UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun

UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun UMass Lowell’s online programs get high marks in national ranking - Lowell Sun Posted: 31 Jan 2021 12:00 AM PST LOWELL — UMass Lowell's online education programs are again ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, which assessed more than 1,000 programs nationwide. UMass Lowell's online graduate program in criminal justice is No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 among all public colleges and universities, and offers the lowest price among New England-based programs appearing in the new ranking. UMass Lowell's online graduate program in information technology is No. 16 in the nation and is the highest ranked among all public institutions in New England. UMass Lowell's online graduate programs in education are ranked No. 23 nationally and the highest among New England colleges and universities. UMass Lowell offers multiple opt

'I am 65 years old, and I am not done yet': Georgia Southern graduates adapt, overcome - Savannah Morning News

'I am 65 years old, and I am not done yet': Georgia Southern graduates adapt, overcome - Savannah Morning News

'I am 65 years old, and I am not done yet': Georgia Southern graduates adapt, overcome - Savannah Morning News

Posted: 23 Dec 2020 07:20 AM PST

Katie Nussbaum   | Savannah Morning News

More than 2,000 Georgia Southern University students earned their degrees this month with many of them walking across the stage during the first in-person ceremonies of the year. 

One of those graduates received a Master's degree after not attending college for more than 37 years. Following a 30-year career in sales and marketing, Darlene Williams, 65, decided to chase a new dream.

"I started substitute teaching in October 2013, and one of my first assignments was in a high school special education classroom," she said. 

"That is all it took. I thought to myself, 'This is where I am supposed to be.'"

Williams earned her bachelor's in business administration from the University at Buffalo in 1981 and planned to eventually transition from the business world to teaching math. By 2015, she was teaching students who have moderate to severe disabilities at an elementary school in metro Atlanta, but wanted to pursue further opportunities to grow as a teacher.  

"I never wanted to invest in a master's degree before because I didn't have a reason to," she said. 

Williams was able to continue working while pursuing her degree online through the university's College of Education. She completed her course work in July and walked across the stage at Paulson Stadium on the Statesboro Campus on Dec. 17.

Williams said her granddaughter, who lives in New York encouraged, her to walk at graduation. 

"Though Ariana cannot attend, I will have the support of my daughter, son, two grandsons, brother and brother-in-law and my sweetie," Williams said. 

"I am 65 years old, and I am not done yet," she added. "If that inspires others to know they can do it, then I am happy to be that inspiration for them."

Fellow graduate Lee Ann Hitt also found herself back in college after a break. Enrolling after a 15-year hiatus because of health issues and then the loss of a scholarship, Hitt had had a rocky first-go attending college in her home state of Missouri.

Later after becoming a military spouse and mother to three children, she put her desire to return to college on the back burner. But after her husband was assigned to serve as an instructor in Georgia Southern's Army ROTC program in 2018, she set her sights on her education. 

"This university was very different from the large university I originally attended in central Missouri," Hitt said. 

"Like the rest of Statesboro, it is a community with a much more personal feel. Classes are smaller, there are more discussions and more group projects. People here care enough to invest in students personally, and that makes all the difference."

The personal outreach was vital to her learning process in the beginning, as her husband was deployed to Fort Knox, Ky., for several months and she suffered a miscarriage and had to have surgery. 

History professor Michael Scott Van Wagenen reached out to Hitt.

"He got real with me, and he also gave me a pep talk," she said. 

"He wrote out a coupon for '1 Free Mistake.' Later, I won first place on both major class projects and earned an A-plus. We now jokingly call that coupon my Dumbo feather. I had what it took within me the whole time. I just needed confidence in myself."

Earlier this year, Hitt was looking ahead to an internship with Fort Pulaski and the chance to present her research at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Intellectual Opportunities Symposium, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

In March, her children were sent home from school, and her external educational opportunities were put on hold. Mid-May, her grandfather died from complications from COVID, and her father fell ill from it. Through the turmoil, Hitt remained on track, taking five summer classes virtually, including an internship with Special Collections at Henderson Library, while still at home with her children. 

