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Graduate School Success Depends On You
February 23, 2020


More and more professionals are considering graduate school.

This next step in education is also largely aided by online education. More students are turning to online learning to get their degrees.

Are you considering a graduate degree in social change? If you are, courses leading to a Master's degree are not designed generally as a road map.

Graduate school courses don't tell you what to do in your learning.  A graduate curriculum is the spark for your passion in your own growth.  And your growth begins with a mindset.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck identified and researched an idea regarding mindset.

Two assumptions about mindset exist.

  • Fixed mindset is assuming one’s basic traits are already developed and without effort one will succeed or fail based on one’s given intelligence or talent.
  • Growth mindset is the idea that one’s abilities can be developed.

Dweck says that “brains and talent” are just the starting point.  With dedication and hard work, people in a growth mindset can develop basic abilities.

True Grit and Graduate School Success

This TED talk, by Angela Duckworth, reiterates this way of thinking, only she calls it grit.

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

I’ll give you an example. A young lady I know was born with Muscular Dystrophy.  She has never walked.  As she grew into young adulthood, her body became more twisted, and her arm strength could not keep up with her growing body. She needs help with everything. Though her loving family supported her unconditionally, the world was not as loving.

Beyond imagination, she has become a shining star. Now in her mid-thirties, she has been an elementary school teacher for many years, a Miss Wheelchair recipient, and an advocate for people with disabilities. She is a role model for many young people, but also for someone like me.

Her passion and dedication to life and to her own growth was what she would call ‘natural’ and what I would call true grit.

When you decide to return to graduate school, your success depends on your true grit.