Continuing education/independent study course

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jmjm
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Continuing education/independent study course

Postby jmjm » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:33 am

I graduated from college far back enough that I wouldn't have academic recs when I apply for admissions. So, I've been considering an evening non-degree course, either a continuing education course or an independent study/project, at one of the many universities in the area. Assuming one performs well and the professor gets to know the student during these short-term evening courses, it appears that it could potentially result in student getting a rec. My question is, could it result in a rec sufficient for admissions purpose?

One concern is that usually continuing education /evening classes are short enough in duration to preclude a strong relationship with the professor. Additionally, it's possible that continuing education professors may not be motivated enough (due to off-work classes to older students) to be interested in working closely with students.
I live in the Bay area near Stanford and Santa Clara U and if someone has experience with these schools' evening classes (e.g. whether these schools offer independent study research projects with professors as continuing education courses) in particular then that would be very helpful.

20141023
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby 20141023 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:21 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jmjm
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby jmjm » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:24 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Either way, I think it would be overkill to go back to school just to get an academic LoR.

It depends, no? For someone who's been in the workforce and professional life for too long, it could smooth out the transition to academic life and get started on some specific area he or she wants to specialize in during law school. In those cases, it wouldn't be overkill if the person is motivated and professor is interested enough.

Has anyone been able to do this here? I'd think that one of the main issues would be not enough interest from professors teaching evening classes at local universities. And, if one takes these classes, then that may skew admissions committee judgment of the candidate because, after all, these are continuing ed classes (probably not perceived as reputable as regular college courses). I know these classes don't have to be count toward LSAC gpa but from what I understand they will have to reported. If they are reported, then admissions would look at them and it can then raise unnecessary questions.

BFlanagan
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby BFlanagan » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:40 pm

jmjm wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:Either way, I think it would be overkill to go back to school just to get an academic LoR.

It depends, no? For someone who's been in the workforce and professional life for too long, it could smooth out the transition to academic life and get started on some specific area he or she wants to specialize in during law school. In those cases, it wouldn't be overkill if the person is motivated and professor is interested enough.

Has anyone been able to do this here? I'd think that one of the main issues would be not enough interest from professors teaching evening classes at local universities. And, if one takes these classes, then that may skew admissions committee judgment of the candidate because, after all, these are continuing ed classes (probably not perceived as reputable as regular college courses). I know these classes don't have to be count toward LSAC gpa but from what I understand they will have to reported. If they are reported, then admissions would look at them and it can then raise unnecessary questions.


Interesting idea. I disagree with what you said only because...you may have an even better chance of gaining interest from professors teaching cc night school. The majority of students take a fairly relaxed approach to their classes, so you can really stand out if you go in with that attitude. Clean house from day 1, make it clear to the professor who you are, what your goals are for the class, and what you are looking to take away from the class...and shine. I hate to assume, but most TLSers go to non-elite and state schools where interaction is limited. It's my bet that you'll probably walk away with an even *better* letter than the ordinary applicant.

jmjm
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby jmjm » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:00 pm

Yeah it seems very much doable. One can definitely shine in such a class. The downside is that, first, these courses are about 25-40 hours of classroom teaching, which can be a little bit on the short side for the professor to get to know someone well; and second, telling professor that you're in it because you want to go to law school and will need a rec later can be a turn off for the teacher. But I may be a bit off on this having been out of academia for some time now.

I looked at evening courses at stanford; it has very few courses outside business courses and many of them have only about 25 hours of classroom time. I could try some lesser known college nearby but am concerned that the rec wouldn't then carry enough weight for say hys.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby malleus discentium » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:52 pm

Given that your only goal for this class would be getting a sterling academic LOR, you'd have to do some legwork to make sure the coursework lends itself to such a letter (analytical writing, meaningful class discussion, etc.) and that the professor would be willing and able to write such a letter. And then, of course, you'd have to actually do the work to be impressive enough to get a letter.

All this work is probably only worth it for HYS, and potentially not even then.

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guano
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby guano » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:04 pm

Just get a professional recommendation instead

jmjm
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby jmjm » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:26 am

I've been looking for a suitable course that possesses analytical writing/class discussion elements for the LOR. The plan is to find such a course and then communicate my goals with the professor to get a sense of alignment.

The link at stanford doesn't have many classroom (not online) courses outside of obscure arts courses or business ones. I have many years tech industry workex, so I could perhaps do without business courses. Could use "Creative Nonfiction: Writing Life Stories", but it'd probably not possess the elements for lor. No?

https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/ ... tegory.php

20141023
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:43 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: Continuing education/independent study course

Postby guano » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:46 am

kappycaft1 wrote:I don't think you're going to get the answers from us that you're seeking... I doubt there are many of us who would recommend trying to go back and take one course just so you can try to do well enough in the course that the teacher will write you a meaningful academic LoR. To me, that seems like a really great way to waste some time and money for something that will probably not affect your application much (if at all).

Have you tried calling the schools you want to apply to and asking them what they recommend? If not, that sounds like a better idea than asking us whether a continued-education course LoR is worth it, no? :P

This gives the added benefit of having meaningful interaction with the admit staff, which is a definite plus (unless you're an asshole)




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