SILVIA OAKLAND, TRUMPET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Wartburg College will soon offer their second master’s degree program, a master’s of arts and leadership, after it’s first master’s degree program master’s of arts in music therapy was created in September of 2018.
The program features an alumni scholarship that reduces the cost per course by 10%, according to Michael Gleason, director of the institute for leadership education and head of the program.
“We have eight admitted and planning to attend. It’s not intended to be a super large program because the idea here is that we want to do right by the students and have them have an experience that would be consistent with a working education,” Gleason said.
The program is geared toward those who are working professionals. Jaderiel Staebler, fourth-year business and administration major and leadership minor, is one of the eight students admitted and plans to work while being in the program. Staebler said she wanted to continue her education with a master’s in leadership to help her with her first job but also for her future job plans.
“After graduation, I have accepted a job as an operations manager at Target’s Food Distribution Center. This role requires a lot of leadership and management skills that help maximize efficiency and achieve organizational goals,” Staebler said. “I would like to run my own business, and management is a key component to running your own business, as well as leadership.”
The program would take two years to complete and will require students to take two credits per semester, including two summer sessions. The cost of each credit $2,300 per course credit. For undergraduate students who are considering taking the fifth-year tuition-free option, this program does not qualify. Gleason said he is willing to work with students if needed.
“For those students who are fifth-year [students] that need to take three credits in the fall and three in the winter, we do have a way that they can do kind of an alternative pathway,” Gleason said.
The master of arts in leadership has been a program in the works for roughly 10 years. The program developed from being titled a post-baccalaureate certificate in leadership after alumni expressed their desire to have continued leadership development and resources, according to Gleason.
“When I started in 2019, we were recruiting for [post-baccalaureate certificate in leadership] but we realized if we added some additional courses, we would have a full master’s degree,” Gleason said. “We developed additional courses that together with the six credits that existed for the graduate certificate created a master of arts in leadership.”
The first classes for the program will begin in June 2021 and the deadline to apply is May 1, 2021.
“Everything [for the class] is asynchronous, and it will be an online course, one at a time for the next two years,” Staebler said. “That’s something that also benefits me going into a full-time job after college.”
Gleason, along with the rest of the faculty, have been meeting with prospective students of the program via Zoom.