Concord Considers Masters Degrees - Studies Point to Need in Area
Athens, W.Va. - According to Dr. William Chance, Northwest Education Research Center (NORED) there is a market-driven need for masters degrees in teacher education and business in southern West Virginia. The study suggested that Concord College was the institution of choice to provide the masters programs.
Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and 95% of the respondents agreed that Concord College should offer masters programs (Masters Program Needs Study, 1/15/00, p. 68). Some of the reasons given were: attracting outside firms (economic growth and development), keeping college graduates here, and providing promotional opportunities for people that live here. The study was conducted during the fall of 1999 and considered the opinions of many that reside and work in the southern portion of the state.
Currently, West Virginia University, Marshall University and the School of Osteopathic Medicine are the only institutions offering graduate degrees in West Virginia.
"There were a number of indicators that southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia may have been underserved in this area," said Concord President Dr. Jerry Beasley. "As a consequence, we asked the Legislature and Sen. Homer Ball for help." Beasley said $100,000 was allocated in the state budget for studying the idea.
The West Virginia Legislature has been conducting separate research to update and improve policies for the state college system through the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Although the mission of their report was not focused on masters level programs in southern West Virginia, they did address the issue. "Increasing the accessibility of graduate programs in all West Virginia’s regions should be a priority. . . . .In conclusion, West Virginia lags significantly behind comparison states in degree production at the graduate level, especially at the master’s degree level in areas that are important to the state’s competitive position in the New Economy." (NCHEMS, 12/13/99, p. 13)
NORED specializes in education policy research and analysis and has provided services to colleges and universities throughout the United States.
For more information on the Masters Program Needs Study, call 1-304-384-5317, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concord College Notes: The Graduate Study Steering Committee includes: Mr. Jim Harrison, President and CEO, First Community Bank; Mr. John Shott, Businessman; Mr. Jack Stafford, Stafford Engineering; Dr. Debbie Akers, Superintendent of Schools, Mercer County; Ms. Lyn Guy, Superintendent of Schools, Monroe County; Dr. Kendra Boggess, Chair, Division of Business and Economics, Concord College; Dr. Eloise Elliott, Chair, Division of Education, Physical Education, and Library Science, Concord College; Dr. Dean Turner, Vice President and Academic Dean, Concord College; and Dr. J. Douglas Machesney, Vice President for Development, Concord College.