Graduate Programs to Begin in January

This morning, our regional accrediting agency—the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges—authorized us to admit and register students for two new graduate programs. This is great news for Middle Georgia State University, our current and prospective students, and the community at large.

The MGA Office of Graduate Studies will begin admitting, advising, and registering students immediately for the Master of Science in Information Technology and Master of Science in Nursing, which were approved by the Board of Regents earlier this year. Offering graduate degrees is part of a university vision and mission for academic excellence at all levels, and we are excited to begin executing on that vision in January.

The MSIT has tracks in digital security and health informatics—two fields that were nearly unheard of two decades ago—while the MSN prepares nurse practitioners in adult gerontology and acute care to address the needs of a broad population. In order to make both degrees accessible to working professionals, they will be offered completely online.

Our Office of Graduate Studies is based on our Warner Robins campus and will respond to needs across the region, as communities show the desire and opportunity for advanced thinking and leadership in the professions. Graduate education at MGA is designed intentionally to connect professional and academic leadership and excellence, so that the value of MGA master’s degrees is clear.

According to an analysis by the Council on Graduate Schools, the fields expected to lead in employment growth over the next five years include health care, professional and business services such as information technology and management, as well as educational services. As such, further plans for graduate degrees in Education and Management are already underway.

The fact is that a graduate degree can make a tremendous difference. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, the number of jobs typically requiring a master’s degree for entry is expected to grow by 22%. We live in a century where lifelong credentialing and increased levels of knowledge are necessary, and our master’s degree programs will provide a rich environment to meet that need.

My sincere thanks to the Deans of IT and Health Sciences, and our Interim Dean of Graduate Studies, for spearheading our efforts on MGA’s first graduate offerings. We are optimistic as we take this next step toward full accreditation as a graduate degree-granting institution, and look forward to welcoming SACSCOC for a site visit in the spring, which will be focused on our master’s programs.