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Two New Graduate Programs At Lee University

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies are two new graduate programs which will be offered fully online at Lee University by summer 2016.

Lee University, a private, faith-based liberal arts college historically affiliated with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) recently announced two new graduate programs which will be offered fully online by summer 2016: the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies.

“Having a graduate degree is becoming a far more attractive option for enhancing the résumé than it once was,” said Dr. Matthew Melton, dean of Lee’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Lee graduate programs are unique because Lee University is unique. We are finding ways to translate the unique blends of core commitments on our traditional campus to our virtual campus as well.”

The MBA program, piloted online in fall 2015, was the first non-ministry graduate degree offered online at Lee University. According to Program Director Dr. Shane Griffith, the move online made sense to expand the program’s geographic reach.

“We knew that there were many people who would be interested in an MBA from Lee who could not attend classes on [campus],” said Griffith. “Since nearly all of our students are working full-time while they pursue their degree, the online delivery format offers an opportunity for students to work toward their degree at times convenient for them whether at night, on the weekends, or during lunch.”

According to Dr. Dewayne Thompson, chair of Lee’s business department, the online MBA is a “natural outgrowth” of the on-campus program. This is evident in the fact that students receive the same curriculum, case studies, and professors whether on campus or online.

For Griffith, it is this mix of both faculty and materials that helps make this program unique in the marketplace.

“The Lee University MBA is designed to teach students how to deliver long-term value to their organizations. This is more than just maximizing profits – it is about doing what is right and leading during difficult and turbulent times,” said Griffith. “Our focus on experiential learning ensures that students learn how to apply theoretical concepts in practice.”

Beginning this summer, the MS in Marriage and Family Studies will become Lee’s newest online offering. This program is designed for students looking for a career in family resource agencies, ministerial family outreach programs, or to go on to pursue doctoral work in the field.

The focus of this degree, according to Program Director Dr. Susan Alford, is on the “significance of covenant relationships and family.”

While she is quick to point out that this is not a ministry degree, it is committed to the science of family studies.

“Because the Marriage & Family Studies program focuses on the importance of home, family and relationships, this program will prepare people to have an effect on contemporary culture: their churches, communities, schools, and more,” said Alford. “Our goal is to teach principles, theory, and skills to help maintain and strengthen the home as the most effective institution in society for impacting the well-being of the family unit.”

Another benefit of the Marriage and Family Studies degree is the potential of professional certification.

“This degree program can help graduates prepare to take the exam to become a Certified Family Life Educator, an internationally recognized certification from the National Council on Family Relations,” said Dr. Trevor Milliron, director of graduate programs in counseling.

These additions represent the university’s focus on expanding its online offerings in the years to come, but Melton is quick to point out that any growth must be measured and missional.

“I’ve always been an advocate of our university’s graduate program ventures,” Melton said, “but we aren’t in the business of creating them merely in response to market pressures. We take time to weigh whether or not we, as an institution, have the means and the motive to meet a clear need. In the case of graduate programs online, I think there’s plenty of room for us to grow. I’m excited to see where this goes.”

For more information about these programs, contact Dennis Purvis, director of enrollment services, at 423-614-8370. Summer cohorts for both programs will begin May 9, 2016.

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