Archives For Online Master’s Degree Programs

Through piles of paperwork and binders filled with course notes, you would never know Julie Daniels is an online student.

“I’m really weird, and I don’t like reading off the computer,” says Daniels. “I still have to print everything out because I like it in front of me.”

online learningLast semester, when Daniels took nine credit hours, this resulted in three binders full of PowerPoint presentations and class notes. If she has a paper due, Daniels writes it out first in hand, edits it, and then transcribes it into the computer.

“I don’t know how many other people this would work for, but I’m just used to paper and pencil,” says Daniels. “There’s still some old-fashioned in me.”

At 61, Julie Daniels is the ideal online student. She’s driven, works hard in her classes, completes assignments ahead of time, and gets As and Bs. However, that wasn’t always the case.

“I went to college when I first got out of high school, but I wasn’t serious. I was only going because my parents wanted me to, so I blew it off,” explains Daniels. “You know, boyfriends, frat parties, all that kind of stuff got in the way of school.”

A mother of five adult children and grandmother to 12 grand- and great-grandchildren, ages 3-25, all of that changed about four and half years ago.

“I wanted it for me, for a sense of accomplishment, but I wanted to show my parents that I could do it, “ says Daniels.

As an online graduate student in SHSU Online’s Sociology program, age is not an issue for Daniels nor her classmates; they come from as varied a background as she does, are diverse in age, and hail from far-flung places.

A resident of San Antonio, Texas, Daniels stayed local, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at St. Mary’s in 2014. While there, Daniels received a Presidential Scholarship, and graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. Still, her journey was met with some adversity. Her parents passed away within a year of each other and she was often the oldest student in her face-to-face courses.

“I got teased a lot,” admits Daniels. “The kids would look at me, and they would say, why are you here? I told them, because when I was their age, I messed around and didn’t think school was important. But they would answer, No, why are you here, you’re too old.”

As an online graduate student in SHSU Online’s Sociology program, age is not an issue for Daniels nor her classmates; they come from as varied a background as she does, are diverse in age, and hail from far-flung places (at least from San Antonio’s perspective) like Japan, France, Puerto Rico, and closer to home, Houston.

“It’s very interesting, the amount of distance that was between some of us and then some of us were as close as Houston,” says Daniels.

While Daniels hasn’t completely embraced all the digital tools available to her, she still thrives in an online environment, utilizing group discussions in Blackboard and email to communicate with her classmates and to sort out questions and problems. It is this communication, Daniels believes, that is one of the keys to success in online classes.

“If you have good communication with your fellow classmates, you’ll do a lot better,” says Daniels.  “A lot of us could figure things out without involving the professor. What’s even nicer is when you have the same classmates a couple of times you get to know them. Hopefully, one day we all will get to see each other.”

If all goes according to plan, that could be Spring 2016 at graduation. She will also be 62 years old.

If you’re interested in returning to school, no matter what your age, visit Online Programs and Degrees Programs to find the right online educational opportunity for you.

The Sam Houston State University motto, “The Measure of a Life is Its Service,” resonates deeply with SHSU Online student Peary Perry.

Perry, 73, a Houston resident, has lived a full life. He served his country in the United States Army as a tank commander, worked in the Houston Police Department as an undercover vice squad officer, and acted as president of several successful companies across a multitude of industries.

When it comes to pursuing his online Master of Arts in History degree, Perry makes the case for online learning, coupled with hard work and dedication, to help individuals overcome adversity to achieve their goals.

“I hear a lot of people say ‘I’m too old to go back to school, or I should have gotten my degree but I didn’t,’ and what I’m trying to emphasize is that you’re never too old to learn, you’re never too old to get a degree, and there’s always an opportunity out here for you if you want to take advantage of it,” he says. “I’m not your normal master’s student, but this is a professional opportunity and a challenge for me to pass on to others that you’re never too old to learn.”

