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Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Bellos

faculty photo of Dr. Ioannis in a suite jacket.

Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Bellos is an Associate Professor in the Information Systems and Operations Management area at the School of Business, George Mason University. His research interests are found at the intersection of sustainable and service operations with an emphasis on innovative business models. His primary focus has been on service-based business models shaping what is known as the sharing and access economy. The novelty of these business models lies in the fact that customer value is linked primarily to the product “use” rather than the product. He also studies the emerging practice of service design as a managerial discipline. Prof.Bellos’ work has appeared in book chapters and leading journals, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management. Read his full biography here.

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MS in Data Analytics Engineering

MS in Data Analytics Engineering

Bernard Schmidt

faculty photo of Bernard Schmidt

Bernard Schmidt is an Instructor at George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering, MS Data Analytics Engineering Program. He is also the Assistant Director of the MS Data Analytics Engineering Program. He joined Mason’s VSE Faculty in the Fall of 2020 from Northern Virginia Community College where he served as a professor of Information Technology as well as an Assistant Dean for Information Technology and Computer Science at the NVCC Manassas campus.

Schmidt was involved with computing and the computing industry for over 35 years prior to joining academia. His early career involved computer operations and programming of IBM mainframes, which then led to researching computer image processing algorithms for multi-sensor aided target recognition at the Army’s Night Vision Lab. He has subsequently held progressive technology and management positions at a variety of organizations in Northern Virginia including Oracle Complex Systems, Cordant, IBM, ORBCOMM, Sprint, Battelle, and Prison Fellowship Ministries. Read his full biography here.

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MS Applied Information Technology

MS Applied Information Technology

Dr. Ioulia Rytikova

faculty photo of Dr. Ioulia Rytikova

Dr. Ioulia Rytikova is an Associate Professor and an Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology. She received a B.S./M.S. degree in Automated Control Systems Engineering and Information Processing and her Ph.D. in Automated Control Systems from National University of Science and Technology. Dr. Rytikova designed and developed multiple interdisciplinary programs, concentrations, and courses in the emerging areas of data sciences and big data analytics, computer and information technologies, health information technologies, and statistical analysis. Read her full biography here.

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Masters in Economics

Masters in Economics

Christopher Coyne

faculty photo of Christopher Coyne

Christopher Coyne is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Associate Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center. He is the Co-Editor of The Review of Austrian Economics, The Independent Review, and Advances in Austrian Economics. He also serves as the Book Review Editor for Public Choice. In 2008, Coyne was named the Hayek Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, and in 2010 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. Read his full biography here.

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MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate

MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate

Janusz Wojtusiak, PhD

Dr. Janusz Wojtusiak

Dr. Wojtusiak, Professor of Health Informatics and Director of the Machine Learning and Inference Laboratory, has expertise that spans machine learning, health informatics, artificial intelligence in clinical decision support and knowledge discovery in medical data, and a wide range of applications of these fields in health care. His particular area of interest is in developing algorithms that derive simple, transparent and usable models from complex health data to predict patient and population outcomes. He studies how to create and evaluate reproducible, unbiased and trustworthy algorithms and models.

Dr. Wojtusiak serves as the Division Director for Health Informatics in the Department of Health Administration and Policy. He oversees undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in health informatics. Dr. Wojtusiak teaches several courses focused on machine learning, data mining, artificial intelligence and computing applied in medicine, healthcare and individual/population health.

He authored or co-authored over 100 research publications and presentations and continues to collaborate with multiple national and international institutions. Read his full biography here.

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MS in Learning Design and Technology

MS in Learning Design and Technology

Dr. Douglas Wilson

Dr. Douglas Wilson

Dr. Douglas Wilson is Assistant Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology in the College of Education and Human Development. His primary focus areas are online teaching and instructional design. Dr. Wilson joined George Mason University in 2021 after serving online as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Learning Technologies at Texas A&M University-Commerce; there, his teaching portfolio included a diverse set of online courses in the areas of instructional design and educational technology. Dr. Wilson has also contributed instructional design expertise to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Dallas College and to the Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Methodist University. Prior to moving into instructional design, Dr. Wilson served more than a decade in various faculty leadership roles. In addition to his PhD in Learning, Design, and Technology, Dr. Wilson holds an MS in Journalism from Columbia University in the City of New York. Before becoming an academic, Dr. Wilson worked as a television news reporter in major markets including Dallas, Baltimore, Tulsa, and Washington, D.C. Read his full biography here.

