Tech adds three graduate programs for non-tradtional students

The School of Professional Studies at Tennessee Tech University has added three new graduate programs for non-traditional students. These programs are online and designed to cater to the needs of working adults.

Interdisciplinary Studies’ program director, Joe Roberts, along with Melissa Geist, Ph.D., and Thad Perry, Ph.D., founded these programs. The newest program is in its final stages of approval. The second program, teaching English as a second language, is in its first month, and health care informatics is in its first year.

Teaching English as a second language, is a program designed for international students who want to advance their careers by teaching English to other internationals with whom they do business. Being one of the newer programs, no curriculum has been set yet, but the process of creating a curriculum has started.

The fastest growing of the three programs is the health care informatics. It is a combination of Tech’s School of Nursing, School of Professional Studies and the College of Business.

The main reason for adding not just one but three new programs was that there became a demand for it. “The purpose for adding more graduate programs to the School of Professional Studies is to aim more light on Tennessee Tech and the unique programs we offer,” said Roberts. “ We also want to broaden the variety of students who attend.”

Students in the programs are from a variety of places and have a variety of jobs. Ranging from Georgia to Japan, from a bachelor’s degree in business to a doctorate in medicine, the new programs provided fit multiple students’ academic needs.

There are over 100 students enrolled in these programs. Each program’s curriculum consists of 11 classes totaling 33 hours. Focusing on the students needs, each student has up to six years to complete his or her degree online.

These new programs stand out from the others because of their admissions requirements. If the students have worked five or more years, they can substitute their portfolio for the graduate records examination.

Each program’s professors are Tech professors of professor of one of the other five Tennessee Board of Regents universities.

This upcoming May, the School of Professional Studies will be having their first graduation; 25 students will be earning their master’s degree in health care informatics.