What does the term "cohort" mean?
We use the term cohort to designate a group of students (usually 15-20) that starts together and stays together throughout the entire MSOL program experience. Each cohort is assigned a number (Cohort 10, Cohort 15, Cohort 25, etc.) and has a year around, twenty-two month course calendar unique to it. We start five cohorts a year, including March, April, September, October, and November, at five different class locations throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area.
Is the MSOL program accredited?
Since 1923 Geneva College has been fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities. As a part of Geneva's Graduate Division, the MSOL program, housed in the Department of Leadership Studies, enjoys the benefits of full accreditation through the Middle States Association.
How long has the MSOL program been in existence?
We began our first cohort of students in February, 1996.
What types of backgrounds do MSOL students represent?
Educationally and vocationally, our students represent a tremendous variety of experiences and backgrounds. Undergraduate degree majors among students range from engineering to business to education. Vocationally, our students work in management and non-management roles, are teachers and ministers, provide counseling and health services, etc. In terms of ethnic diversity, about 80% of our students are Caucasian and 20% are African American. Ages of our students range from 25 to 80. The gender composition of our students is 40% male and 60% female. This type of diversity adds a richness to the classroom discussion and learning and is an important factor in the MSOL experience.
What is the retention rate among students?
Our retention rate, as well as our graduation rate, is very high. Eight-five percent of students who begin our program graduate. We take seriously our commitment to support the working adult student through out their course of study.
How can this degree help me professionally and personally?
We have a number of stories to tell of graduates who have been able to move into new employment roles, both inside and outside of their current organizations, as result of receiving their Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College. Of additional interest, a great number of students have reported positive job changes resulting DURING their MSOL program and prior to graduation. Just as important, though, are the numerous accounts of how the MSOL experience has been "life changing" to students in a profound personal and spiritual way. We are very thankful and encouraged by the fact that the program experience can and does have this positive impact.
What about your faculty? How are they chosen?
Currently, we have four full-time and fourteen part time faculty who teach in the MSOL program. Most of our faculty, 75%, have earned doctoral degrees and all have experience working outside of the graduate classroom. As a group, our faculty represent a variety of backgrounds in terms of graduate education, vocational experience, age, gender, and ethnicity.
Our faculty are chosen on the basis of their evangelical faith commitment, their expertise in the academic domains represented in the MSOL curriculum, their work related experience and perspective that they bring to the classroom, and their understanding of and commitment to teaching in an adult learning environment.
If I am working full-time and have other responsibilities at home, church or in the community, how can I manage the additional work required of a master's degree program?
Our MSOL program is designed for the working adult, just like the one described in this question. Certainly, enrolling in the MSOL program means making a two year commitment to attend class one night per week and completing the work necessary to obtain your degree. You have to find some time in your current life that can be preserved for this effort. We are sensitive to the personal needs of working adults and we realize that, at times, schedules, pressures at work, emergencies, etc. may effect your ability to fulfill your responsibilities as a student. Communication with professors, the MSOL office staff, and fellow students enables us to work with adult learners who encounter such temporary out of class demands. As we seek to be flexible and understanding, we expect students to be responsible and accountable. Communication is the key to this relationship.
How do you evaluate learning in the MSOL program?
The primary means we use to evaluate students' learning is through written assignments. Students write application/reflection papers, case study analyses, course projects, etc. These written assignments demonstrate understanding of theories and concepts, application of these theories and concepts to the workplace, and integration of information from other courses. In light of this emphasis, it is important that every student possess a level of writing competence that will allow him or her to express properly these ideas on paper. As you can imagine, having access to a computer or word processor to compose, edit, and complete these writing assignments is a huge benefit.
What type of financial aid is available to help pay tuition?
All U.S. citizens who are full-time graduate students (all MSOL students are considered full-time) may be eligible for federal loans based on their information listed on the FAFSA. By contacting the MSOL office, we can give you more information regarding the Federal Direct Loan program and with whom you will work at Geneva College, should you decide to start the application process. Also, a large number of organizations have tuition reimbursement programs for their employees. Many of our students are able to take advantage of this benefit. Since these benefits can vary from organization to organization, in terms of amount of reimbursement, method of payment, etc. we work individually with each student to make sure we can accommodate any differences in tuition reimbursement policies. .