Admittedly, getting back into higher education was a transitional period for Perry. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Edward’s University in 2008, attending both online and on-campus courses. He enrolled in SHSU’s online master’s program in fall, 2014, and was pleasantly surprised to see the technological advancements in his online courses.

Perry says his courses are immersive, with a variety of classwork that utilizes several mediums.

“What brought me to SHSU was the ease of enrollment, the description of courses, and the references that I found from prior students made me think this was the place I needed to be,” he says, “But the style of learning is what got me hooked. Today there is more encouragement to participate in classes, which I enjoy much more because you are encouraged to express your feelings about certain subjects.”

SHSU has received numerous awards for their student engagement within online programs, promoting quality participation in courses, providing students opportunities to both readily interact with their instructors and classmates, and allowing students to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

Perry is not alone in his educational journey; in fact, his support system acts as an inspiration for him completing his degree.

“The reason this is important to me is because I have four sons, my oldest is 51 and my youngest is 39, and I have three granddaughters, 22, 10, and 2; I think it is very important for them to know they are never too old to learn, whether it’s cooking, history, or economics,” he says. “My experience has been, the more you exercise your brain, the more alive you are.”

SHSU offers over 40 fully online degree programs, including two doctoral programs, as well as 24 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

summer-classroomRegistration for summer courses closes in two weeks… As an online student, you have the benefit of choosing your classroom. Where will yours be this summer?

With more than 25 degree programs and dozens of professional certifications and graduate certificates offered 100% online, you can make educational choices that suit your personal, academic, and professional goals.

Catch up while others are cooling off and find a program that’s right for you at distance.shsu.edu.

2015-USNews-Web-Hero(NoSwoosh)-1940x746For the fourth straight year, Sam Houston State University has earned national recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

2014 was the first year that SHSU was invited to participate in the ranking process for Best Graduate Online Criminal Justice degree programs, and the university came in at #5 in the nation.  In the Student Services and Technology area of the ranking dimensions for this program, SHSU is second nationwide. The Student Engagement and Faculty Credentials and Training dimensions of the rankings also contributed to the program’s overall top-shelf ranking. And the new student retention rate for this program is 85 percent for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Another standout ranking for SHSU was in the Graduate Online Information Technology Program listing. Here the university notched a rank of #7, again with exceptional scores in Student Services and Technology, Student Engagement, and Faculty Credentials and Training. This program has earned similar high rankings in past years in the U.S. News & World Report listings. SHSU’s overall rank of #7 places the school in the top sixth, or top 16 percent, of all schools included in the ranking report for Graduate Online Information Technology Programs nationwide.

In the rankings of Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, SHSU fell within the top 25 percent of all universities included in the survey. Similarly, in the Best Online MBA Programs rankings, the university’s rank is comfortably in the top third (31 percent) of all schools surveyed.

Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning, says: “The #5 ranking of the Best Graduate Online Criminal Justice degree programs is especially rewarding to me as this is the first program to be put online after my arrival at SHSU Online in 2009. In helping to develop this program, I was honored to work closely with the former Dean of the College of Criminal Justice, Dr. Vincent Webb, and I am sure he is as thrilled as I am to receive this recognition. It’s also an honor to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report with high rankings for so many additional online degree programs.”

SHSU Online’s service plays a key role in the university’s placement regarding U.S. News & World Report’s “Student Services and Technology” indicator by providing student support and highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Student Engagement” indicator measures the degree to which programs promote quality participation in courses, allow students opportunities to both readily interact with their instructors and fellow classmates similarly to a campus-based setting, and allow students to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

SHSU offers more than 35 fully online degree programs, including two doctoral programs, as well as 24 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/sam-houston-state-university-227881.

decor-christmas-tree-in-bearkat-plazaFrom all of us at SHSU Online, have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year.

We’ll see you again in 2015 as we continue to share insight and information about our growing number of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as professional certificates.

Thanks for visiting samhoustononline.com and making 2014 a year to remember.

shutterstock_71599324Sam Houston State University’s acclaimed College of Criminal Justice recently expanded their online programs to include a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies degree and two online certificates, catering to the growing demand for professionals in the field.