Hitt's perseverance paid off with exemplary grades. She also received the History Department's Jack and Addie Averitt Foundation Merit Scholarship and Max O'Neal Award, bestowed upon the student with the best history paper.

"I am extremely proud of myself for being able to complete my bachelor's degree and finish strong with five consecutive semesters of straight As," she said. 

"I am proud that I demonstrated dedication and the importance of an education and being a lifelong learner to my classmates and my children. The support of my husband and others in my community was essential."

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Jaisha Nivens was in high school when she and her three brothers relocated to Hinesville for her oldest brother's military assignment at Fort Stewart.

"My older brother took us in because we were living in a bad situation," Nivens said. "He was only 22 at the time, but he was a good role model. The experience humbled and shaped me."

While attending Liberty County High School, Nivens participated in an Early Education Career Pathway, which provided experiences at local daycare centers and elementary schools. Once the program placed her in a third grade classroom, she knew it was where she wanted to be.

Nivens attended East Georgia State College for a year before transferring to Georgia Southern to complete her education courses and took on two day care assistant jobs to support herself. 

She then set her sights on Georgia Southern. 

"I always wanted to come to Georgia Southern," she said. "I saw that the University had strong education programs, and I knew I would be better prepared for my job."

Now that she has completed her studies at GS, she plans to move closer to her brothers, who resettled in Tampa. She has already lined up a position as a third grade teacher in the area and is studying to complete her Florida exams for teaching certification.

"I've always worked well with children," she said, "and I am grateful for Georgia Southern giving me the other pieces to the puzzle to become a good teacher."

Katie Nussbaum is the business reporter for the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at Twitter: KmartSMN

Students can earn two degrees in five years in Health Policy and Administration - Penn State News

Posted: 24 Nov 2020 12:00 AM PST

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Through its Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Master of Health Administration program (IUG BS/MHA), students in the Health Policy and Administration undergraduate major are able to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in just five years.

Students who successfully complete this integrated program earn a bachelor of science degree in health policy and administration (HPA) and a master of health administration (MHA) in five years of study.

"Through our IUG BS/MHA, students are provided multiple opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the field, engage in applied work through a local physician practice, national case competitions, residency and capstone projects, and expand their network of professional connections through alumni mentors, peer mentors, faculty advisers and more. Completing the program accelerates our students' career growth and job prospects," said Chris Calkins, executive director of both the residential and online Master of Health Administration programs at Penn State.

The program, which combines bachelor's- and master's-level classes in the fourth year of study, seeks applicants who are looking to challenge themselves, build their skills and competencies, and make a transformative difference in health services organizations.

In this unique, multidisciplinary program, students receive instruction from outstanding faculty members who have excellent academic training and industry experience.

By reducing the time it takes to earn two degrees, students maximize financial investment in their education, all while learning to tackle the most pressing issues in any health care environment.

"The program builds a student's professional maturity through hands-on experience and leadership opportunities," said Hannah Ross, graduate of the IUG BS/MHA program. "For current or prospective HPA students who are looking to challenge themselves and to grow as young professionals, the integrated program offers an accelerated path to becoming a health care leader.

"Potential employers and professional contacts were consistently impressed with my enrollment as an BS/MHA student because it proved my dedication to hard work, continuous learning and my desire to make a difference in health care," added Ross.

Students interested in the IUG BS/MHA program are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to discuss admissions requirements and their academic plan as early as possible when considering the program. Qualified HPA students apply during their junior year, must have successfully completed 60 credits, and are required to meet the minimum GPA standard set by the Department of Health Policy and Administration. The deadline to apply for the program is Jan. 15.

Learn more about the Integrated Undergraduate Graduate Program in Health Policy and Administration, or contact the program at 814-865-0631.

How Your Career Can Benefit From A Master's Degree - The Good Men Project

Posted: 23 Dec 2020 02:40 AM PST

College is a very liberating experience. It allows you to practice different values such as patience, perseverance, and independence, to mention a few. It also allows you to learn new ones. With all the knowledge you gain there, you're finally ready to face the real world and apply to work in your chosen field.

