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Graduate and Continuing Studies

Aaliyah Jones, Rex Bingham and Katlyn Dickerson are the 2016-17 B.F. Smith Scholars.

Office of Graduate Studies presents 2016-17 B.F. Smith Scholars

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies | No Comments

The Office of Graduate Studies recently announced the 2016-17 recipients of the B.F. Smith Scholars graduate assistantships.

The B.F. Smith Scholars Program provides funding for qualified entering graduate students. The highly competitive GA position, which awards $5,000 plus tuition per semester, is awarded to a limited number of students with a proven record of undergraduate achievement. The successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to the Delta region in pursuit of a degree related to community and economic development.

This year’s recipients include Aaliyah Jones, Rex Bingham and Katlyn Dickerson.

Aaliyah Jones is a Greenwood, Mississippi native and is the daughter of Cassandra Jones and the late Tracy King. Jones completed her undergraduate degree in social justice and criminology in May of 2016.  She is now pursuing her master’s in mental health counseling. For her work with B.F. Smith, Jones is assisting Dr. Garry Jennings in the social sciences office at Delta State. After graduation, she plans to help youth stay out of trouble by getting them involved in sports and community activities. Her longterm goal is to open a community center that allows youth to have a safe place to prosper and learn how to give back to their community.

Rex Bingham is a native of Kilmichael, Mississippi and is the son of Jeff and Debbie Stafford. Bingham completed his undergraduate degree in kinesiology at Mississippi State University. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Delta State. For his work with B.F. Smith, he is working with Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan. He is also involved with Delta State’s Baptist Student Union, the Financial Management Club and Phi Kappa Phi honor Society. In his free time, Bingham enjoys golfing and fishing.

Katlyn Dickerson a native of Senatobia, Mississippi and is the daughter of Stefan and Mary Helen Dickerson. She completed her undergraduate degree in family and consumer sciences with a concentration in child development at Delta State in June of 2016. She is currently pursuing a master’s in clinical and mental health counseling. For her work with B.F. Smith, she was placed with the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce. Upon graduation, Katlyn will pursue a career that allows her to help others through counseling or some type of community development initiatives.

To learn more about the B.F. Smith Scholars Program, contact Sarah Lee at 662-846-4878 or slee@deltastate.edu.

The inaugural fellows of the Teach for America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State include: (front row, left to right) Javier Peraza, Sarah Hawley, Jena Howie, Kandace Lewis, MacKenzie Stroh Hines, (back, l to r) Matty Bengloff, James Forte, Jon Delperdang, Boyce Upholt and Jeremiah Smith.

TFA graduate fellows kick off program at Delta State

By | Community, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students, Teach for America | No Comments

Delta State University’s Graduate and Continuing Studies department recently completed its inaugural week-long immersion experience for the new Teach for America Graduate Fellows Program.

Teach For America and Delta State University are piloting the new innovative two-year fellowship program to teach 10 Teach For America alumni how to launch and run a social venture in the communities they serve while also completing a graduate degree program of their interest.

During the immersion week, the cohort refined their leadership skills while also being introduced to entrepreneurial perspectives when tackling social problems.

“We offered the cohort tangible tools for them to use by providing a framework and space to plan out the implementation and design of their projects,” said program coordinator Harrison Wood. “During our week together, we weaved in aspects of school leadership, Mississippi Delta history and community engagement. Our week was met with unbelievable success. The fellows were able to foster a ‘think-tank’ like environment, which will enable them to use one another as a resource throughout the length of the fellowship, and hopefully longer, as they each continue to positively impact Mississippi.”

The week opened with Dr. Samuel Jones, a professional keynote speaker and author who specializes in the area of leadership development. Participants then had the opportunity to take part in a Delta tour with The Delta Center for Culture and Leaning to gain a greater understanding of the Mississippi Delta culture and history.

For the next two days, the schedule focused on the expansion participants’ proposed social entrepreneurship projects. The facilitators for these days included Spud Marshall and Alexis Taylor. Marshall is the chief catalyst for co.space, an international network of homes for change-makers that launched in State College, Pennsylvania. He is also the co-founder of New Leaf, a nonprofit social innovation incubator in State College. Taylor, of Austin, Texas, is the program manager and facilitator for 3 Day Startup, an international non-profit organization that builds entrepreneurial capabilities in students and employees at colleges, corporations, organizations and governments.

On the final day, the cohort visited KIPP-Delta and the Thrive Center, both operational social enterprises in Helena, Arkansas. This trip provided the fellows an opportunity to visualize and learn from fruitful social ventures positioned in a rural area. The week closed with an afternoon canoe trip on the Mississippi River with John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company, fostering a team-building experience for the participants.