The program utilizes a broad educational objective, including national security, cyber security, and emergency management, to develop graduates who can be leaders in the field in theoretical and experiential dimensions of security management.

Following the frenzied events of September 11, 2001, the scope of homeland security was redefined to include both the public and private sector to regulate responses to natural disasters, airborne illnesses, and terrorist attacks. The bridge between the sectors and the united front created a need for professionals prepared to face a multitude of threats.

The degree consists of 36 credit hours, and courses in the Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies include:

  • Intelligence and Counterintelligence in National Security
  • Global Terrorism
  • Security and the Future
  • Digital Forensics Investigation
  • And more

For working professionals seeking to explore online courses for the first time or to add a specialization to their skill set, the College also offers two graduate certificates: Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Both certificates consist of 18 credit hours, allowing students to complete the program in one calendar year by enrolling in two courses per semester, and places graduates halfway to receiving their MS in Homeland Security Studies.

For more information about the online Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies, or the graduate certificates in Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection, visit http://distance.shsu.edu.

SHSU President Dana Hoyt was recently on the set in Florida with former Entertainment Tonight host Julie Moran to record an episode of “The Balancing Act” on Lifetime Television. The two discussed SHSU Online as well as a number of different ways online education can be beneficial for women, namely flexibility, affordability, and quality.

“The Balancing Act” is currently in its sixth season and focuses on topics that are relevant to women and their busy lifestyles. This particular episode takes a deeper look at the subject of Online Education and the burgeoning population of female online students.

Be sure to check out the show above featuring Dr. Hoyt and SHSU Online!

One criticism of online education is that, on average, pursuing a four-year degree is more expensive online than on campus. At Sam Houston State University Online, that’s not the case.

college-moneyTo provide our online students with the same quality education and level of service our on-campus students enjoy, we staff dedicated employees and utilize modern and safeguarded technology to deliver online courses. This added cost of delivery requires a distance-learning fee for online students. However, the fee is somewhat offset by waivers for other on-campus
service fees that online students are not required to pay since they are not on campus.

In the end, SHSU Online students enjoy all the benefits of being an online student at a cost quite similar to that of SHSU on-campus students.

In addition to numerous intangibles, including the cost of vehicle maintenance and gas to commute to campus, the foremost benefit to taking classes online is convenience. Your coursework is available on your time. If you need to listen to a lecture, participate in online class discussions, or ask a question, you may do so, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Online education provides opportunities for students that may be otherwise unavailable. College students of all ages and backgrounds have the freedom to work their education into their otherwise busy lives, which can be invaluable for those working long or unconventional hours, raising a family, or living in areas with geographic constraints.

We live in a time where technology bridges gaps across the globe, and consequently, opens the door to opportunities previously unavailable. If a student in China is interested in pursuing SHSU’s online Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, they may do so, from the convenience of their own home. In fact, students from India, Norway, Canada, and Vietnam are currently enrolled in online classes at SHSU!

We have numerous success stories of students who took unconventional paths to return to college and complete their degree, and more often than not, our students say they would not be able to reach this milestone without the assistance of SHSU Online.

We know that SHSU students’ needs are as unique as the students themselves, and we pride ourselves on serving them. We’ve been honored to receive numerous awards through the years for the quality of our programs.

Invest in your future. Visit http://distance.shsu.edu today.

The College of Business Administration offers a unique perspective on project management through the online Master of Science in Project Management degree, a program committed to positioning students to launch new products and services into rapidly changing environments.

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Pamela Zelbst, Ph.D., PMP, associate professor of Management and director of the Center for Innovation & Technology, says the College of Business Administration took their time to ensure the online program would prepare their students to make an immediate impact in the workplace.

“Developing the online M.S. in Project Management is something we’ve been working on for a very long time; five years ago we began meeting to determine what would most benefit our online students,” she says. “The nice thing about this degree is most project management degrees will be in Information Technology, whereas our degree is offered through the College of Business Administration. There are very few programs in the country with that emphasis, and we feel we bring a unique perspective to the table.”

