Area Educators Review Graduate Program Plans at Concord College
Athens, W.Va. - Concord College President Jerry Beasley welcomed area business and education leaders to the Southeastern West Virginia Graduate and Professional Education Council meeting, Wednesday, September 20, 2000. The president and others from the College presented an update on the College’s plans for offering masters level programs in the fields of teacher education, business management and social work.
Council members attending were: Dr. Deborah Akers, superintendent, Mercer County Schools; Mr. Doug Freeman, city manager, City of Princeton; Ms. Lyn Guy, superintendent, Monroe county Schools, Dr. Giles Jones, principal, James Monroe High School; Dr. Carol Morgan, director, RESA and Mr. Jack Stafford, president, Stafford Consultants, Inc. Ms. Rose Mary Irwin, Dr. Robert Moore, president, Bluefield State College; Dr. J. Kenneth Roberts, superintendent, McDowell County Schools, and Mr. Wayne Spangler, WVEA representative are council members but were unable to attend.
Representing Concord College were: Dr. Beasley, president; Dr. Kendra Boggess, chairperson, division of business and economics, Dr. Eloise Elliott, associate professor of physical education; Dr. Kathryn Liptak, chairperson, division of education, library science and physical education; Dr. J. Douglas Machesney, vice president for development and Dr. John David Smith, director, social work program.
“The College spent the last year working with an independent evaluator who conducted a needs assessment regarding the offering of graduate programs at Concord College,” commented Dr. Beasley. “These findings indicate there is a significant unmet need for masters level programs in our region. The new higher education reform legislation allows Concord College to begin to establish a higher education center with the prospect of offering masters level programs. We are grateful to the members of this council for helping us fashion programs that are responsive to the educational needs in this area.”
The division has worked with a consultant to explore various graduate program designs and methods of delivery. As a result, the division has endorsed two masters degree programs--the Master of Arts in Teaching (for individuals holding undergraduate degrees but not certification to teach) and the Master of Education (for individuals with an undergraduate degree and certification to teach). Faculty members in the division are continuing to work with educators and consultants to tailor the program to fit the needs of teachers and school districts in Southern West Virginia.
“Faculty in the division are excited about the prospect of offering graduate programs at Concord,” stated Dr. Liptak. “There is a real need for accessible graduate programs in this area. We, at Concord, feel a real sense of responsibility to the people of southern West Virginia to offer quality graduate programs that will enable teachers to further their learning and add additional areas of certification.”
The business department’s proposed MBA program is designed to (1) prepare students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to become successful executives in business and industry, (2) give special focus to the economic and business issues relating to the West Virginia/Appalachia region in order that graduates of
the program can provide more effective leadership in fostering the development of the region, and (3) incorporate the State of West Virginia's 150 credit hour curriculum requirement for accounting students to sit for the CPA examination which begins 2000.
“The Division's faculty are currently beginning the challenging process of program accreditation, commented Dr. Boggess. “We feel this step will serve as the foundation of both undergraduate and graduate programs. It will ensure a quality undergraduate program that will lead to a quality Masters in Business Administration program.”
Social Work Program
According to Rita Brown, chair for the West Virginia social work licensing board, there is a tremendous need for professionally trained social workers at the state and local level as well as nationally.
Dr. John David Smith noted that, “Concord's bachelor of social work (BSW) program has been the only fully accredited program in southern West Virginia for 25 years. Graduates of the BSW program have been extremely successful in securing positions in all areas of practice from probation and parole to adoption and child protection. Our graduates as well as the human service community have advocated for Concord to build upon its strong BSW program and initiate a graduate program, a master of social work (MSW) degree.”
“We have been talking with a variety of universities about the delivery of masters programs and how we might collaborate to meet both legislative intent and market-driven needs,” stated Beasley at the close of the meeting. “We are excited about the possibilities!”
Photo, from left to right: Dr. Eliose Elliott, Dr. Kathryn Liptak, Ms. Lyn Guy, Dr. Dean Turner, Dr. Carol Morgan, Dr. Jerry Beasley, Mr. Doug Freeman, Dr. Deborah Akers, Dr. Giles Jones, Dr. J. Douglas Machesney, Dr. John David Smith, Dr. Kendra Boggess