WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 29, 2016 — West Liberty University announced today the start-up of two new graduate degree programs. The programs include an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a Master of Science in Criminology (MSC) degree, both recently approved by the Higher Learning Commission.
“We are pleased to announce that we are now enrolling students for these two desired degrees. Both graduate degrees offer career advancement and professional advantages to students seeking to further their education at an affordable rate,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president at a 10 a.m. press conference held in historic Shaw Hall.
The MBA represents a distance-learning milestone for the university since it is the first program specifically designed to be 100-percent online.
“The number of students seeking online programs continues to climb and we are certain that students will find the WLU MBA accessible and practical, even with their busy schedules. It’s designed for working adults,” said Greiner. Both degrees begin in fall 2016.
The online MBA is a 30-credit hour degree program with an emphasis in either management or entrepreneurship. Students can complete the MBA in one year as a full-time student or in two years as a part-time student. Classes are taught year-round during six, eight-week terms in an academic year.
“The fact that the new MBA is a totally online master’s program is especially appealing to students today. In a very short time, students will be able to earn a valuable degree with many applications in the business world,” said Dr. Gregory Chase, MBA program director.
Chase is an associate professor of economics and finance in the Gary E. West College of Business and joined WLU in 2013.
“With the strong and growing demand for graduate business degrees in the marketplace, this will help meet the needs of our region and beyond,” Chase said.
Unlike the MBA, the master’s in criminology offers an in-classroom, lecture/seminar format. Designed to be completed in four semesters, with an average course load of nine credit hours per semester, the criminology master’s program will prepare students for careers in law enforcement, corrections and courtroom positions, as well as entry into doctoral programs.
“The big highlight of our program is that it will have a focus on grant writing, which is an area of real demand for local law enforcement,” said Dr. Keith Bell, program director of the new criminology degree. “Another major point is that this fulfills a real need in our region since our closest rival for this program is Marshall. Plus, the new criminology degree offers a thesis option, for those seeking preparation for admission into doctoral programs.”
Bell is an associate professor of Criminal Justice in the College of Liberal Arts and joined the university in 2011.
“Students are eager for this degree,” said Bell, explaining that his Criminal Justice undergraduate students who are completing their bachelor’s degree this spring are jumping on the chance to apply for fall 2016.
“I’m happy to help with the application process if needed,” he said. Dr. Bell can be reached by calling 304-336-8376.
For those interested in enrolling in the MBA, Dr. Chase can be reached at 304-336-8536 or at [email protected]
The new MBA and MSC add to the current portfolio of graduate programs offered by WLU, including the Master of Arts in Education (with online options), the Master of Professional Studies and the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degrees. For complete information, please visit westliberty.edu/graduate-programs.
To view the entire press conference, filmed by WLU-TV 14, please click here.