Fellow Boyce Upholt was thrilled to begin the program.

TFA graduate fellows spent the week introducing entrepreneurial perspectives and social issues.

TFA graduate fellows spent the week introducing entrepreneurial perspectives and social issues.

“Immersion week was a great chance to get to know the other fellows in the program, and to begin to thought partner about how to accomplish our goals,” said Upholt. “Our projects are in varying states of development, from kernels of ideas to already operational programs, but we all walked away with tangible next steps, as well as inspiring examples of what entrepreneurship can look like in this region.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with the fellows, our support staff, and the faculty in my academic program. I’m aiming to use storytelling to better connect Deltans with one another, and with their local landscape, and I can’t think of a better program for doing so.”

To complete the fellowship, each participant will focus on social entrepreneurship, while simultaneously completing a graduate degree at Delta State. The cohort will regularly convene to share experiences in a collaborative environment, allowing participants to develop goals.

The project is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Applications for the 2017 cohort will open Jan. 1, 2017. For more information on the program, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/graduate-and-continuing-studies/tfa-graduate-fellows-program or call 662-846-4700.

Biological Sciences to offer post-baccalaureate certificate in Health Sciences

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate and Continuing Studies | No Comments

Beginning in the Summer I 2016 semester, Delta State University will offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in health sciences. To complete the certificate, students are required to take 24 credit-hours from a list of 500–600 graduate level biology, chemistry or physics courses over a 12-month period. The certificate would be signed by the department chairs and would be registered on a student’s transcript.

“Students enrolled in the program would maximize their chances of getting into competitive and professional health-related program and schools — medical, pharmaceutical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy or other graduate programs,” said Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science. “With required supervision, students would be guided to take courses that would help fulfill admission requirements to these programs. Students who obtain a post-baccalaureate certificate could show they are capable of handling graduate level courses when applying for admittance or re-admittance to health-related professional programs.”

In Mississippi, post-baccalaureate programs are currently available at William Carey University, The University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi College.

According to Riding, students choosing the program at Delta State University would save money compared to other in-state options, be engaged in a rigorous program, and have the opportunity to improve their academic credentials. Additionally, due to smaller class size at Delta State, students would have more face-to-face time with faculty.

Students must apply to be eligible for the program. Requirements include a Bachelors of Science degree in biology, chemistry or physics and a GPA of a 3.0 or above. Students must also submit their scores on the GRE, Medical College Admissions Test or Dental Admissions Test. For more information about this opportunity, contact Dr. Ellen Green, chair of Biological Sciences (662-846-4484), or Dr. Joseph Bentley, chair of Chemistry and Physics (662-846-4482).

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Online elementary education ranks in Top 20 nationally

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Graduate and Continuing Studies | No Comments

Ranked alongside some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable institutions, Delta State University was recently included in OnlineSchoolsCenter.com‘s list of Top 20 Online Master’s of Elementary Education Degree Programs.

Online Schools Center strives to seek out the best university programs in order to guide potential students toward a unique and fulfilling college experience, and Delta State University’s program stood out among many.

Methodology for the list included program standouts, accreditation, tuition rates, financial aid availability, acceptance rate, admission requirements, program options, degree outcomes, and 100 percent online availability. In developing the list, OnlineSchoolsCenter.com chose not to list the schools in an ordered way, but instead highlighted 20 of the best programs, all of which have their own unique strengths.

Curricula for this degree stems from many disciplines, including but not limited to: teaching a curriculum, child psychology, elementary school ethics, current events, and more. According to Online Schools Center, Bureau of Labor statistics predict the job outlook for elementary school teachers at 12 percent over the next six years.

Learn more about Delta State’s distinguished College of Education and Human Sciences at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-education.

2016-Ranking-of-Most-Affordable-Online-Graduate-Schools-for-Master’s-Degrees

Online graduate programs rank high in national poll

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students | No Comments

Delta State University once again ranked high in a national poll on affordability. The independent college search and rankings website College Choice (http://www.collegechoice.net) recently tabbed Delta State as No. 15 on its 2016 ranking of Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools for Master’s Degrees.

The rankings are based on the total cost to attend, including tuition and all fees. Only schools that are regionally accredited and offer at least five degree options were considered. Delta State was the only university from Mississippi listed in the top 15.

Learn more about the award and view the ranking in its entirety at: http://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/most-affordable-online-graduate-schools-2016/.