Affording A Degree

August 22, 2007 1 min read

I currently teach and coordinate an ESL program in our charter school. I have been working as an ESL teacher for about nine years. I would like to get a second master’s degree either in Curriculum or Leadership. My existing degree is in TESOL. My other choice is to get a doctorate in TESOL or a related field. But as a single mother, I cannot just go to school and not work. Are there scholarships or grants available? Going into debt is not an option.

Thank you,


Agent K-12 now accepts questions about finding jobs in education. Our Web site is dedicated to providing job seekers with top school openings. E-mail to have your questions answered by an expert in the school recruitment field.

There are three steps in this process:

1. Decide whether you really want to get a second master’s degree or if your preference is for pursuing a doctorate.
2. Select the institution that you’d like to attend.
3. Inquire about financial assistance for students in your program.

Good sources for information include: a) academic departments, which typically offer their own scholarships, grants, and specialized financial assistance programs; b) the Financial Aid Office, which should have listings of available in-house and external scholarships or grants for which you could apply; and c) Women’s Studies/Women’s Resource Centers, which exist on many campuses. These canters have been created specifically to assist women like you, who are single parents seeking advanced degrees. Remember there are many scholarships that go unclaimed because people just don’t know about their existence.

Individuals with expertise in fields such as TESOL are highly desirable right now. I genuinely believe that, especially if you decide to go for a doctorate in this area, you should be able to find some good sources of financial assistance.

Your willingness to relocate will surely make the process of becoming a teacher easier and more realistic for you. I wish you luck and success!

This answer, provided by Dr. Dawn Scheffner Jones, online education and health advisor for career services at Northern Illinois University, is intended for informational purposes only. Opinions are solely those of the participants.