Pursuing Graduate Studies Will Open Up Opportunities
Published in New Britain Herald, Sunday, December 15, 2013
By GLYNIS FITZGERALD
DEAN, CCSU SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES
Have you considered going back to school for an advanced degree? The down economy has pushed many out of work or underemployed professionals to consider returning to school. Many adult learners have discovered the accessibility and convenience of online universities as an alternative to the traditional campus model. At CCSU we are examining how a blend of online and on campus coursework can provide the access that students seek with the benefits of on campus, face to face communication.
Why pursue an advanced degree? With a master’s degree you’ll be eligible to apply for more jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-sixth of the fastest growing occupations between now and 2016 require a master’s or doctoral degree. A master’s degree also helps with job security. In 2008, among individuals 25 years of age and older, those with a master’s degree faced an unemployment level of only 2.4 percent compared to about 7 percent in the general population. Even if you are happy in your current field, advanced study may satisfy your intellectual curiosity and passion or improve your potential for promotions and other opportunities.
Whatever your reason for continuing your studies, the next question becomes what is the best way to pursue that education. We now live in a digital age and the ways in which we work, socialize, and learn are changing. People are used to receiving a continuous stream of digital information at a fast pace and incorporating it into their daily working and social lives – so why should the classroom be any different? We understand that some students want the full campus experience available at Central, while others want the convenience and flexibility of an online environment. So several of our programs are offering a blended format in which classes are a mixture of both.
At Central, we are moving past the idea of a “traditional” online course into something more innovative. We are developing courses which incorporate the best of “on ground” classroom experiences with the best technology available online. There may be a classroom meeting twice a month, for instance, with much of the course taking place online. Students may also find that their face to face professors are making greater use of technology for various activities as well.
Blended learning reduces the amount of time a student is required to attend on-campus classes and reduces time away from their job where employees might need to take time off from work to meet the requirements for on-campus learning. It enables learning to happen beyond the classroom and in the work setting (e.g., our Criminal Justice on site at a local police station). On a practical level, blended courses reduce commuting costs associated with getting to campus.
As technology evolves, the School of Graduate Studies at CCSU will continue to explore ways to provide more choices to select the learning method that matches your unique learning style. Please call us at 860-832-2350 or email email@example.com . We look forward to helping you succeed in reaching your educational goals.