Graduate Studies Fair Showcases Program Options

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fairmont State University is meeting the challenge of educating professionals in a variety of fields including architecture, criminal justice, business and multiple areas within the field of education. Many fields that once employed graduates with bachelor’s degrees now prefer to hire those with master’s degrees. Choosing to pursue a master’s degree program at FSU represents a commitment to excellence, personal growth and lifelong learning.

Alumni, current FSU students and the public are invited to the Graduate Studies Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Falcon Center second floor Main Street area. Representatives of FSU’s graduate programs will be on hand to answer questions. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at (304) 367-4098 or gradstudies@fairmontstate.edu. Visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/graduatestudies online.

As the demand for highly trained professionals increases, more and more students are choosing to pursue a master’s level degree. The degree, once considered primarily a stepping stone toward a doctorate, is becoming, for many, a terminal degree.

“Many of our students are from West Virginia and would like to earn their bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the same institution close to home. Fairmont State’s smaller class sizes mean students receive more attention from faculty. Our applications-based approach prepares graduate students for their next career or challenge,” said Dr. Jack Kirby, Associate Provost and Director of Graduate Studies. “Fairmont State’s graduate courses are offered in the evenings or online or through a combination of the two, which makes graduate education available and accessible for working adults.”

Graduate Studies at Fairmont State are designed to give students advanced knowledge in a special field of study, higher levels of professional competence, an understanding of and respect for scholarly research and a sophisticated knowledge of the techniques of continued, lifelong intellectual growth. These goals are achieved through coherent, orderly programs of study, investigation and supervised practical experiences that are carefully planned by each individual student in consultation with a graduate faculty advisor.

FSU graduate programs are committed to a student-centered learning environment that emphasizes concrete experiences, intellectual discourse and critical reflection. FSU is small enough to allow each graduate student opportunities for interaction with fellow students and distinguished faculty members, yet large enough to provide challenging and diverse areas of study.

“I always knew that I wanted to work with people hands-on. Working within the criminal justice field, which I’m doing now, allows me to do that and also allows me to help people get back on track and improve their lives. I was initially hired in Randolph County, where I established and ran the Randolph County Adult Drug Court program for two years. I accepted a transfer to my hometown in Upshur County and work with adult and juvenile offenders now,” said John Meadows of Buckhannon, a 2015 graduate of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice program.

“The master’s degree program online was great. A lot of the classes are discussion based. You get to hear a lot from your professors, but what’s also neat about it is that you get to hear from other students who are also experienced professionals in the field. You really get into some detailed and in-depth and educational discussions within the class. You know any time you e-mail a teacher he or she is back to you within 24 hours. The criminal justice master’s degree program from Fairmont State University allowed me to receive a high quality education while accommodating my personal schedule, which consisted of family obligations, a full-time job and everything else that goes along with an adult’s everyday life. I was very fortunate and happy to be able to receive that education while balancing all my other life obligations. I would recommend any degree from Fairmont State to anybody with the experience I have had here.”

Meadows was named Most Outstanding Graduate Student in Criminal Justice in 2015 and now works for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in Upshur County.