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Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Shanti Chang, DNP, FNP-BC

Dr. Shanti Chang

Dr. Shanti Chang is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, and the Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology DNP Program Director. Chang’s interests are pediatrics and underserved populations. Chang is responsible for developing a free vaccine program at the Fairfax County Public School Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic that provided 1,000 immunizations to uninsured children registering during its first year. Now, she continues to support multiple immunization clinics and is the Prince William CSB and Homeless Shelter- MAP Clinic telehealth provider. Before coming to Mason, Chang worked full-time in pediatric private practice. Read her full biography here.

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Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Dr. Afra Ahmad

faculty photo of Dr. Afra Ahmad

Dr. Afra Saeed Ahmad is the program director of the online Master’s of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She received her BA in Psychology (2008), MA (2008) and PhD (2016) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology right here at George Mason University! Afra worked as an assistant professor of management at Zayed University in Dubai for three years before returning home to Mason. Read her full biography here.

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Master of Public Health

Master of Public Health

Dr. MB (Marybeth) Mitcham

faculty photo of Dr. MB (Marybeth) Mitcham

Dr. MB (Marybeth) Mitcham is an assistant professor and the director of the online MPH program in the Department of Global and Community Health. Mitcham’s research interests include the effect of intergenerational learning opportunities on healthy behavior patterns, rural gender identity, the intersection of plant-rich diets and rural populations, and effective public health education methods. Her work focuses on translating research into practice by promoting kinesthetic learning opportunities designed to reduce the barriers to achieving good health. Before coming to Mason, Mitcham worked as a nutrition and healthy living resource educator for Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

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Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

Dr. Daphne King

faculty photo of Dr. Daphne King

Dr. Daphne King is an Assistant Professor and MSW Online Program Coordinator in the Social Work Department/College of Health and Human Service. King’s research interests are self-esteem issues in teens and adolescents, mental health concerns and treatment modalities for women of color, specifically African-American women, and the impact engagement in Christianity or spiritual practices have on self-esteem. King is an expert in treating teens and adolescents with self-esteem issues and depression and has facilitated numerous clinical and psychoeducational groups on self-esteem issues for teens. Before coming to Mason, King was an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and a school social worker with Loudoun County Public Schools. Read her full biography here.

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Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates

Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates

Dr. Jodi M. Duke

faculty photo of Dr. Jodi M. Duke

Dr. Duke is an Associate Professor in the Division of Special Education and Disability Research. She is also the Academic Program Coordinator of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Program.

Dr. Duke received a B.S. in Elementary Education from University of Michigan, a M.S. in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University, and an Ed.D. in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on postsecondary transition and college supports for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities. Read her full biography here.

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TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction)

TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction)

Dr. Kathleen A. Ramos

faculty photo of Dr. Kathleen A. Ramos

Dr. Kathleen A. Ramos is an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development, School of Education. She is also the Co-Academic Program Coordinator for the Teaching Culturally, Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) graduate program. She is an experienced educator who has been working closely with culturally and linguistically diverse learners and their families since 1992. Dr. Ramos earned a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and also holds an M.A. in Foreign Language Teaching earned at Pitt. She began her work as a teacher educator in Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramos joined the faculty of Mason’s TCLDEL graduate program in August 2016. As a teacher educator, she is dedicated to supporting preservice and in-service teachers locally, nationally, and globally to strengthen their capacity to serve culturally and linguistically diverse students and their families with excellence and equity. Read her full biography here.

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MHA Health Systems Management

MHA Health Systems Management

Dr. Brenda Helen Sheingold

faculty photo of Dr. Brenda Helen Sheingold

Dr. Brenda Helen Sheingold is the Director for the Master of Healthcare Administration at the Department of Health Administration and Policy. She was awarded a dual-titled PhD from George Mason University in Public Policy and Nursing, a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Leadership and Change Management. Her research to identify and measure social capital in the healthcare workforce has been replicated by scholars globally and recognized by the Royal College of Nursing. She was founding faculty for George Washington University’s School of Nursing where she served as the Director of the Healthcare Quality Master’s and Doctoral programs. Read her full biography here.

