I just found out that I have been accepted into KU's creative writing MFA progam. Yay me! This means I'll be pursuing a "terminal degree"; that is, I'll be upgrading from my current MA (creative writing), which is not the highest degree in the field, to a degree that is considered the highest available for creative writers. (For those of you not into academia, it's kind of like a PhD in other fields.)
Why do this now, 11 years after finishing my MA and when I already have a job? Well, businesses respect their premier products, and to have respect within a university, one needs to have demonstrated respect for their top product (advanced degrees). When I finish the MFA, that will mean I can teach graduate-level courses without having to use another faculty member (who has a terminal degree) as the "instructor of record" (that is, they input the grade for me). It also means I'll be eligible for possible upcoming full-time faculty positions (as opposed to my current, odd, non-tenure-track, 0.8 assistant professor position). It will also make the Department Chair's job easier, trying to make my current position more permanent as well as other things that having a terminal degree will help her do. Finally, it means that, should I be hired full-time, that I can do things like become Department Chair or College Dean, myself.
The best news is that the MFA program director tells me that I should only need to complete about 6 credit-hours to upgrade my M.A.!
There's also the goodness about getting to work with creative-writing teachers I haven't had in classes before, and a renewed focus on my writing.
So! I start next Fall, which will be exciting, what with teaching at least five classes; on the plus side, the Departmental scheduling officer (also the head of the MFA program) is only going to schedule me to teach two classes in the Spring.