Learning Never Stops

For some people, the learning doesn't end after those four or five years spent in an undergraduate program. Many continue to go to school, and take more specialized learning in the form of a master's degree. A few numbers even go so far as to earn a Ph.D. What keeps them going?

Aside from a thirst for knowledge, the greatest motive for completing your studies in higher education is becoming a stronger competitor in the working world. The better you are at what you do and the more knowledgeable, the higher your chances are of attaining a career that will set you up for life.

Advantages of Getting a Master's Degree

When you choose to do something that you'll have to invest so much in, it's important to make a wise decision. Think about how it will impact your future. Once you find an opportunity to become a better person, you have to grab it and never let go.

1. Deeper knowledge and expertise.
In studying for a master's degree, you'll obtain specialized education in your chosen field. It takes another couple of years, so you need to be mentally prepared for the challenge.

Students who enroll in a master's degree either love what they study or really want to get a jump on the competition. If you don't, then it's not going to be enjoyable, and you might end up quitting after suddenly losing interest mid-semester. It takes a lot of passion and perseverance to complete the course.

When business degree holders opt for a higher level of qualification after graduating from the undergraduate program, they are considered as MBA students. Let's say you're one of these, and after going to university you were able to build a small startup business. Now, you want to know how you can use better strategies to compete more fiercely in the market. Thus, you decide to take an MBA or a master's in business administration.

A master's degree course exposes you to much more in-depth knowledge than that which you had in your undergraduate years. The lessons will be more applicable to real-life situations, which means that you can take what you learn and apply it to your own business. Your teachers are considered the cream of the crop, as they have – like you –invested in education to become renowned in their field of expertise.

2. Easy job promotion.
Enhancing your capabilities and learning more will allow you to gain skills that can be applied in real life. If you're working for a company and are slowly starting to build a name for yourself, one way to stand out much more prominently is by having a master's degree.

As the title implies, you are now a master in your field of expertise. You went through years of rigorous training to become someone other people can look up to as an authority in your chosen subject. Just for an example, let's say the firm you're currently working on is experiencing a very low turnover rate over the course of a few months. There has to be something wrong, right?

Your firm is having a hard time figuring out what the problem is, so they look for someone who is an expert in human resource management. You just graduated from your Master's and now hold a degree as a master of human resource studies. Now, they don't have to outsource someone to help them because they have someone in-house who can do the job.

Due to your contribution, management decides that you deserve to be well-compensated for helping the company improve their way of handling employees. Now, the employees feel important and well taken care of because of your efforts to turn things around. You are now the new head of human resources for your company.

Your master's degree is a reflection of your superior capabilities. Who knows, you might be a great CEO in the future.

3. Improved network.
In undergraduate programs, you will meet new people from different walks of life, but these people are most likely high school graduates, yet to make corporate connections. They still don't have enough experience and are still trying to build their future. This is very different in a master's course because the students have already been through and passed all the trials of the undergraduate syllabus.

Individuals who enroll in a master's program are often those who have had a lot of experience in the working sector. It is uncommon for fresh undergraduates to immediately enroll in master's, but not impossible. Many still decide to apply for a master's after they complete their undergraduate course, to get the best start in their working life.

You can relate the concepts taught in graduate school to your experience and easily apply them to real life and to your work. That is how you are honed to master your field of expertise. Lack of general experience will only limit your growth. It is usually a huge blocker wherein you can no longer properly conceptualize how to act in certain situations.

Thus, your classmates in this degree will be more knowledgeable about the subject. This is how you can improve your network, and build connections with people who have bright futures in the industry. You can then ask them to reference or endorse your company, and they can do the same with you. It is important to have a vast professional network, so that you know where you can ask for help whenever specific problems arise.

4. Contribute to research.
Your heightened ability will allow you to make greater contributions to society. Likewise, you can join other experts to kick off programs and activities that will be beneficial to others.

