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Prospective graduate students seek ‘a leg up’ at M...

Prospective graduate students seek ‘a leg up’ at MTSU Grad Fair

A pre-nursing major minoring in Spanish, MTSU junior Brianne Knight of Selmer, Tennessee, was among dozens of visitors Tuesday who stopped by the MTSU Grad Fair to collect information about taking their undergraduate degree to the next level.

Students, staff, alumni and members of the local community were invited to the annual event, held this year in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. Hosted by the College of Graduate Studies, the free event allowed faculty and staff from across the university to discuss opportunities to pursue an advanced degree — online or on campus — and boost careers.

Dr. Jackie Eller, left, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, talks to MTSU senior Kimberly Corado about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Student Union. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Dr. Jackie Eller, left, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, talks to MTSU senior Kimberly Corado about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Student Union. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Knight said obtaining an advanced degree will likely give her “a leg up” once she enters the job market. By attending Tuesday’s Grad Fair, she was able to connect with advisers within her major and gain a better idea of the steps she needs to take to attend graduate school and obtain a master’s degree.

“I learned that there are plenty of opportunities out there that students don’t know about, but that they need to know about,” said Knight, who wants to use her health care and multilingual talents as a traveling nurse throughout the world. “I got connections today … It was very helpful.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2018, one in every seven new jobs will require a graduate degree. And U.S. Census figures show that adults with advanced degrees earn an average of 44 percent more than those with undergraduate degrees.

MTSU offers 100 graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and business, including the Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program, which allows eligible undergraduates in certain disciplines to earn both degrees in five years.

Dr. Jackie Eller, interim vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, said the interdisciplinary programs within MTSU’s graduate studies, such as the Master of Professional Science program with six concentrations, and the Master of Science in Management with three concentrations, “are just what many employers are seeking for their staff members’ professional development.”

Janet Kelly, enrollment management specialist in the College of Graduate Studies, talks Tuesday, Sept. 30, to MTSU seniors Kristian Eagle and Rachel Matthews about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair at the Student Union.

Janet Kelly, enrollment management specialist in the College of Graduate Studies, talks Tuesday, Sept. 30, to MTSU seniors Kristian Eagle and Rachel Matthews about graduate degree opportunities during the 2014 Grad Fair at the Student Union.

The master’s in professional science, for example, combines business management skills commonly found in traditional MBA programs with advanced learning in specific science concentrations.Graduate Studies-logo

“These programs are enjoying robust enrollment,” Eller said. “Many of our graduate programs enjoy a national reputation in disciplines as diverse as public history, molecular biosciences, and recording arts and technologies.”

The university recently added a human resources leadership concentration in the Master of Professional Studies. That program now offers three concentrations: strategic leadership, training and development, and now, human resources leadership, which is designed for working adults and offers the flexibility of both on campus and online studies.

Knight convinced her friend Danyel Woody, a junior exercise science major from Memphis, Tennessee, to join her at the Grad Fair. Woody, who is minoring in coaching, was glad she decided to come along.

“I didn’t know I could venture out (and study) other things,” she said, such as studying health in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. “I do want to go to grad school. … If you have a master’s, it looks better than someone with just a bachelor’s degree.”

For more information about MTSU’s graduate programs, call the College of Graduate Studies at 615-898-2840 or visit www.mtsu.edu/gradschool.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)


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