Graduate and Continuing Studies

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).

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‘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, 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

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 ( 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:



RESSON master’s rank No. 2 most affordable online

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Graduate and Continuing Studies, School of Nursing | No Comments

In a recent ranking by, Delta State University’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing was recognized for being one of the 10 most affordable online master’s degree programs in the nation.

RESSON came in at No. 2 on the list after receiving recognition for its unique concentration options.

To establish the ranking, took a look at several other websites that rank online MSN programs, including U.S. News,,, and Get Educated.

The site then conducted an analysis to determine which of these colleges showed up on top ranked lists more than once. Nearly 60 different schools made the cut, and several appeared on as many as three different rankings.

This new ranking represented the “best of the best” in online nursing graduate programs. The final list sorted the top institutions by cost to determine the 10 most affordable programs.

“We offer a high quality Masters of Nursing program with a 100 percent certification rate at a very reasonable cost,” said Dr. Lizabeth Carlson, dean of RESSON. “We have been offering online advanced nursing education since the early 2000s. We have worked diligently to ensure we incorporate national and state accreditation standards into our curriculum and utilize best practices in online learning.”

Carlson said the dedicated RESSON faculty helped make the ranking a reality.

“This is a great honor and reflects the hard work and long hours the nursing faculty have put into ensuring this program is of the very best quality,” she said.

According to the ranking, RESSON distinguishes itself from other top online programs through its unique concentration options. Students can choose a traditional specialization in Nurse Administration or Nurse Education, or seek training as a Nurse Practitioner.

Within the latter option, students can concentrate in an even more specific area based on their career goals; specialty tracks include Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, or Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (with an additional option to concentrate in either adult or family treatment).

Additionally, RESSON received distinction thanks to its exceedingly affordable tuition and fees, which stand at just over $6,500 per year.

Read the full Top 10 list at

Learn more about RESSON at Delta State University at

Hearin funds university and TFA graduate program

By | Academics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Graduate and Continuing Studies, President, Students, Teach for America | No Comments

Thanks to continued support from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, Delta State University and Teach For America-Mississippi are proud to announce the Teach For America Alumni Retention Assistance Program at Delta State.

The Hearin Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Jackson, has supported Delta State through numerous grants over the years. The organization backs Mississippi higher education and economic development.

The retention project strengthens and expands the partnership between the university and TFA by creating a pathway for TFA alumni to advance their education while simultaneously addressing community and economic development issues in the region and state.

The program encourages TFA alumni to stay in Mississippi after completing their two-year teaching commitment by providing opportunities for educational and professional development, while building professional relationships with businesses, communities and government leaders.

TFA alumni will engage in summer internships with local organizations immediately following their TFA service commitment. This engagement with local entities will enable alumni to use their skills and talents in areas such as economic development, community engagement, project and program management, event planning, creating economy initiatives, public relations, governmental relations, political areas, youth development and research.

In addition to supporting the internships, the Hearin grant will also provide funding for graduate school scholarships and graduate assistantships for 10 selected alumni each year who will attend graduate school at Delta State.

“While Teach for America-Mississippi certainly has a growing number of alumni staying, buying property, starting a family, educating their kids, and following their passions and leading on a variety of fronts here in Mississippi, the ongoing trend of exporting talent simply follows the current local and regional trend for college-educated, young professionals from the Delta,” said Barbara Logan Smith, executive director of TFA-Mississippi. “Instead of losing talent to New Orleans and Nashville, by partnering with the Hearin Foundation, Delta State University, members of the Mississippi Economic Council and others, we posit that we can foster, incubate, retain and attract at least 10 alumni per year who feed off one another’s passions and energies — and who then launch some social entrepreneurial idea or venture here that improves the quality of life of Mississippians.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge could not be more pleased with the opportunities that will arise for all parties involved.

“This is a win-win-win. It’s a win for TFA alumni who have had great experiences teaching in the Delta for two years and are now looking for the next career move,” said LaForge. “We’re giving them opportunities for internships, graduate programs and graduate assistantships. The second win is for TFA itself. This grant underscores the value of the TFA and perpetuates the cross-cultural experiences that it fosters by bringing in people from other parts of the country. And closer to home, this is a huge win for Delta State, the Delta and Mississippi. Delta State will be bringing in students who otherwise would not matriculate here, and the goal is for them to find a career niche in the region.”

Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, echoed the president’s praise for the program.

“Delta State University recognizes the individual and collective value that Teach For America brings to the Mississippi Delta,” said Boyles. “We are excited that through this grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, we will be able to offer this opportunity for TFA alumni to remain here in the Mississippi Delta following their teaching commitment, and continue to contribute to the community and economic development of the Delta communities.”

LaForge was quick to thank the Hearin Foundation for its continued faith in the university. The foundation has also backed groundbreaking programming such as Delta State’s International Delta Blues Project.

“This is yet another amazing partnership with the Hearin Foundation, and I am very grateful for their confidence and trust in us to put this sort of program in operation,” said LaForge. “This program has wonderful potential, and a big thanks goes to the Hearin Foundation. This will boost the value of our university and will bring in some amazing talent.”

All parties remain hopeful of the longlasting results this program will have on economic development, education and social impact in the region.

“We believe that this opportunity with Delta State University has the capacity to create an exponential win-win for the state through the deepening of established partnerships, the mobilization of new hearts and minds determined to highlight the great assets of our state, and address the challenges while living with us as neighbors — and a focus on making Mississippi a preferred destination for living, learning and leading,” said Smith. “We are excited about this new investment in Mississippi and our opportunity to be a partner in such an important endeavor.”

The program will be coordinated through Delta State’s Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies under the leadership of Dean Beverly Moon.

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About Teach For America:

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit