By Markeshia Ricks
Star Capitol Correspondent
Reprinted here in its entirety.
MONTGOMERY — Jacksonville State University has received a green light to
expand its degree programs in public administration and in secondary education.
The Academic Affairs Committee of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education
approved two proposals Thursday that will allow the university to offer a
concentration in athletic administration in its Master of Public Administration
program and a concentration in coaching for its Bachelor of Science in Secondary
While this does not change the number of graduate programs the university
offers, it does allow students more options, said JSU President William Meehan.
More options could mean more graduates. Though the number of students
enrolled in graduate courses dropped from 1,183 in 2005 to 1,091 in 2006, the
number of degrees awarded has gone up.
According to the proposal for the master’s program, the athletic
administration concentration targets those interested in working for municipal
recreation departments, athletic departments for community/junior colleges, and
entities such as the YMCA.
Meehan said expanding the master’s program offers people who work in public
recreation entities, but who have degrees in other areas, an opportunity to
develop new skills without obtaining a new degree such as a Bachelor of Science
in Recreation Administration.
“With the 15 hours concentrated in that area, they can learn enough to
establish a good solid recreation program,” he said.
Jeff Chandler, head of the Department of Health, Physical Education and
Recreation at JSU, said the new concentration also will be appealing to alumni
who work for the university as full employees or graduate assistants, and have
an interest in athletics.
“A lot of our baccalaureate people get hired by the university, or are
working as graduate assistants, and they want or need to get a master’s degree
for their job,” he said. “Right now they don’t have an option to concentrate in
Chandler said the university offers the additional course work that students
will be required to take through his department, but those courses are offered
only as electives.
As soon as the full higher education commission approves the proposal in its
regular meeting today, the university can allow students to pursue the
concentration as part of their degree focus.
Meehan said the coaching concentration for the undergraduate degree in
secondary education is aimed at providing new teachers an extra skill set.
“When I went into education I was asked to coach basketball, and though I had
watched it a great deal I knew nothing about teaching it,” he said. “With this
concentration they can learn some skills and the characteristics needed for
coaching. It doesn’t certify them to coach any particular sport, but it does
offer some practical application.”
About Markeshia Ricks
Markeshia Ricks is capitol correspondent for The Star.
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