CMUs Local Grad School Offers MS Degrees

May 16, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Area residents who plan to pursue advanced degrees in the health industry or the public sector might want to consider Central Michigan University.

And, no, it wouldn’t mean three hours on the road to and from CMU’s Mount Pleasant campus.

As a matter of fact, CMU’s College of Extended Learning has been offering graduate-level courses here for almost two decades.

The University reports one of its most popular Grand Rapids programs is the master of science in administration degree with a concentration on health services. The program’s scheduling is tailored to adults who already work in the field.

The MSA degree might be marketable locally considering the new growth that’s getting under way on the summit of Grand Rapids’ health care hill — and considering that the program occurs at Spectrum Health where at least some of the students already are employed.

CMU offers the program in what it terms a cohort format, which it says gives students academic material with built-in networking.

A cohort is a group of up to 30 students who commit to the university’s degree program and then proceed jointly through a sequence of eight-week terms with weekend classes. The university stresses that the program’s faculty aren’t ivory tower academics, but people who are involved in real-world work.

Moreover, it notes that most of the students not only have at least some experience in the health care industry but also often are employed in the industry. The weekend classes meet at Spectrum’s building at 221 Michigan St.

One local graduate, Tywanda Davis, reports that the class discussions become very interesting because the cohort’s members bring together so many differing perspectives within the industry.

Central says a cohort generally completes its program of course work in two years. Twenty students make up the current cohort.

The university reports that the MSA degree in health works well for health care administrators and professionals who manage staffs and programs. Among recipients of CMU’s MSA degrees are health services managers, medical technicians, nurses and physicians’ assistants, department leaders and medical office managers.

The university stresses that it provides cohort members with local academic advisor services and text purchases and library services either online or by phone or fax.

CMU Grand Rapids also offers an MSA concentration in general and human resources administration, plus master of arts degrees in education and humanities.

All told, CMU Grand Rapids has about 200 graduate students, most of whom attend lectures at CMU’s “Cascade Campus” located at 2158 Charlevoix SE.

Another 50 students are enrolled in undergraduate studies that lead to bachelor of science degrees in administration.

The Grand Rapids program is one of 60 that the university offers in Michigan and 19 other states plus Canada and Mexico. The university reports more than 50,000 students have earned degrees through CMU’s off-campus centers.

More information about the university’s local programs are available either by calling the Grand Rapids office, 744-7977, or going online to www.cel.cmich.edu.

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