FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 5, 2010
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
IHL approves technology and public safety administration degrees at MUW
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning recently approved two new degree programs at Mississippi University for Women which are aimed at transfer students and public safety administrators.
“These programs are unique to the state and to MUW as we now have a complete workforce development package that works with the majority of students transferring from junior colleges and community colleges,” said Dr. William “Bill” Mayfield, dean of the School of Professional Studies. “Further, with the public safety degree, we are serving a very unique niche that takes them above and beyond the typical criminal justice degree.”
The bachelor’s degree of technology will allow transfer students from junior and community colleges with associate degrees in technology and applied technology to transfer into MUW to complete their bachelor’s degree.
“We are working at this point in time to transform this degree to an online degree thereby allowing the place bound student the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree.”
The bachelor’s degree in public safety administration is for first responders, firemen, policemen, troopers and emergency personnel to find a path to complete their degrees.
“There is a law in the state of Mississippi that requires the first responder to have a bachelor’s degree in order to receive promotions.”
John Michael Brackin, who serves as police chief in Southaven, was approached by the Mississippi Fire Chief’s Association to head a committee with the focus of trying to get a Mississippi university to develop an in-state fire service degree for fire service personnel.
“We approached MUW to see if they were interested in pursuing such a degree and they indicated that they were,” he said.
As part of the committee’s preparation for the venture, Brackin conducted a survey (approximately 208 respondents) that showed that most personnel responding were in favor of an in-state bachelor level degree as well as other professional development opportunities. Talks progressed and it was decided that the public safety administration degree would be the best approach with discipline specific specialty areas.
“The advancement of technology and the types of hazard that emergency response personnel face dictate that current and future fire officers in the state be better trained and educated to face the hazards of tomorrow,” Brackin said. “Typically the state does an excellent job of teaching fire personnel the skills needed to perform their jobs. Where we are lacking is in the area of critical thinking skills to approach current and new types of incidents in a safe and effective manner.”
Columbus Fire Chief Kenneth Moore also served on the committee.
“I am excited that this program is being made available locally,” he said, noting that he earned his bachelor’s from a university in Tennessee. “That’s why we pushed it and we appreciate The W getting behind it.”
MUW also has a 2+2 degree program, which has been in place several years, but has not been an online degree with completion in 18 months for the junior or community college transfer student.
“The great advantage to this degree is that a person who is working can complete the degree while still working and therefore reduce their student loans or even pay as you go every six weeks an amount that is doable in order to complete his or her education,” Mayfield said. “The six week terms will allow the student to finance their education using their credit cards or through their pay checks on a pay as you go type of mechanism.”
MUW is currently enrolling for the 2+2 program and will accept applications for the technology and public safety degrees, which will not be operational until the fall of 2010.
For more information, call the School of Professional Studies at (662) 329-7152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.