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26 February 2007

MS in Manufacturing Systems Technology
Online Offering Fall 2007

Another one of Jacksonville State University’s graduate programs will be offered online beginning in the fall of 2007.  The Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Technology will be the 11th program to offer all of its degree requirements in the online course format.

Despite the change in course delivery methods, the program continues to aim at assisting management oriented technical professionals who wish to pursue a graduate degree part time. JSU will offer two courses toward the degree per semester, and the typical student should be able to graduate in two years. The degree requires 30 credit hours including 18 semester hours in the Manufacturing Systems Technology major, 6-semester hours in approved electives, and 6 semester hours related to a comprehensive project.

The program was already the only one of its kind in the south when JSU began offering the degree in the fall of 2005.  It was originally designed as an evening, part-time program, geared toward working adults.  The online format will allow even more students to pursue an advanced degree while continuing their current careers in engineering or manufacturing management.

The MS in Manufacturing Systems Technology gives graduates a broad base of knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage and control production in manufacturing facilities. It "is designed for technical professionals in manufacturing industries who now have management responsibilities or manage a manufacturing enterprise," said Mr. Terry Marbut who heads JSU's Department of Technology and Engineering. "This program will give them the advanced education they need to lead Alabama's industries in a global economy."

“I have been very pleased with the relevance of every class that I have taken,” said James Gray, President of Metal Samples Company and a student in the classroom based program.  “As a result of this program, I consider myself to be more informed and a better manager.  I recommend this program to anyone who is a supervisor in a manufacturing facility,"

Studies show that Alabama is home to more than 6,600 manufacturing, assembly, and processing facilities that employ more than 380,000 workers and export $5.4 billion in products and services annually. The U.S. Department of Commerce forecasts a significant increase in the number of manufacturing jobs in Alabama. The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association also reports rapid growth in the automotive sector of manufacturing in Alabama and anticipates continued growth.

“Along with the increase in manufacturing positions available in the state, there will be a parallel demand for informed industrial leaders who will be able to manage technology and use technology to solve problems,” said Dr. Dana Ingalsbe, Graduate Program Coordinator for Manufacturing Systems Technology   “This program strives to meet that need.”

Manufacturing plays a key role in the nation's economic development. A 2003 publication of the National Association of Manufacturers stated that manufacturing was responsible for one-third of the overall economy's growth in productivity from 1992 to 2000. The U.S. Labor Department stated that manufacturing has one of the highest multiplier effects in terms of job creation.  This means that manufacturing jobs help to create jobs in other sectors including service and education.

For further information of the Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Technology at JSU contact the College of Graduate Studies at 256-782-5329, or Dr. Dana Ingalsbe, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Technology and Engineering at 256-782-5229 or via email at The Department of Technology web address is:

Jacksonville State University offers distance education courses and programs online as well as in the interactive videoconferencing and video-based course delivery methods.   Visit for information on all 11 online programs JSU will be offering in the fall of 2007.  Additional information on individual courses that may be taken online, as well as videoconferencing and video-based courses, can also be found at or by calling (256) 782-8172. 


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