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Featuring Derek Long '04

Graduate School: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Graduate Program: MA in teaching English

Information on Derek's employment profile

Position: English Teacher
School: Pittsburgh Oliver High School
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

(Profiled: December 2011)


♦  How did you explore graduate schools?

♦  What influenced your decision to go to graduate school?

♦  Do you have any tips related to the application process?


What influenced your decision to go to graduate school?

I only had a BA in English, and I did not have a teaching certification. I spent a year teaching at Greater Works Academy in Monroeville, but I realized that if I wanted a career in teaching, I needed to be certified. IUP has an Master of Arts in Teaching English degree that allowed me to earn a Master’s and receive certification.


How did you explore graduate school?

I decided to go to graduate school pretty late in the year (February), and I had missed a lot of the other application deadlines. IUP had a rolling admissions process, and it was close to my hometown of Altoona. At that time, I didn’t have a girlfriend, so I went where it was cheap and close to home.


Do you have any tips related to the application process?

I would suggest finding a school that will stretch your worldview. I went to a public high school, and then I came to Grove City which were pretty different. I then went to IUP for graduate school, so I went to another extreme. It is really interesting how different the approaches to education are from one school to another, and I think my experiences at Grove City and at IUP have really helped me develop a broad worldview in which I can think critically about a topic and extract the truth. I also really appreciated the Christian environment at Grove City which really helped shape my faith. When I went to IUP, I was prepared to live a life seeking after Christ even though I was in a more secular environment.


More information about Derek's experience with Oliver High school and employment-related tips


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