Columbus State University Adds Five New Graduate Degree Programs

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University this fall will offer five new graduate degrees and an additional bachelor’s degree, as approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Columbus State will now also offer:

  • Master of Education in theatre education
  • Master of Music in performance
  • Master of Arts in history
  • Master of Science in Nursing, an online degree in collaboration with Clayton State University
  • Specialist in Education with a major in special education
  • Bachelor of Arts in art history

The new degrees represent a natural progression in the university’s academic growth and were requested because of demand by students and the industries they will serve, said Tom Hackett, Columbus State’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“All these new degrees are wonderful additions to our curriculum,” Hackett said. “But I’m particularly excited about the master’s degree in history since it’s only the third graduate degree in the College of Letters and Sciences and the master’s degree in nursing, because it’s in such demand.”

Columbus State President Tim Mescon said Hackett was one of the driving forces of the effort that brought the new degrees to fruition.

“We owe a special thanks to Dr. Tara Redmond, Dr. Greg Domin and Dr. Tom Hackett for shepherding these complicated proposals through the University System of Georgia staff,” Mescon said. “Much interaction with the system's leadership was required to appropriately position these proposals for ultimate approval.”

To have a new program approved by the Regents, a strong case for support must first be formulated and approved by faculty on campus. The idea then goes to Hackett’s office, then through a stringent process at the state level.

The College of the Arts adds three new degrees with master’s degrees in theatre education and music performance, plus a bachelor’s degree in art history.

The music and art degrees fill a needed area within the university’s downtown programs. And with the master’s in theatre education, Columbus State University will be one of only two Georgia institutions offering a post-baccalaureate degree in theatre.

The master of arts with a major in history degree accompanies one of the university’s newest eminent scholar chairs in military history and sets up Columbus State to develop a niche for itself in military history with a new degree, a new distinguished professor and a program that not only incorporates the rich local military history but also includes practical applications of geographical information systems within the program.In the College of Education and Health Professions, its new master’s degree will be the first graduate program for the School of Nursing.

The online Master of Science with Clayton State University consists of both a leadership and education concentration. Both concentrations will have a clinical application component and although offered collaboratively with Clayton State University, Columbus State University will be the agent of record and grant the degree to all Columbus State students who successfully complete their coursework. This program fulfills a promise to Columbus Regional Healthcare System and St. Francis Hospital who have pledged $1 million to Columbus State to help expand the region’s nursing education programs, meeting a desperate need in the state.

"Most people are aware that there is a major nursing shortage throughout the nation; however, many may not know there also is a significant nursing faculty shortage,” said Sheri Noviello, director of Columbus State’s School of Nursing. “Almost 50 percent of Georgia's nursing faculty will be at retirement age within the next five years. This master’s program will address that shortage while also providing an advanced level of nursing education for practitioners and supervisors in the workplace.”

The Specialist in Education degree with a major in special education also meets a growing need. The Ed.S. program is designed to provide an advanced grounding in the various theoretical foundations of special education. The Bright Futures Report completed in year 2000 by the Council for Exceptional Children found that special education teacher retention is enhanced when special educators have viable career paths to pursue.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story was released April 20 by Columbus State's Office of University Relations; it was re-released to include additional information.)