Master of Professional Studies Offers Students Flexibility
Employers are looking for flexibility, adaptability, and a skill set that stretches far and wide. So why shouldn’t a master’s degree program embody those concepts, too?
Bellevue University’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) does just that – both in terms of what it teaches students and in what it offers students. Students start by creating an individualized degree plan with the help of an admissions counselor and faculty. A notable feature of the MPS is the flexibility to combine courses from more than one degree programs with prior learning, and/or certificates of completion.
In addition, for students who have earned credit from another graduate program or institution, the Bellevue University 30 credit-hour MPS degree program allows up to 12 transfer credits. Students may complete the remainder of the degree requirements either online or on-campus.
Two Bellevue University employees recently completed the MPS program. While their goals were distinctly different, they were both able to expand their skill set in an area of their own choosing.
Nathan Kraft’s Story
Nathan Kraft is the Assistant Director, Multimedia Production Support Services. He had looked into several master’s degree programs at the University, before settling on the MPS. The customizable aspect of the degree was a big selling point for him, but picking out classes proved to be a little daunting.
“I went through and looked at everything. There’s a lot of class options and I was getting a little lost,” he said. “I had a little help from my counselor and was able to focus in on some classes. I concentrated on classes that would help with my management responsibilities. I did a counseling class because I felt it would be really interesting to learn about people from that perspective.”
The class, Intercultural Communication taught by Dr. Kate Joeckel, discussed racism and sexism in the workplace among other issues.
“It was the perfect time for that class. I learned a lot about hiring practices. I felt like I was doing things correctly in that regard and the class reinforced that, as well, as shedding some light on the thought processes behind some policies and practices,” he said.
Dr. Michelle Eppler, Dean of the College of Professional Studies, takes a hands-on approach with the program and is readily available to all of the students, Kraft said.
Dean Eppler’s support helped Kraft switch out of one course and into another, while managing some challenges outside the classroom, as well.
“At the start of each team Michelle gets everybody together on a discussion board to discuss what they're doing, what’s going well and what you’re having problems with,” Kraft said. “It really helps you get through the class. She's there for you. It really helps you focus and figure out where you're going.”
Kraft took advantage of the University’s tuition remission benefit to earn the degree and has his eye on teaching as an adjunct professor.
“I really want to teach and you have to have your master’s degree to do that,” he said. “Earning my master’s degree has helped me become a better manager.”
Anita Schaepe’s Story
Anita Schaepe, a Content Marketing Specialist at the University, had some graduate-level coursework from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and wanted to take advantage of those credits to earn her master’s degree.
“It was on my bucket list to get it done. I had stopped out a couple of times when I was pretty young,” she said. “I thought this would be perfect because it would dovetail with the classes I had already taken. I wouldn’t be starting over.”
Schaepe came up with three goals she wanted to achieve through the program and then chose classes that would help her do just that. Like Kraft, teaching was something that intrigued her and she crafted her program toward that.
Schaepe received support from a number of people throughout her program including Eppler, Joeckel, and Writing Center Coordinator Amy Nejezchleb.
“I had a lot of people to turn to for help during the program,” Schaepe said. “Amy was terrific. We’d meet every week and go over my work.”
For more information on the Master of Professional Studies, click here.