20 June 2008
Supplemental Purpose Statement
Communication Studies Master’s Degree Program
Realizing a BA in government-journalism does not directly correlate to a communication studies Master’s degree, I am providing this addendum to the purpose statement included with my original application to the California State University, Sacramento graduate studies office. Also, as my undergraduate major was not communication studies, this statement acknowledges the potential shortcomings in my curriculum and makes a commitment to fulfill any undergraduate coursework required as part of my postgraduate education. I am confident that my love of education and communication (specifically written communication) will make this part of my educational experience at least as rewarding as my time as an undergraduate at CSUS.
Although it is true I have only recently (since mid-2003) embraced my ability as a writer, I have always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and insights with others. I have had numerous opportunities to fulfill the role of mentor, trainer and even, for a brief time, as an instructor. Of course, in my capacity as the father to three now adult sons, the role of the teacher cannot be understated. The common denominator is a true and unconditional love for helping others improve their knowledge and, as a result, their self-worth. With respect to written communication, there is an appalling lack of basic skill among many college students - not just in the mechanics, but also in the clear and logical presentation of thoughts and ideas. I firmly believe that if given the opportunity, and with the extended education a Master’s degree will provide, I can help others to help themselves.
The CSUS communications studies program, with an emphasis on organizational and instructional communications, is attractive not only for all the reasons CSUS is in general, but also because the curriculum includes practical teaching experience to adult learners. Because my ultimate goal is to teach at a community college, a Master’s degree is essential. And from everything I have been able to ascertain from American River College, Sierra College, Folsom Lake College and the other institutions in each school’s respective district, a curriculum consistent with that offered at CSUS is invaluable to an aspiring instructor.
My commitment to education has never been stronger. My recent and very positive experience with both the community college system as well as the California State University system has left me with an acute sense of gratitude and an overwhelming desire to contribute to the institutions that have meant so much to me. Although my undergraduate major reflects a deep and long-term affection for journalism, a return to academia was always, at some point, the place I wanted to land. Circumstances are such that the time is now - opportunity has presented itself. By getting accepted into the communication studies postgraduate program, I will be that much closer to realizing my goal.
Michael K. Althouse