My name is Carlo Serrano and I live in Clarksville, TN with my wife and two sons. I currently serve as the Teaching Pastor of oneChurch.tv in Clarksville and as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities. I served 5 years in the US Army with one year in Iraq prior to entering vocational ministry. I have a Diploma in Pastoral Ministries from Global University, a BA in Psychology from American Military University, an MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, and a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. I am a published author and researcher with over a dozen peer-review credits. When I am not studying, teaching, or serving our church, I enjoy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Brown Belt), powerlifting, reading (non-fiction), and hanging out with my family.
Congratulations on your acceptance to Manna University! We are so excited to have you with us as a new student. Your next step in this process is to get you enrolled in orientation. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, orientation is mandatory for all newly accepted students. This course is self-paced and 8 weeks long. Orientation should be completed as quickly as possible in order to get you prepared for your upcoming semester.
You can enroll for orientation the same semester you begin your normal classes. This course in Populi will be open a little earlier than your other courses to allow you to get a jump start. For those of you who use FAFSA or VA benefits, don’t worry, orientation will be financially covered just as any of your other classes would be. If you are not already registered for orientation and you would like some assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your advisor.
MACL Tips & Tricks
Welcome to graduate school! Here are some tips or hacks that will help you succeed at this level:
Read and write like a researcher
Take a large amount of information and distill it into a concise and clear presentation of that information. If you are in love with reading every single word in every single required book, you may have a hard time with this. Read strategically. Read as fast as you can while still maintaining comprehension. You can practice some of this, pull out a timer, pull out any book, read as fast as you can out loud and then close the book, say out loud, here’s what the page just said. Then practice again, but read faster, but don’t read it out loud, read it internally, do that same exercise and see how long it took you to read that page with a timer. Once you do that you will get an idea of what your pace of reading is like, and this will help you read for comprehension instead of just to ingest content. Start with the table of contents–know where the book is going; follow the map. Get the heart behind the paragraphs–the first and last sentence of every paragraph contains the heart of what is in there. When in doubt, or when needed, you can read the first and last sentence of each paragraph and get the general idea of what that page is saying. You won’t get the in-depth knowledge. This is not recommended for every single course and every single textbook, but this is a way to take in large amounts of information at a time and still be able to make sense of it. The good news is, you can always go back once you’ve completed your assignments and do some deeper reading.
Write with precision and write with clarity
Use apps like Grammarly, subscribed to some services like Mendeley (this will help you organize your articles). When you write you want to be clear, you want to be academic in your prose, and you want to become a master in the style guide of your discipline. If you’re in the MACL program, the APA manual is going to determine how you structure papers and what those papers should sound like. When I say master, I don’t just mean the ability to cite sources, I mean your prose. What should this actually sound like when I’m writing? One of the best ways to learn how to write like a graduate student is to read graduate level research. Read peer-reviewed articles, read high-end trade articles, read scholarly books and in doing so you will adopt the tone of a graduate student.
Manage your time
Create a time budget; if you don’t tell where your time to go, it’s going to get up and leave. Graduate school is intensive, it involves a lot of time and reading, writing, and research. Start with a budget. Block off your time during the day that you have your most energy. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, whatever it is, find out when you are your most productive, when your brain is most active, that’s when you need to focus as much as you can on your schoolwork.
At the end of the day, you chose to be in this program, you chose to step into this. As you are learning how to lead others, I encourage you to lead yourself. We are better together so you have to have communication with your professors, you have to be engaged and involved with your coursework, you have to have a sense of humility that at this level of education, what I have done before may have gotten me here, but now I have a brand-new slate. I encourage you to be poor in spirit, be humble and take advantage of all the great information that you are going to learn at the graduate level.