Listening to what graduate student Da’Shaun Scott was responsible for during his studies at IU, it’s hard to imagine he also completed an assistantship and a certificate, along with his M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs. But Scott managed to do all that while keeping his goals high for his future.
Scott graduates this May with his Masters, along with a certificate in education law. As part of his degree, Scott had to complete an assistantship. He was a graduate supervisor at Forest Residence Hall, where he was responsible for everything from supervising residence assistants to crisis management to listening to parents’ concerns.
One of the benefits from Scott’s assistantship was the location – he lived where he worked in Forest Residence Hall. But that also meant Scott always took his work home from him. He learned the importance of self-care while at IU, whether that was going for a run or traveling on the weekends. That became especially important for Scott since he was busy not only with his masters work, but also his education law certificate. Given the current political climate, Scott felt learning more about education law would help him better serve his students.
“I just felt like in order for me to advocate for my students, I need to learn how to look up cases and write briefs,” he said. “It really helped me out. Law affects everything.”
Scott didn’t even have IU on his radar when he was applying for graduate programs. But after finding out more about the School of Education online, a campus visit to Bloomington changed his mind. Only four hours away from his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, Scott said the faculty he gets to work with in HESA and the research they were doing played a part in his decision to study at the School of Education. It also fit in nicely with his undergraduate degree in business communication and human resources. He’d like to use the combination of his degrees to design curriculum for a company’s summer internship program. Eventually, Scott hopes to get his Ph.D. in higher education or education policy or business administration and become Dean of Students someday.
“Student interaction is something I value,” he said. “I always want to interact with students. It’s nice being a professor but it’s different being a faculty member versus being a staff member. Students may view you differently. We both help develop students but in different capacities. You need to get engaged with your community campus. It helps your day.”
Scott advises future students looking into grad programs to stay open-minded.
“Listen to your instinct and heart. You can’t force yourself to like something you don’t like,” he pointed out. “Even if you’re unsure, visit the campus or reach out to faculty or staff. That can make a difference.”