One of the requirements for admission into the program is three years of significant managerial and professional experience. Zelbst says this requirement allows for students to contribute to meaningful class discussions as well as act as a facilitator for personal experience amongst peers.

The program emphasizes student preparation for certification by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the premier certifying organization for the project management discipline.

Zelbst says she consistently receives feedback from her students throughout the semester regarding how quickly students are able to incorporate their coursework into their professional settings.

“The program is practical in nature, which allows for students to assess situations quickly and incorporate change when necessary,” she says. “Our faculty work very hard to develop our curriculum for the program and a whole team of people are working to push the program forward. Project management is a passion, and companies are looking for people who can make things happen”

The program’s thinking outside of the box philosophy has led students to working alongside top businesses across the world, including a recent project with NASA.

Visit http://distance.shsu.edu to find out more about the online Master of Science in Project Management offered through SHSU Online, and see what you can do to get started today!

IMG_6944To say that the online MA in History has national appeal would be an understatement. This past spring, the program attracted students from all four corners of the country, and from as far away as the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, students in 19 of the 50 states were enrolled in courses 100% online.

So what exactly is drawing students from Maine to California and beyond to SHSU in such numbers? The answer is likely related to quality, value, and a commitment to embrace the online environment.

Delivering a quality online program has always been paramount to the History Department, and they are about to raise the bar even higher by adding three new professors to their ranks—all with PhDs—from the University of Chicago, Oxford, and Yale. With the online program already taught entirely by full-time faculty holding PhDs, the addition will bring even more depth to the roster.

Further, the program is a great value for online students. In 2013, Sam Houston State University was named one of the nation’s most affordable online colleges. AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranks SHSU as the most affordable online university in Texas, and the fourth most affordable in the nation.

Among the first fully online programs at SHSU, the department continues to embrace the online environment developing quality content, video, and innovative projects. One example of this is a new mobile app the department hopes to develop next year. The mobile app would allow users to conveniently browse historic East Texas sites using their smart phones and would give SHSU’s online history students the opportunity to write and publish their own original descriptions for hundreds of historic sites around the region. It’s the kind of involvement that not only helps students learn about history, but also provides them with something to add to their resume that sets them apart from the crowd.

As long as the opportunities for online students continue to grow, you can expect the online MA in History program to do the same in both its size and its national reach.

For more information about the online MA in History degree, visit distance.shsu.edu.

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Welcome back, Bearkats! Today is the first day of classes for the Summer I session, but it’s not too late to enroll. Registration is open until tomorrow, so act fast and see what educational options are available through Sam Houston State University Online.

With 21 online master’s degrees, 4 online undergraduate degrees, and a variety of certificates, you can have your fun in the sun and an online degree, too!

Find a program that’s right for you at distance.shsu.edu and enroll today.

 

View a “Profiles Series” television segment about the services and philosophy of SHSU Online. The program, featuring Larry King, recently aired on The Discovery Channel.

For the third consecutive year, Sam Houston State University has earned national recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

Of the four programs SHSU submitted for review in the 2014 report, three of SHSU’s online programs received a ranking in the top 20 percent in the nation and one program garnered a national ranking in the top ten.

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The overall rankings placed SHSU No. 7 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs” and also earned a No. 1 national ranking in the “Student Engagement” indicator for the category.

SHSU also received national recognition with a ranking of No. 20 among “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” No. 41 among “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs,” and No. 43 among “Best
Online Graduate Business Programs.”

The rankings effectively garnered SHSU in the top 10 percent in “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” top 19 percent in “Best Online Graduate Business Programs,” and top 15 percent in “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”

“SHSU Online is fortunate to work with our esteemed faculty, and we are dedicated to providing students with quality and convenient online learning options,” says Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning. “We view the results from the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings as evidence that we are succeeding in our goals, and we will continue to work hard to further improve our services and assistance to students.”

