About Marilyn Gardner Milton
Marilyn Gardner Milton’s career in education began when she entered college. Her first steps towards this career choice were accomplished when she graduated from the University of Connecticut with her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education. After finishing her time at UConn, she continued her education by splitting her Masters of Education (M.Ed) between Boston State College and Framingham State University, both based in and around the Boston, Massachusetts area. In 1987 Marilyn finished the journey to earn her Ph.D. She graduated from Boston College with her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision as well as a minor in Computer Science. While both degrees would be of great use in her future, Marilyn wasn’t quite done yet. She finished her education by getting her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Suffolk University Law school, where she was also awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence: Commercial Law.
In 1985 Marilyn Gardner Milton made her first foray into the world of distance learning administration, as well as the first of her roles consulting. She became the Executive Consultant for The Center for Educational Leadership and Technology and held that position until 1995. In 1994 Marilyn became the Executive Director and the Director of Education at the Boston, Massachusetts based Computer Museum, a position she held until 1997. In 2006 she became Director of Business Development for the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), a position she holds to this day.
In 1997 Marilyn began her career in the administration of higher education institutes. She was appointed to be the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the Massachusetts Communications College and the New England Institute of Art. In 2001 she became the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for Bay State College and in 2006 she became a Program Professor and Education Enterprise Associate for Nova Southeastern University, one of the largest non-profit accredited universities in the country. A position she holds to this day.
Our world is rapidly changing, and, as a result, our education system is quickly transforming as well. Here are three of the ways that American education is changing:
Schools in 2019 are making moves towards personalization. Whereas once students were all taught the same way, today we recognize that some people learn differently than others. We also know that, although learning differences exist, they are not necessarily a reflection of intelligence or potential. These realizations have resulted in a collective effort to ensure that all students are being taught in a way that gives them the best chance of success.
Large-scale education is difficult to personalize, but schools are making efforts nonetheless. Private and public schools often address personalization differently. In general, though, teachers can personalize learning by incorporating several learning styles into their lessons. For example, a Kindergarten teacher may be teaching about the life-cycle of a butterfly. He or she could read about it to their students, show them pictures or videos, or bring in caterpillars and allow the students to witness the life cycle for themselves. The teacher will know what learning styles they need to incorporate for their unique body of students, but using methods that like this covers multiple learning styles— allowing each student to learn in their own individual way.
Technology is rapidly changing and infiltrating our education systems. It’s not unusual to see students as young as elementary-age with IPads or other tablets. Video has become commonplace in the classroom and will likely be seen even more in the future.
Online and blended classrooms, which are a mix of online and face-to-face meetings, are also becoming popular in schools throughout the US. The inclusion of technology in education has made it more accessible. Knowledge is easier to obtain than ever. Technology has also “breaks down the walls” of traditional education by allowing students to “travel” anywhere in the world with the help of video.
In the early 2000s, each US state had its own educational standards. These standards, however, were not consistent across the country. In one state, high schoolers could be required to know certain things or demonstrate specific skills to graduate. Meanwhile, the high school students in a neighboring state may have been able to graduate without the same knowledge or skills. These discrepancies led us to the system of education we now know as “Common Core.”
Forty-one states have adopted the Common Core state standards. CoreStandards.org defines the Common Core as “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).” These standards were put into effect in 2009 after state leaders pulled together to create high and consistent goals for all students in American classrooms.
Although personalization and standardization seem to be opposite in some ways, both are being pushed in today’s education. We want all of our students to have the same opportunities to learn and succeed, but we also understand that’s it is necessary to ensure that standards are met in our schools. Personalization and standardization can work together if they are appropriately balanced.
We can expect to see our education system continue to change with new technology breakthroughs, new learning discoveries, and as standards are proven to be effective (or ineffective). Who knows what education will look like 20 years from now? Only time will tell.
Law school is one of those life-altering decisions that many people face, whether it’s a decision in their early years or later on, as a second career choice. In either case, it’s a major commitment that must not be entered into lightly.
Unless you are independently wealthy, be prepared to pay a lot of money to get your law degree. After paying for four years of undergraduate school, there are still another four years of law school to pay for, in addition to exam fees ranging upwards of $200. The honest truth is the better the law school, the higher the likelihood of a decent clerkship and job offer upon graduation.
Getting a law degree takes time. Although any type of undergraduate degree is accepted in order to apply for a law school degree, there are some that provide a better backdrop than others. Degrees in history, philosophy, criminal justice, and political science are the areas of focus that will give you the best head start in pursuing a law degree. In addition to requiring an undergraduate degree and real-world law experience, a law degree demands a passing Law School Admission Test (LSAT) grade before getting into grad school. This is a test that measures analytical thinking, critical reading, and verbal reasoning in order to determine whether you are eligible to attend law school. Once accepted, plan on at least another four years of schooling. If you are working at the same time, you should budget accordingly. In many cases, it takes longer than eight years to achieve combined undergrad and postgraduate studies.
The Actual Job
Unhappiness is so common in the law industry there are blogs, books, and counselors solely devoted to soothing the souls of former attorneys. The main areas of contention are stress and discourteousness among colleagues as well as clients. Some people ended up choosing the quickest job opportunity after graduation, not prioritizing the type of industry they are truly seeking. Some are stunned to learn they aren’t hired by their dream job immediately after graduation. Some only wanted to make money but lacked any passion at all for this industry. There is an element of empathy and compassion for the human race that must be in place in order to pursue the field of law. Otherwise, a growing resentment will cause nonstop stress and hatred towards not only coworkers but the clientele you are supposed to advocate for.
By definition, the nature of the judicial system is going to be adversarial. Having a tough outer shell is paramount if one is to succeed as an attorney, regardless of which side of the opposing counsel fence they base their career choices on.
With its rewarding challenges and personal benefits, a career in academia is often a dream job for people who highly value a sense of deep satisfaction in their working life. Here are just a few reasons why working in higher education can be one of the most life-changing decisions that a person can make, and why now might be a great time to prepare for a career in the academic world.
1. Benefits and Job Stability
Despite earning lower salaries than their peers in the private sector, workers in higher education are often drawn to their line of work by the job security and benefits that go hand in hand with a career in the field. Moreover, while many companies in the private sector tend to let go of staff during economic downturns, colleges and universities are often reluctant to introduce employee layoff policies even in recessions; for people who value job security over a hefty paycheck, that can be a major incentive to work in academia.
2. Making a Difference
For many professionals who work in higher education, the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of students is often a motivating factor to succeed in academia. Whether it’s through helping promising students secure scholarship funds or by making sure that recent graduates are fully prepared to enter the job market, administrators in higher education often help students to lead more fulfilling and productive lives. That kind of work provides a sense of satisfaction that is difficult to replicate in other fields, and it helps explain why so many workers in academia can’t imagine building a career anywhere else.
3. Bringing Passion Into the Equation
Many people start their careers in higher education because they love the atmosphere of learning that permeates university life. Indeed, having a passion for learning is a great motivator for those who dedicate their lives to helping students succeed, and this ability to love one’s work in the face of long days and stressful decisions often makes a career in higher education feel more like a calling than a job.
For the right person, the decision to work in academia can be a life-changing and deeply fulfilling choice. The pay might be higher in other sectors of the economy, but employees of colleges and universities often find that life in the ivory tower suits them just fine. And as more and more people are discovering, workers in higher education might just be on to something!