Classes begin for masters programs

Nate Billings

With the new university status, Missouri Southern has brought new graduate programs to its students.

The programs are in conjunction with Northwest Missouri State University. Students are now able to receive a Masters of Education in Teaching focusing either on early childhood education and instructional technology.

Dr. Betsy Griffin, assistant vice president for academic affairs, is overseeing the programs and will coordinate the classes with help from Dr. Glenn Coltharp, associate professor and head of teacher education.

“The programs will be a great boom to the teachers in the area,” Griffin said.

She said the education department was the first to receive the graduate programs because the University has had more interest in education masters than in other programs.

“They (the graduate degrees) will provide a better service to our local community,” she said.

Griffin said students should be able to complete the programs in two years.

The programs are not closed to non-education majors, but for the early childhood education emphasis, Griffin said the students should take a few background undergraduate classes before beginning the program.

The admission requirements for applications include a 2.50 grade-point-average on a 4.00 scale and official scores from the GRE test. A writing assessment will be required in the first trimester of the courses.

Classes cost $168 for Missouri residents and $336 for non-residents.

Other programs are also being considered for graduate studies.

“When we think about the graduate degrees, we must think about our community leaders and the skills they require,” said Dr. Richard McCallum, vice president.

McCallum and Griffin said they are working together with Southwest Missouri State University and University of Missouri in Kansas City to develop nursing and dental hygiene programs. There is also the possibility of a masters of arts in teaching.

Griffin said these areas are ones which many people feel a need to develop in the area.

The current graduate program classes began a week later than the undergraduate classes because the NMSU academic calendar is a week later than Southern’s.

Students can apply and enroll for the courses online at http://www.mssu.edu. The application is through NMSU, but classes are taught on campus at Southern.

Currently, no new faculty members were hired to teach the courses, but Griffin said as more programs are added, more faculty members may be needed.