CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 30, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State University’s online graduate program in criminal justice has been ranked in the inaugural edition of the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs released this month by U.S. News & World Report.
Southeast’s program is ranked 15th nationally and is the only Missouri public institution ranked among the top 35 programs.
“This ranking reflects the quality and affordability of our online degree programs,” said Dr. Allen Gathman, associate dean for online learning. “The majority of our online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach face-to-face, and all of them are under the oversight of the appropriate academic departments, so we know that we’re delivering a comparable experience and the same academic rigor as in our face-to-face programs. Our tuition is very competitive nationally. “
Southeast’s online graduate criminal justice program is a cooperative program with Missouri Southern State University. The partnership provides students with a convenient and easily accessible opportunity to complete advanced study in criminal justice. Courses focus on the practical application of assessing programs and policies, conducting evaluative research and understanding complex legal issues relevant to the field of criminal justice. The degree is best suited to people currently working in the criminal justice field. The program covers six consecutive academic terms: four semesters and two summer terms.
U.S. News developed its rankings by assessing criminal justice and criminology master’s degree programs together. U.S. News evaluated schools on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, academic and career support services offered to students, technology, admissions selectivity and peer reputation.
“Many of the people who need a graduate degree in criminal justice are working professionals in the field already; our online masters’ program provides them with the opportunity to earn this academic credential even though their work schedules would be incompatible with traditional classroom courses,” Gathman said. “They can make time for coursework whenever it fits into their work and home schedules, while still interacting with student peers and professors through online assignments.”
Col. Monte Powell of Joplin, Missouri, graduated from the program in December, having completed his Master of Science in criminal justice entirely online. Powell took online classes while serving overseas as a U.S. Marine stationed in Bahrain. He is currently stationed in California and will deploy to Central America in the near future.
According to Powell, the military requires a master’s degree for continued service as it demonstrates self-improvement and an analytical mindset for problem solving.
After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, Powell plans to work in politics or in humanitarian efforts overseas.
“The degree will help me at an executive level of organization with outside agencies, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Powell.
Powell received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and a minor in Japanese in 2002 from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri.