The Graduate School continued to reach new levels of success in the 2011-2012 academic year. Graduate education is alive and well at Fort Hays State University! Our success is fueled by the breadth of excellent programs we offer to various constituents in a variety of delivery methods. We offer traditional research-based programs on-campus for young students recently completing their undergraduate degree. We also offer many professional programs and a liberal arts program for place-bound adult learners at a distance. Our mission is to serve all of our beneficiaries through excellence in support, continuous quality improvement, and innovation. Our vision is to aspire to be a nationally recognized leader in graduate education, internationalization, and research.
Probably the greatest accomplishment of the past year has been the formal establishment of the university’s 21st graduate program – the Master of Professional Studies (MPS). The MPS has been established in seven initial concentrations – information assurance management, cyber security, web development, computer networking, human resource management, public health administration, and political management. The MPS is similar to disciplinary non-thesis MS degrees with its focus upon developing advanced knowledge and skills in a specific disciplinary area, introductory research knowledge and applied statistical skills, a cognate or elective area, and a final project or internship. The program is available in some concentrations on campus and in all concentrations at a distance. See our program website at http://www.fhsu.edu/academic/gradschl/MPS/overview/ for the latest information.
Other graduate programs continued to evolve and improve this year. The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program will become more focused upon humanities and social sciences areas as concentrations which had a more professional focus shift to new degrees programs like the MPS. We hired Dr. Jerald Spotswood to be the new Assistant Dean of the Graduate School this year and he will join us in June, 2012. Dr. Dan Kulmala has done a good job this past year leading the MLS as Interim Assistant Dean and we are grateful for the service he has given and suggestions for improvement that have been implemented.
Undergraduate research has been another great success story this year. More and more undergraduate students at FHSU are being touched by faculty mentors through the Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) program hosted by the Graduate School. University resource allocations coupled with private gifts have allowed us to support faculty and students through competitive internal grant programs. This funding goes to support student scholarships, equipment, and travel funding. We were also able to bring a past national president of the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) to campus this spring to discuss ideas with our faculty, staff, administration, and students. FHSU Tigers represented our University well at Emporia State’s annual research day in April. Next year, look for some of our Tiger students to be in Topeka for the new Regents undergraduate research day. Our next step in the evolution of undergraduate research is to establish a summer undergraduate research program. Funding is needed to provide stipends to student participants and faculty mentors.
Internationalization – the process of becoming an international university – continues to be important to the Graduate School as more and more international students enroll in our graduate programs, the University creates more strategic international partnerships, FHSU faculty lead more and more Tigers abroad for study-abroad experiences, and more students desire to earn the international-themed minors and certificates our office provides. FHSU hosted its first ever Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Yuri Hernandez (Mexico), in the College of Education and Technology. Dr. Crowley traveled to India for a study tour and partnership networking in February, 2012. Look for more graduate students on our campus from India and other parts of the world next year. The University supported 84 students this year with scholarships to travel abroad through faculty-led experiences. This university scholarship fund is in need of donations from private funds to be leveraged to higher levels in the coming years.
Finally, I will close with some ideas about how gifts to the Graduate School can help us to achieve our vision. Many departments support their graduate programs with private funds, but the Graduate School itself has no private funding to support the needs of our graduate students who request travel funding for conference presentations, equipment, and consumable supplies to perform their research. Graduate assistantships are in need as the University grows quickly and there are not enough PhD faculty to manage the demands of teaching, research, and service. Undergraduate research and internationalization activities also require funding. There are many ways to make a gift that will make a difference to Tigers students who are supported by the Graduate School. Thank you for your continued support of graduate education, research, and internationalization at FHSU.
With best regards,
-Dr. Tim Crowley
Dean, Graduate School/Assistant Provost for Internationalization
Fort Hays State Universtiy Graduate School Website
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