After three years of planning and perfecting the curriculum, West Liberty University is now offering a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree.
“We believe the 30-credit hour program will fill a void in our curriculum that many professionals and our own recent graduates will welcome,” said Provost Brian Crawford. Approved by the Higher Learning Commission in August, classes begin in late September at the Highlands Center campus.
“There is a real need for this type of quality degree program for working adults. We are pleased to offer it in a convenient location and format,” said Dr. Thomas Michaud, dean of the School of Professional Studies.
The MPS structure and curriculum emphasizes learning directly relevant to professional employment in both for-profit and non-profit fields. Two tracks or areas of emphasis are offered, organizational leadership and justice leadership.
Other tracks will be developed as student needs and interests are determined.
Within the state of West Virginia, no other institution offers a master’s in leadership degree with an area of emphasis structure designed to be this responsive to student needs, according to Michaud.
“The fact that our MPS is affordable makes it even more attractive to the students I’ve talked with,” he said. “Many other colleges offer an accelerated master’s program but few are as affordable, convenient and adaptable as this one.”
Most classes will meet on Saturdays at the Highlands Center. Others will be offered online.
“All faculty are experienced educators and highly qualified academics — many have important professional experience in the areas they teach,” Michaud noted.
The MPS in Organizational Leadership track prepares graduate students to become fully competent leaders as they discover their own leadership style. It will broaden critical reasoning and offer skills needed to create positive change at every level of an organization. Students can complete the degree within 14 months.
The MPS in Justice Leadership track is designed for working professionals in the fields of law enforcement and justice administration. The Justice Leadership track is a weekend program that focuses on relevant history and theory, research, ethics and recognized best practices for leadership in the criminal justice system. This is a 36-hour program designed with both Friday evening and Saturday classes.
“Many criminal justice agencies require graduate level education for career development and advancement and this is a perfect solution for professionals seeking an advanced degree in a convenient format,” Michaud said.
In addition to the new master’s degree, the School of Professional Studies offers undergraduate degrees that fit the busy schedules of working adults, including the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Administration (BLA), the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) and the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS).
WLU’s Highlands Center campus is located within the Highlands shopping complex, just across from the Marquee Cinemas building and features plenty of free parking.
For more information on the new graduate degree and its entrance requirements, please call 304-217-2800 or email [email protected]