canisius. I will try to cover all of my classes to give you an idea of what this program is like. I hope you find what I have to offer useful in your decision to apply here!