In “Student Services and Technology,” an indicator used to determine schools’ overall rankings, SHSU ranked as high as No. 4, and no lower than No. 25 nationally, among all schools.

U.S. News & World Report rates the incorporation of “Student Services and Technology” indicator through the use of both diverse online learning technologies that allow greater flexibility for students to take classes and labs from a distance and a strong support structure providing learning assistance, career guidance, and financial aid resources comparable to campus-based programs.

SHSU Online’s service plays a key role in the university’s placement regarding the “Student Services and Technology” indicator by providing student support and highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

Moreover, in “Student Engagement,” the primary indicator encompassing 30 percent of the school’s score, in addition to SHSU’s No. 1 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” the university earned a No. 21 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” and No. 28 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.”

U.S. News & World Report rates the “Student Engagement” indicator as programs that promote quality participation in courses and allow students opportunities to both readily interact with their instructors and fellow classmates similarly to a campus-based setting and to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

In addition to three online undergraduate degree programs, SHSU offers 24 graduate degree programs, including one doctoral program and one special program for members of the U.S. military, as well as 22 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/sam-houston-state-university-227881.

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The percentage of students enrolled in online classes increased dramatically this fall as SHSU continued to offer more online undergraduate and graduate courses to meet the demands of record enrollment and student preferences.

In fact, 12 percent of SHSU students are taking 100 percent of their classes online this fall. In addition, the number of 100 percent online students increased 55 percent for undergraduate students and 20 percent for graduate students over fall 2012.

“SHSU Online responds quickly to emerging student needs for online degree programs and courses,” said Associate Vice President for Distance Learning Bill Angrove.

“The number of degrees available online has been steadily increasing over the past four years. At present, the university offers 25 degree programs completely online. They include three undergraduate degrees, 22 master’s degrees, one doctoral degree, and almost two dozen graduate and professional certificates,” he said.

In addition to providing high-quality, convenient, and affordable online courses to students in Texas, SHSU is increasing its presence nationwide as a recognized name in online education. This fall the total number of fully online students reached 2,303, with students spread across 38 states.

“Students are choosing SHSU online programs and courses for a number of good reasons,” Angrove said. “Our online courses are taught by outstanding full-time faculty members committed to excellence in teaching and their commitment is complemented by interactive courses designed with a high quality look and feel that is consistent throughout a degree program.

“SHSU Online provides outstanding technical support to students and faculty which improves the online educational experience,” he said. “The combination of outstanding faculty, intellectual rigor, quality course design, and exceptional technology support makes SHSU’s online courses an outstanding value for undergraduate and graduate students alike.”

SHSU Online’s focus on quality and value in online education has not gone unnoticed. Once again this year, as in years past, the university achieved high results in US News & World Report’s rankings of online education programs. In addition, AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranked SHSU the most affordable online university in Texas, and the fourth most affordable in the nation in its “Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

SHSU also ranks in the top 25 in the Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings. In addition, the university has been honored, for the second year in a row, as a “Military Friendly School,” a recognition of its status among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to help U.S. military service members, their spouses and veterans as students.

“Attention to quality and excellence in course development and technology support helps explain why student participation in online courses offered by SHSU continues to grow,” Angrove said. “Also, SHSU has committed to optimizing the university’s website for search engines and providing improved usability for prospective students. This commitment should help SHSU Online to see even greater growth in the future.”

Read the article at Today @ Sam!

Sam Houston State University received recognition as having another banner year in quality online education, collectively receiving five national awards throughout 2013 for online educational programs.

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In January, SHSU received continued praise in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs from nearly 700 schools across the country.  SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security earned a national ranking of No. 2 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” and received acknowledgment in three additional categories:

In one of the indicators used in determining schools’ overall rankings, “Student Services and Technology,” SHSU performed especially well. In the case of all the categories reported above, SHSU ranked as high as No. 6, and no lower than No. 23, among all schools.

affordable-online-colleges

In July, a new, non-profit site, Affordable Colleges Online, ranked SHSU fourth in the nation in the sites “54 Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

According to their site, Affordable Colleges Online set out to rank the top 54 colleges who provided students the most affordable online programs combined with successful placement at high-paying jobs upon graduation.

