Graduate student enrollment skyrockets

BY JOSIE GERESZEK
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The number of new graduate students enrolled at MSUM has more than doubled from last year.

The addition of new graduate programs to the university in the past 12 months has enabled the increase. Master’s degrees in business, healthcare and nursing administration as well as accounting and finance were included as a result of student and employer interest.

The number has peaked from last year when 42 new students enrolled in graduate programs. Now there are 87 new students enrolled across all of the graduate programs, including the new program offerings. There are 500 total graduate students enrolled at present.

According to Boyd Bradbury, interim dean of education and human services, the university is making a concerted effort to add flexibility and convenience to graduate programs to better meet the needs of students.

“The considerable increase in enrollment is not by accident. I am proud of the fact that our graduate faculty members have made a genuine effort to accommodate student needs,” Bradbury said. “Our instructors care about their students, and they provide students personalized attention.”

Bradbury said this attention has not been limited to the traditional classroom setting.

“While some of our graduate programs are traditional ‘bricks and mortar,’ the majority of graduate programs at MSUM are available in online or hybrid formats,” Bradbury said. “Many graduate students are busy individuals who must balance professional and personal responsibilities. In an age of ubiquitous technology, working to get the necessary education to advance their professional careers without leaving the comfort and convenience of their homes.”

At MSUM students enrolled for fully online programs, such as curriculum instruction or education leadership, receive one-on-one attention from professors and get to know classmates by meeting online through programs like Skype, Google Hangouts and WebEX.

These online offerings allow students to remain in school without putting their careers on hold.

Josh St. Louis is a fifth grade teacher at Robert Asp Elementary and is working on receiving his master’s degree in educational leadership.

“The online classes were great because I could do the work when it fit into my schedule,” St. Louis said. “Events such as web chats were scheduled in the evening, so I still had time to feed my kids dinner and put them to bed. The chats helped it feel like a regular class without the headache of having to be away from home.”

For more information on the graduate programs offered at MSUM, visit mnstate.edu/graduate.

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