by Rona Pietrzak, JD, Director, Katharine E. McBride Scholars Program, Bryn Mawr College

prepared for use at Transforming our Lives: Women on the Threshold of Change

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Bryn Mawr College

This questionnaire is to help you identify significant aspects of your interest in going back to school; if you answer these questions honestly, you will find yourself better prepared to decide which of our region’s many wonderful educational opportunities will best meet your interests.


PART AWhere do I come from?

1.The highest level of education I completed:

__ grade ___ , without obtaining a high school diploma or GED

__ high school or GED

__ some vocational or technical school training

__ a certificate from a vocational or technical school

__ some courses at a two-year or community college

__ a certificate program from a two-year or community college program

__ an associate’s degree from a two-year or community college

__ some courses at a four year college

__ a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college

__ courses beyond the bachelor’s degree level


2. I stopped going to school because: [check all that apply]

__ School was boring to me

__ I didn’t think I was smart enough to go any further

__ My parents told me I needed to go to work

__ I had a family of my own to take care of

__ I needed a full-time job to support myself and/or others

__ I didn’t have the grades or the kinds of courses that I needed to get into the next level of education

__ I wanted to have fun

__ I [or my family] couldn’t afford it

__ I wanted to make money

__ Someone told me I wasn’t "college material"

__ No one in my family had gone any further in school

__ My friends weren’t going any further in school

__ I didn’t know what I wanted to study

__ I didn’t know how to find out where to go next to school

__ My life was too unpredictable or sad for me to think about going on in school

__ I wanted to do other things with my life rather than studying

__ Other [write any other reason here]


3. I am interested now in returning to school for the following reason/s:

[check all that apply]

__ I need more education to advance in my current job

__ I am not able to find work without more education

__ I think I can make more if I get more education

__ I’ve been laid off and I need to be retrained to get work

__ I’ve lost my spouse or partner [through divorce or death] and need to get a skill or a degree to support myself

__ My kids have grown up and now it’s "my turn"

__ I’m bored with my life

__ I want to discover who I am

__ I want to make a better life for my family/kids

__ I’ve learned over the years that I AM smart enough to go back to school!

__ I want to show my kids how to be serious about life

__ I’m retired and now I have the time for school

__ I’ve always wondered what I missed by not going on in school when I was younger

__ I envy people I meet who went further in school, because they always seem to have something interesting to talk about

__ Someone younger, who had more education than me, was hired as my boss

__ I want to get the cobwebs out of my head

__ I’m interested in ________________________ [fill in the blank with your particular interest], and now I can pursue learning about this interest

__ I want to open my mind to new ideas

__ Other [Add any other reason you have for wanting to return to school]


4. Go back to the reasons you checked in question 3. Write in the space below up to 3 which are the most important reasons to you now.




5. How often in the past five years have I thought about going back to school?

__ all the time

__ fairly often

__ several times a year

__ once in a while

__ every September

__ not at all until 1 2 3 years ago [circle one], but often since then

__ not at all until I learned about this workshop


6. Has something specific happen in the last year or so to make me think NOW about going back to school?

yes no

If yes, write down the specific thing.



[Choose up to 3 answers for each question; if you can rank you choices, mark your top choice "1," etc.]

1. When I think about going back to school, I think mostly about enrolling in ...

__ one or two courses which can help me develop a skill so that I can switch jobs

__ a certificate program

__ a degree program [e.g., AA, BA, BS, MBA, etc] which would qualify me for advancement

__ course/s in a subject I have always wanted to learn about, even if it wouldn’t directly help me advance at work

__ course/s to add to my knowledge and skill about a hobby

__ course/s to help me improve my primary relationship and/or my child-rearing skills

__ course/s in personal money management or retirement planning

__ course/s that will expand my understanding of the world

__ other

2. When I think about going back to school, I imagine myself: [check all that apply]

__ taking classes with students of traditional college-age

__ taking courses on-line from home

__ sitting in a classroom or seminar room and exchanging ideas with the teacher and the other students

__ trying to get as much out of the courses as I can

__ trying to do the least I need to do to "pass" or obtain the credential offered

__ being in a class with people mostly like me

__ other [write below]

Bryn Mawr College Programs


McBride Scholars Program

The Katharine E. McBride Scholars Degree Program is for women beyond the traditional college-age. If you postponed or interrupted your schooling but are now considering earning your college degree, we invite you to explore this challenging and rewarding program.


The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: A University in a College

Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research

Master of Social Service

Master of Law and Social Policy

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work

Continuing Education

The Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program

Continuing Education



Some Key Factors to Consider when Evaluating an Educational Program


Is the program nationally Accredited?

Why this might be an issue

-- If you want to obtain federal or state financial aid

-- If you hope to use these courses to satisfy requirements of future employers or other schools

This may be a problem with some vocational programs and some on-line programs

Probably not a concern if you are taking courses purely for your own enjoyment

Is your Baseline knowledge sufficient for you to take these courses?

-- How my writing, math, computer skills prepare me for this program?

-- How can I find out?

-- If I am not ready now, how can I prepare?

Community Colleges are a terrific resource — see attached sheet

Neighborhood Adult Ed classes

Mayor’s Commission on Literacy

Does this program offer the Credentials and Courses you seek?

-- To what extent does this program meet my

-- short-term and long-term goals?

-- needs and preferences?

-- Are there courses of interest to me?

-- Am I allowed to enroll in them?

-- If I want to earn a record of completion [a diploma, a certificate, etc], can I?