Master of Arts in Leadership closer to launchMarch 20, 2012
New graduate programs move closer to launch
By Lisa Kucharski
Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 09:05
Truman graduate students will have more options with the introduction of two new graduate programs and four certificate programs.
Truman currently offers six graduate programs including Master of Arts in Communication Disorders, English, Music and Education, Master of Accountancy and Master of Science in Biology. This spring, a Master of Arts in School Counseling program was added and is in the process of approving a Master of Arts in Leadership program.
Graduate Office Secretary Doris Snyder said the counseling program had been deactivated in the past but was brought back for the Spring 2010 semester.
Candy Young, professor of political science, helped develop a Master of Arts in Leadership program.
The program has been approved by all the governing stages on campus. It is now being sent to the State Department of Higher Education for consideration.
Young said many other institutions offer various kinds of leadership programs, and it has been a topic discussed at Truman for several years.
“We got to thinking about what would be an appropriate master’s degree that would offer our students the possibility of focusing on something more in depth after their undergraduate degree,” Young said.
Young said this program offers opportunities for multiple career paths. It teaches five various levels of leadership that students will encounter in the work force. The first level is personal ethics, where students learn ways to approach different situations to be more successful.Students will then move on to study leadership in organizational contexts, where they learn about working with companies. Decision-making is the next course, emphasizing that good leaders make good decisions. The last courses will involve a case study and a required capstone experience.
Students will have the opportunity to create a 15-hour area of specialization, incorporate a field of study they are interested in and have internship opportunities to complete the masters program.
Having more courses allows for more teaching opportunities, but Young said most of it will be taught by Truman faculty. She also said there will be some areas where the program will use professionals to teach some courses to incorporate a real-world experience.
Sustaining the program depends on the number of students who enter it. Young said she expects to have both full-time and part-time students. Having classes in the evenings and weekends offers employed community members a chance to earn their degree and advance their careers. Young also said she hopes some Truman undergraduates will enter the program and become full-time students.
“We are really hoping that it will provide students an opportunity to connect their excellent liberal arts background with an understanding of how that background can be an asset to great leaders,” Young said. “Great leaders are not just good managers. They have to be able to employ the kinds of things that we teach to students in a liberal arts education. We want them to have a degree program that allows them to explore that.”
One more addition to the graduate program at Truman is the certificate program. While this program does not earn students a master’s degree, it does provide them with the opportunity to expand their capacity from the undergraduate level to better market themselves in the workplace, Young said.
Kevin Minch, Director of the Truman Institute, said Truman is working to add four new certificates to the curriculum. These include Managerial Foundations – which are business and accounting graduate-level courses – Sustainability and Environmental studies, Ada Programming and Computer Security graduate-level courses.
Minch said the Truman Institute is partly responsible for expanding continuing education efforts. Truman hasn’t offered certificates, whereas many colleges and universities in the rest of the country do. He said it will help students who go out in the workplace and want to continue their education but don’t have the money to earn a master’s degree by helping to advance their position.
The online certificate offers fundamental courses in the areas of study available. For example, a student can take online courses in the Managerial Foundations certificate program to learn about becoming a better manager. Minch said it’s an affordable opportunity to help employees move up in the competitive workplace.
“It allows you to get your feet wet in graduate study in business without having to pay for the full degree, and those courses could be [transferred] if another university accepted them,” Minch said.
Minch said these certificates were prompted by an invitation from Boeing to be a part of the Learning Together Partnership. This partnership involves a series of universities around the country where Boeing will pay for its employees to take undergraduate or graduate courses. The four certificates are ones that a Boeing employee might need.
Minch said that after Truman gains experience with the four experiences, he hopes to introduce others. It is possible for Managerial Foundations to have a couple courses available for the Fall 2010 semester, but Minch said the certificate programs will be phased in by the Spring 2011 semester.