Ron Shiffler, dean of the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern, was Monday's guest on the Mornings unPHILtered” show.
Shiffler, who also is the interim dean of the College of Information Technology, discussed the school's online graduate degree program with host Phil Boyum.
The business college started a WebMBA program years ago and during the past two years, the College of IT put together a proposal for an online Masters in Computer Science. Several weeks ago, Georgia Southern was granted the right to offer the IT online Masters degree by the Regents of Georgia's university system.
Shiffler said the degree would be in the field of “Data Mining/Warehousing.” Asked by Boyum what type of students would enter the program, Shiffler said he believed the best would be those who already have some real job experience.
Using a cohort model, the students would take two classes per semester for five semesters and then graduate after that. Therefore, Shiffler said, that this schedule would work particularly well for someone with a full-time job.
Shiffler said students would be paired together at a face-to-face meeting for the first class of students in Atlanta this fall, and then the teams would work together throughout the entire program.
He said they would like to have 20 students, but would accept as many as 25. There must, however, be a certain number in order to run the class at all.
At Georgia Southern, it would cost about $14,000 per student for the degree, regardless of where people live.
Boyum asked Shiffler how students with online degrees are considered by potential employers as compared with those with campus degrees, Shiffler responded that over time, the idea of the virtual degrees have gained acceptance.
The main reason is that many of the employers have taken online courses themselves and know the value of education offered. Schools with good reputations for their online programs, such as Georgia Southern, have earned trust in the marketplace for the quality of the courses offered and in the quality of their graduates seeking employment.
Shiffler said more proposals are in the works for new online programs to be offered at Georgia Southern. One degree would be in the field of accounting, and the other would be an executive MBA program.
For more information, prospective students can go to Georgia Southern's online programs at http://online.georgiasouthern.edu, or call 478-2727 in the Computer Science Department.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com