The academic field is full of researchers who wish to provide innovations and other improvements to society. This can vary from medical research to social sciences. Wherever your expertise lies, you can do research and publish it for other people to see.

As long as you continue in your research, you will learn more and provide more new ideas that will enhance how society works. Who knows, in time you might be more interested in the big world of research and innovation and find a new career there.

Learn for Learning's Sake

Your decision to attend higher education is a big sacrifice of time and freedom. Thus, before you make your final decision, make sure to cover all your bases and try to answer the following questions:

Why do you want to attend graduate school?

Re-evaluate and make sure that you know what you're after. It's important to attend graduate school for the sake of learning. This way, you will be pushed to your limits and won't be surprised by how hard it is. While the subjects may be quite easy to get by, the final requirement will be sure to test your capabilities, as well as how much you've learned throughout the duration of your enrollment.

Where do you want to study?

Your choice of educational institution will be an important factor in your performance. If you're a working individual, it might be more beneficial to choose a school that's near you. This way, you won't have to spend so much time on the road to attend your classes, and in case of work or school emergencies, you can easily go where you need to.

It's also important to research the school's performance before enrolling. See how many accredited subjects they have and find people who have graduated from the institution to ask them about their experience. You need to know how the institution values quality education, and how they take care of their students' mentalities.

You also need to find a school that caters to working individuals. Some schools will require a lot of time and study, so it's important to find the best fit Aside from this, find out who the teachers are. Teachers practicing their chosen subjects in real life are very helpful, because they're sure to give you the best advice to take forward into your career.

What kind of arrangement do you like?

At present, there are two options available to complete a higher degree of education. You can either go for online classes or continue with the traditional face-to-face interaction.

Online classes will require you to own a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone to attend your classes. However, a laptop is the most preferable option as it offers the most technological capability and may allow for programs that smartphones or even tablets cannot. Online classes are best for people who are extremely busy, because the arrangement is often self-paced. This means that you can complete your studies at any time, and choose the most convenient hours to suit your schedule. With this system, you won't be pressured to submit materials before a given deadline, so you can take your time in finishing up your degree.

For people who have a set goal and who wish to finish their studies quickly, a face-to-face arrangement would be favorable. In face-to-face classes, you'll be meeting your teacher and be able to ask them questions when things are unclear. The guidance is also exemplary, as they will always be around to help you with what you need. Likewise, you will be able to interact with your classmates and build your network with them. Also, if there are presentations, you can group together and easily arrange your time.

Survival Mode

If you've finally made up your mind and have decided that you want to study your master's, here are a few helpful tips for you to follow:

  1. Learn to balance your time.
    It's going to get really busy once you're in graduate school because there will be a lot of written requirements and research papers required. Thus, if you're working, you should start organizing your calendar and your daily schedule to fit everything you need to do into any given day.
  2. Find a support system.
    Sometimes, you will require help. While you have the capability to do a lot of things by yourself, being too caught up might burn you out. Thus, you need to have someone close to you to guide you and make you feel better, in case times get too tough for you to handle.
  3. Make it fun.
    Yes, graduate school requires a serious attitude to help you get through, but make it a habit to mix up your schedule from time to time. This will help to keep things exciting, because doing the same things over and over again becomes boring and monotonous. Find a new hobby and enjoy it, as this will help to relieve any frustration.
  4. Take breaks.
    Learn to take care of your mental health and find a way to express your frustrations healthily. Sometimes all it takes is a good walk in the park to combat and decrease your anxiety. You won't be able to do something productive if your mind is full of things to worry about. Make sure to find a new method of relaxation from time to time, and reward yourself when you have small victories.

The road to attaining a master's degree will be one of your greatest challenges in life. But it will also be something that you will always be proud of. Your decision to improve yourself and expand your knowledge will not only enhance your abilities, but it will have a big impact on society. Today, the world needs more people to step up and be instruments in a better future for the rest of the population. Your effort will not go to waste.

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