To determine their rankings, Affordable Colleges Online analyzed current and comprehensive national data sets from the most reputable sources. These sources include National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and The Carnegie Foundation.

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To finish the year, GetEducated.com, a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings based on affordability and credibility, ranked SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security #20 among all competing options nationwide.

The site, founded in 1989, established their “Best Buy” ranking on a national survey of 77 regionally accredited universities that offer 115 different online master’s degrees in computer science and IT. The survey covered a wide range of computer science majors, including information systems, database mining, information assurance and technical communication. The rankings highlight the 45 best affordable online degrees in this field.

Congratulations to SHSU faculty and the staff at SHSU Online for their hard work and commitment to quality online education.

Victim-Services-Management-SHSUThe College of Criminal Justice is launching an online Master of Sciences program in Victim Services Management this fall, “the first program of its kind to be offered in the nation,” said Dr. Cortney Franklin, chair of the Victim Services Management program committee.

“We are so excited about the prospect of equipping victim service providers with the scientific tools and practical skills needed to effectively interface with victims of crime,” said Dr. Franklin. “As it currently stands, a limited number of quality graduate programs offer a certificate in victimology, but students are only taking one or two courses that focus on these important issues. Our program provides graduates with necessary criminal justice systems exposure and then focuses extensively on victimology, victim service provision, advocacy and advanced topics in the study of crime victimization. These include elder abuse, child maltreatment, violence against women, and human sex trafficking.

“Master’s courses are taught by a core group of faculty with more than three decades of collective teaching and advocacy experience. As a result, our graduates will complete the program with more advanced knowledge of crime victimization and strategies for effective practical intervention and benefit from the resources our faculty can provide. This ultimately enhances their marketability and benefits crime victims.”

Graduates who complete the Master of Sciences degree in Victim Services Management will be prepared to work with victims through direct services, organizational management and social policy development for such programs as rape crisis centers, child advocacy centers, or other victim service agencies. Additionally, victim advocates in municipal law enforcement agencies or prosecutor’s offices would be appropriate candidates for the degree.

Delivered exclusively online through two 15-week courses per semester, the program can be completed in two years. Courses also prepare graduates for writing state and federal grants, evaluating advocacy program effectiveness, and critical consumption of relevant information including government reports and scientific studies.

Cortney-Franklin

Dr. Cortney Franklin

“Because this degree is tailored to victim advocates and the like, candidates are uniquely positioned for financial support,” said Dr. Franklin. “The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP.org) offers scholarships for survivors and existing victim advocates. Students can also compete for University scholarships after their first semester.”

The program combines scientific research, theory, and evidence-based practices with practical application in the field. The class sequencing culminates with a capstone course, which examines the coordination of victim services among both government and advocacy organizations, like law enforcement, medical service professionals, mental health service providers, and advocates in rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters.

“First-responders often face significant challenges in providing victim-centered services because each organizational representative has institutional priorities that may be at odds with other key players and not always be focused on the victim,” Dr. Franklin said. “Consequently, advocates become frustrated and victims suffer. This capstone course prepares graduates for dealing with these situations and for effectively managing multiple, often competing interests. Graduates complete the program with versatile skills and victims can benefit from that investment.”

To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the graduate school application and submit their GRE scores, official degree transcripts, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and most recent resume. “In vetting candidates for admission in this way, we are upholding the academic integrity of a program that is being offered by a department ranked among the top four in the nation,” said Dr. Franklin. “We are eager to harness that scholarly excellence in educating existing and future victim advocacy professionals to enhance victim-centered responses.”

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It’s the first day of summer. You want fun in the sun and an online degree, too?

Have the best of both worlds and see what educational options Sam Houston State University offers in the summer term. We have online undergraduate degrees, online master’s degrees, and more to further your education without compromising your lifestyle or schedule.

