New master’s degree programs coming to UIndy this fall

The School for Adult Learning will add two new master’s degree programs this fall according to School for Adult Learning Dean Judy Apple-VanAlstine.  The two programs, which will be in real estate and construction management and human resource management were approved at the Faculty Senate meeting on Sept. 22. They will be available to students ages 24 and older starting in the fall. SAL graduate level courses are seven and a half weeks in length per session, with each session worth three hours of academic credit, VanAlstine said. All classes will be held at night, to accommodate the students who are working and pursuing a master’s degree in professional studies according to VanAlstine.

“A great majority [of the students] are looking for advances in their careers,” she said.

The classes will be practitioner-based, experiential in design and “related to needs in the workplace,” VanAlstine said, and “designed to meet the needs of the current and changing workforce.”

The classes, which will be a “brand new master’s designation on campus,” according to VanAlstine, are prevalent on both the East and West coasts, but relatively new to the Midwest. Programs like these are currently available in the Midwest only at universities in Kansas and Chicago.

VanAlstine said there is a growing demand for employees in real estate, construction management and human resources.

“[A] feasibility study was done to see if there are employment opportunities, and there are many openings in the Indianapolis area alone,” she said.

VanAlstine also noted that news of the programs also has drummed up interest from local businesses eager for a new source of employees. Although the university has held off contacting corporations until the curricula for these programs were developed, she said that “conversations from employers are coming to us.”

The classes for the new programs will be held on campus and at respective corporations and businesses, but more will be known after the curricula, which is currently being developed, are finished, VanAlstine said.

VanAlstine said that along with current faculty members, industry leaders will be hired as adjunct faculty to teach and create the curricula for these programs.

“Those that are hired that are not part of the full-time faculty will have to have the same academic credentials as anyone who teaches on campus,” VanAlstine said.

Upon completion of the programs, which will be 30 credit hours, an individual will receive a master’s degree in professional studies and affiliated graduate certificates in his or her respective field of study. The new programs are a “great opportunity for alumni involvement,” according to supporters of the additions at the Faculty Senate meeting.

While still in the conceptual stages at this point, new master’s programs such as the program for adult learning and talent development will soon be submitted for approval, VanAlstine said. While all may not be approved, a total of 12 programs are currently in the conceptual process.