New grad programs proposed

New grad programs proposed

Sophie Hillmeyer

The Office of Graduate Education and Research has proposals for three new graduate programs that will help prepare students to enter the workforce and be a draw for incoming students, Lisa Eckert, Interim Dean of Graduate Education and Research said.

The three proposed programs are a Master’s of Science (MS) in mathematics, revisions to a MS in applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and MS in speech-language pathology (SLP), Eckert said. Proposals must go through Academic Senate and get approval by both the Provost and the Board of Trustees.

As of last Friday, NMU has about 500 graduate students and those numbers are expected to rise when the proposed programs are approved, graduate admissions counselor Hayli Cox said.

“We are already seeing an increase in applicants,” Cox said. “Most programs haven’t made their admission decisions and won’t until March, but a lot of our programs have capped and they are going to deny maybe even 100 students.”

ABA and SLP programs require accreditation from determining bodies who set the standards, which can take extra time, Eckert said. Those two programs specifically help students become better prepared to enter the workforce because they have specific exams and clinical hours for students to participate in.

“[These programs] are very specifically adhering to standards for both of those fields,” Eckert said. “We are very excited about the new programs.”

The MS in mathematics has two different tracks for students to choose from either traditional mathematics the teaching or Ph.D track or actuarial science in the insurance field, Eckert said.

In addition to the three proposed programs, there are also newly approved graduate programs that have begun accepting applications, Eckert said. These programs include master of social work (MSW), MS in athletic training and an online Master’s of Arts (MA) in Education.

“These are all professional degrees so for students to seek employment they usually have to have a master’s degree so the master’s is connected to the undergrad degree in preparing students for the clinical settings and working with patients and clients,” Eckert said.

The MS in athletic training is an accelerated program that is referred to as a 3+2 program, which means that students come in as undergraduates then in their junior year they apply for the graduate program. Students spend their senior year and one more additional year as graduate students allowing them to complete their education in five years, Eckert said.

MSW has accelerated options but does not have the same 3+2 style so students must get their bachelor’s degree in social work before continuing onto their master’s in social work, Eckert said.

“We are very excited for this program,” she said. “We have already admitted students for the first class and it’s proven to be very, very popular. These are the only programs of their kind in northern Michingan and even into northern Wisconsin.”

There are many components that go into creating these types of programs, Eckert said, adding, they have to meet specific rules and regulations in the field and the area must have clinical sites for students to get direct care hours.

“This is really exciting because it will also allow Northern to reach out and help the U.P. and the regional communities because these professionals will be out there working with members of the community who are in need of these services,” Eckert said. “So it is a win-win situation for Northern, for the students and for the regional communities.”

As of last Friday, NMU has about 500 graduate students and those numbers are expected to rise when the proposed programs are approved, graduate admissions counselor Hayli Cox said.

“We are already seeing an increase in applicants,” Cox said. “Most programs haven’t made their admission decisions and won’t until March, but a lot of our programs have capped and they are going to deny maybe even 100 students.”