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PHD Education Statement of Purpose Sample, Applicant from Taiwan, Autism Spectrum

I want to give my professional life to the promotion of multilingual education, worldwide, and especially in the USA. I plan to make the fullest contribution possible in this regard as a professional researcher in the area of learning and the mind. I will labor to contribute to a modernization of educational policy that fully reflects solid scientific evidence in support of the intellectual and social value of multilingual education for the stimulation of the higher executive function skills of school children, resulting in enhanced academic performance.

UXX is my first choice for earning the PHD Degree in Education not only because I live in Davis, California with my family so it is by far the most convenient; but I also feel that I am a good fit with the focus of your program since I am already steeped in the study of connections between cognition and mind on the one hand, and learning science on the other. This is especially true with respect to children with disabilities. Education at UXX is oriented towards the promotion and appreciation of multilingual education and literacy development, immersion schools, bilingual classrooms, etc. It would be a special honor for me to learn not just in my classes and through interaction with my peers, but also through intensive engagement with UXX’s Mind Institute, the ideal location for me to develop my talents as a researcher.

Born and raised in Taiwan, I learned Japanese as well as English early on since I excelled at languages and our island was a colony of Japan for a very long time. As an adolescent, I also began studying Spanish intensively and went on to complete my undergraduate studies primarily in this area. Thus, I am proficient in this language as well as Japanese, in addition to being a near-native speaker of English and a native speaker of Mandarin. My husband is from Hong Kong so Cantonese is also heard frequently in our home.

Both of my children were born in Kentucky. One is autistic and the other speaks three languages fluently. I became a stay at home mom, mostly for my son, now age 11, who needs a lot of help. It was not until my daughter, now 8, began her Spanish immersion kindergarten program that I have really been in a position to give my best to graduate school. My husband is now engaged in research at UC Davis related to Autism and virtual realities. Now, I too want very much to engage in intensive research in the area of Autism at UC Davis, in my case, studying how cognition affects verbal skills and ways of learning for children who are not neuro-typical (e.g. autism). I also look forward to an in-depth study of Autism as a culture-based disorder, especially in terms of treatment. The primary catalyst for my intellectual focus on "Mind and Learning Sciences" has clearly been my son.

I am a promoter of multilingualism and an advocate for multilingual education. Fascinated by the process of language learning through immersion, I follow my daughter’s progress in Spanish immersion school very closely. I also work hard with her to master Chinese language quickly, spending every summer in Taiwan. I often find myself amused by her Kentucky accent in English. Living and loving language acquisition is the center of my world and I have no intention of leaving my Autistic son behind. He is also making progress with his language skills, only much more slowly. But, he is learning, more and more all the time. I find myself gravitating towards the value of learning in community magnified and focused by contact in the virtual world. My husband and I frequently brainstorm at length for ideas in this area.

Last year I taught in a public school and my philosophy was to embrace, encourage and empower through task-based learning. I look forward to becoming a better teacher at the same time that I gear up for the fullest career development through research in the area of multilingual development for children - on as well as off the Autism Spectrum.

1st 2 Paragraphs for the PHD Instructional Design, System and Technology

I am a young woman from Malaysia with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. I have great hope as a global citizen that our communications revolution will also continue to revolutionize education, helping to foster respect for human rights, dignity and more equal treatment of our people. My long term goal is to teach and promote digital ethics, particularly the teaching Malaysian children how to protect themselves online.

Of special relevance is my volunteer experience with the School Of Hope on Mabul Island. I worked tirelessly to collect enough donations to purchase the school materials that they needed for basic educational functions. Myself and my colleagues also started an Arts Program during our lengthy stay, I chose to give my all to the School Of Hope for over a year because of the fact that it serves Bajau and Suluk children who are born stateless. Like their fathers and forefathers, they have no access to state-sponsored education, healthcare or social welfare services. 

Sample 1st Paragraph MA Educational Counseling

I find by far my greatest joy in life helping people, especially those who are down and out, sick, either physically or with acute emotional or mental health issues. I feel best when I make others feel better. For this reason, I have volunteered at several social service agencies over the last several years, beginning in high school. My most recent volunteer efforts have taken place through the REAL Crisis intervention agency, providing crisis counseling via telephone and walk in, information and referral services, and suicide intervention.

Sample 1st Paragraph MA Degree in Educational Counseling, Zimbabwe

I am a young woman from Zimbabwe and I am currently working towards completion of my BA Degree in Education. I will be graduating this coming June of 2012. I hope to begin graduate school in the Fall of 2013. I am applying to your program because I feel strongly that the greatest contribution that I might be able to make would be to do everything that I can to help the school system in Zimbabwe set up effective counseling service for students.

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Personal Statement for Doctoral Degree in Education, Taiwanese Applicant, Speaks Spanish, Data Expert, Mother of Autistic Child

On one of the last occasions that I spent time with my father in Taiwan, before he passed away at age 47 from cancer, he asked me what I wanted to study in college. I told him Spanish; and listened to his deep sigh. Spanish was not commonly seen as the best option for someone in Taiwan as a career path, and another decade would go by before I earned my degree in Spanish, but I am pleased that I made this decision however unpopular it may have been with my parents. Nevertheless, with my father’s passing our economic situation was much less secure and my mother convinced me that my passion, languages, was simply not going to pay the bills. Thus, when I came to the United States for graduate school at Purdue University, I earned my Master’s Degree in Hotel Management. After graduation, the SF Bay Area became my home and I put my Spanish to work managing mostly Spanish-speaking staff.

My determination and critical thinking began to pay off and I achieved economic security by creating my own company on the Internet which now has three overseas branches. I learned to resolve issues and overcome hurdles to get there, learning to think systematically, increasing my capacity to contribute to the academic community as someone with a track record of real-world success. My analytical skills have also been tested in my now decade long battle to help my autistic son. Routine data collection is required to decrypt, interpret and drive decisions for his progress as I search for strategies that will lead to best possible learning outcomes. Learning how to do this better and better is one of my motivations for wanting to return to graduate school in Education and why I believe that I will excel, giving my very high level of motivation.

Working as a medical interpreter in hospitals has resulted in my being a witness to prejudice and differential treatment of members of disadvantaged social groups due to lack of language transparency. I also interpreting for parents at school district meetings. These experiences have left me most impressed with the central importance of communication and how communication processes depend on adequate translation from one language to another. All too often the language barrier is where people tend to misunderstand, presume, and exploit situations.

I have taught ESL to adult refugees as well as high school ESL and I worked intensively in ESL with two disadvantaged students as part of my teaching practicum to earn my Master’s Degree in Teaching World Languages with a focus on Spanish & Chinese (GPA 3.83 -2017). I have studied abroad on several occasions to improve both my Spanish and Japanese; and I was able to do this by effective management of my resources and family life. I am very excited about the prospect of returning to graduate school in Education and having the opportunity to share my experiences with peers who have similar interests. I very much enjoy interaction between classmates, group presentations and I am especially fascinated with novel ways that theory and methodology can give rise to creative and novel  topics in academic research. My career goal is research and I imagine myself writing proposals for studies designed to find solutions for challenges in language pedagogy.

I have founded an Internet startup that now has 40 employees, a special needs parent and a language teacher, I seek further challenge and bringing it all together, particularly with respect to the education of my son. I see a doctoral degree in Education as the central key to fulfilling my curiosity concerning language learning.

I thank you for considering my application to the University of XXXX.