As students prepare for the start of the fall semester, final arrangements are underway to expand the graduate programs available to them at Missouri Southern.

Master’s programs in education and accountancy are in the final phase of the approval process by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Susan Craig, program coordinator for the teacher education graduate program, says she’s already seen a lot of interest from students wanting to learn more about the Master of Science in Education – Curriculum and Instruction degree.

“It’s designed for the current classroom teacher wanting to improve his or her abilities,” says Craig. “It’s for someone who wants to become a master teacher or teacher leader.”

Students will soon be able to enroll for the master's in education degree.

Students will soon be able to enroll for the master’s in education degree.

The program, which is for teachers who have already received their certification, is designed to take six semesters. Students will take two (six credit hour) classes per semester for six semesters. It will combine classroom instruction along with lecture and online components.

“We graduate a lot of teacher education majors every year,” says Craig. “This is an opportunity for many of these students to continue their education, as well as others who are teaching in this area.”

Applications for the Master of Accountancy program have already exceeded expectations for its first year, says Dr. David Smith, program director and head of the accounting and finance department.

“We’re well ahead of (the number of students) we were projecting,” says Smith. “We were hoping to get 15 students the first year and the number of people who have applied are above that. We’re pleased with the initial rollout.”

There are two tracks for the master’s program – traditional and accelerated. It will require 30 graduate hours and will be offered in a hybrid of daytime and/or evening classes.

The traditional program allows for students to earn the degree in one calendar year by taking classes during the fall, spring and summer semesters. In the accelerated program, students apply during their junior year and take a combination of graduate and undergraduate courses during their senior year, and finish the following year.

“Students in the accelerated track can finish in five years with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting,” he said.

Smith says there was interest in the program from freshmen who attended Southern Welcome sessions earlier in the summer and hopes it will serve as a magnet to keep talented students in the area – something that would also benefit local employers.