Enjoy the summer, find a program that’s right for you at distance.shsu.edu, pack for the beach, and take Sam Houston with you.

Register for classes by July 8 and see what you can do to get started today!

When Rebecca Gay completed her undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University in 2008, she did not realize the extent to which the university would influence her professional career.

Upon graduation, Gay took a position with the university as a transfer admissions counselor with the Undergraduate Admissions office.  Working in the office and regularly speaking with enthusiastic students eventually played a part in influencing her to pursue a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration.

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“In my position, I think getting a degree in higher education basically says that I believe in the values of the university,” she says. “Working for a university, it’s important that you feel everyone should further their education in some way. By pursuing a graduate degree, it helps instill that ambition in others and they see me making the effort to further my education.”

Gay, who is currently pursuing her graduate degree while also serving as a continuing education coordinator with SHSU Online, says her decision to pursue an online degree through SHSU Online is a testament to her confidence in the university’s educational philosophy.

Initially, she decided to try an online course to gauge her interest with the platform and found it to be beneficial to her lifestyle and study habits.

“Taking online courses helped me to stay focused on the program; I can just hop on a computer and easily turn in an assignment and I’m not required to go to a classroom or an office to submit work,” she says. “I’m a huge procrastinator, and what’s nice about the online program is that if an assignment is due at midnight, I have until 11:30 p.m. to keep working on it before I turn it in,” she says.

Continuing her education is a personal motivator for Gay, who is the first in her family to pursue a graduate degree, and she says the online platform allowed her to follow her ambitions while maintaining a demanding, full-time job.

She said in addition to the ease and accessibility of online courses, the platform helped her grow as a student.

“I think people don’t realize that online and classroom courses are very much alike in that there is a lot of student interaction. One of the most beneficial things for me was when professors used discussion boards.  Typically, I would have been a student in a classroom that probably would not have spoken up about a topic, whereas online you are required to write on a discussion board and put your opinion out there and critically think about the topic.”

SHSU Online utilizes the Blackboard Learn format, allowing students and professors to participate in a variety of communication applications.

Visit http://distance.shsu.edu to find out more about the online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration offered through SHSU Online, and see what you can do to get started today!

SHSU Online Ranked Top Amongst Online Programs (via US News & World Reports)

Sam Houston State University has again achieved high marks in US News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

Sam Houston State University’s online programs, evaluated along with nearly 700 schools across the country, ranked among the best in four categories, placing SHSU No. 2 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” No. 37 among “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” and No. 102 among “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.” The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program was ranked No. 69 in “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”

In one of the indicators used in determining schools’ overall rankings, “Student Services and Technology,” SHSU performed especially well. In the case of all the categories reported above, SHSU ranked as high as No. 6, and no lower than No. 23, among all schools.

The “Student Services and Technology” indicator, according to US News & World Report, reflects a school’s performance in these terms: “A program that incorporates diverse online learning technologies allows greater ability for students to participate in classes and labs from a distance.”

SHSU Online’s service is an important contributor to the university’s showing in terms of the “Student Services and Technology” indicator, helping to provide highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

“SHSU’s overall performance in the US News & World Report 2013 rankings reflects the high caliber of our faculty and the commitment of SHSU Online to furnish our students with the most reliable, user-friendly, and responsive distance-learning technologies available,” said Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning.

“SHSU Online is grateful for this recognition and is determined to continue improving service to our students and the entire SHSU community,” he said.

In addition to three online undergraduate degree programs, SHSU offers 24 graduate degree programs, including one doctoral program and one special program for members of the U.S. military, as well as 22 online certificate programs.

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at US News & World Reports online education programs overview.

For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

In a world full of opportunity, SHSU Online student Cathrine Henson is proof that a quality education is always available at Sam Houston State University.

Henson, who is currently taking online courses in higher education administration, has walked an unconventional path to achieve her educational goals. That path included two years of service in the United States Air Force as a jet engine mechanic, which she completed before returning to finish her undergraduate degree. Continue reading