Southern plans for new masters

Dr. Richard McCallum - Vice President for academic affairs

Dr. Richard McCallum – Vice President for academic affairs

Jessica MacIntosh

Still in talks, Missouri Southern and Southeast Missouri State University are planning at joint master’s degree program in criminal justice.

“It’s an idea that we’re trying to develop,” said Dr. Richard McCallum, vice president for academic affairs. “It’s very early. It’s really in the beginning discussion stages. There’s still a long way to go in the developmental process.”

After determining a memorandum of understanding between the University and SEMO, the two institutions will sign it. McCallum said the program has to be processed to the department for higher education for approval.

“I think the soonest we can look at starting classes would be the fall semester of this year,” McCallum said.

Some of the classes that will be offered will be in criminal justice, criminal justice theory and students will have the chance to build internships and practicums through the program, McCallum said.

Southern currently offers master’s degree programs in arts in teaching through Missouri State University, a master of science in education – early childhood education and a master of science in education – instructional technology through NWMSU and nursing and dental hygiene through UMKC.

McCallum said the criminal justice program is one of the larger programs offered at Southern.

“There’s an incredible educational need in this area for a master’s degree in criminal justice,” he said.

He said the program offered at SEMO is a “perfect” match for the curriculum Southern would like to offer to its undergraduate students. He also said SEMO has a “great” criminal justice program.

“That’s what took us in that direction,” McCallum said.

“Their program seems to be the best program in the state that would work best with graduates,” said Dr. Blake Wolf, head of the criminal justice department.

McCallum said he thinks it is “terrific” to have the joint master’s degree program between Southern and SEMO.

“I also believe that our colleagues at Cape Girardeau would be a really wonderful group of people to have the chance to work with,” McCallum said.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for our graduates to get a master’s degree at this university,” Wolf said.