Watch the Virtual Q&A with Maria Uriyo, Assistant Professor and MHA Online Coordinator.

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MS Computer Science

MS Computer Science

Dr. Robert Pettit

faculty photo of Dr. Robert Pettit

Dr. Robert Pettit is the Program Director and Professor of Practice for the online Master of Science in Computer Science. Additionally, he serves as the Director of New Graduate Programs, where he is responsible for coordinating efforts associated with the new online offerings as well as the advancement of our Bachelor’s-Accelerated-Master’s (BAM) program and retention across the M.S. CS and SWE programs. Pettit’s research and practical interests include real-time embedded software; software modeling and design; model-based engineering; software performance analysis; and mission assurance for critical software systems. Read his full biography here.

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Master of Business Administration Transcript

SUSAN NAGER: Welcome. Thank you for joining us. My name is Susan. I’m an admissions rep on behalf of George Mason. And I’m joined with the MBA program director, Dr. Bellows, and thanks for joining us.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: Thank you, Susan. Hi. Welcome, everybody. Thank you for joining this, this information, this information session. My name is Janice bellows, I’m an associate professor of information systems and operations management at the School of Business here at George Mason University. I am also the MBA program director. As Susan mentioned, I joined George Mason in 2012. And since then, one of my favorite parts of my job has been teaching, connecting and learning from MBA students. In my capacity as MBA faculty, I have designed and taught courses in a variety of modalities and formats, whether face to face hybrid online, and so on. So I do look forward to sharing my perspective with you and answering any questions you have this evening. So let’s move to the next slide. And let’s start talking about the MBA program. Our MBA comprises 48 credits, that is 1010 core courses, five elective courses and one global requirement, which you can meet by choosing between an international residency which involves travel, traveling and or a traditional course with an international emphasis. Students can take courses in person or asynchronously online, it’s in person course takes place once per week in our Fairfax or Arlington campuses during the evening from 720 to 10. But regardless of whether you’re taking a course in person or online, each course takes place over eight weeks. You have the flexibility to do the program fully in person fully online or mixed modalities. You can start in fall, spring or summer, and you set your own your own pace. Specifically, you can complete the program in 16, one six to 33 months, during or even before deciding to join the MBA program. You can also choose to pursue a Certificate in Business Analytics. We will elaborate on all of these in the following slides. I should not forget to brag about to brag about a couple of things here. First of all, our online and in person MBA programs are in the top 100 programs, most recently the 2023 US News World. US News and World Report ranked us number 65 In the best part time MBA category nationally, and number 40 among public institutions. Our online program has been ranked number 51 among public, public universities, and number three in the DC metro area. Most notably, our students enjoy a two to one return on investment on the admissions side. Our MBA program is test optional. However, if you like to submit a test score with your application application, we invite you to do so the next slide captures a snapshot of our MBA student population. The average age of our students is 333 years old with an average work experience of nine years. The split between male versus female students is around 5248. And over the years we have seen these getting closer and closer to 5050. We have a diverse student body this diversity is reflected in the different countries of origin of our students the race that in their undergraduate majors. For instance, our students have majored in fields such as theater, low English fashion engineering, economics estimation, if you will the only point I want to emphasize here this is to emphasize that you do not need prior to training in business to do an MBA. The next slide captures a snapshot of our career outcomes. The top three industries or our graduates find themselves in our government and government contracting, consulting and financial services. They impressive ROI that I mentioned earlier is in part driven by the fact that upon graduation our students report an average salary of one 101 or 4k, and 94% employment rate, with the overwhelming majority of the of them employed in a role related to their career goals. Of course, it’s not uncommon for our students to receive promotions and new job offers while you’re going through the program. On this slide, you can also see a list of companies where our program has a large alumni footprint. Something however, that is not mentioned on this slide is that we just survey are first year students, and 90% of them indicated that they are already confident that MBA degree will pay off. The next slide provides a high level overview of the different paces of the different available paces that you can pursue. Taking two courses per each eight week module will allow you to graduate in 16, one six months. This is ideal for students who want to maximize their GI Bill benefits or those who are simply interested in finishing finishing the program as quickly as possible. Taking one or two courses per each eight week module will bring you will bring your graduation timeline between 22 and 24 months, which may be the preferred pace for those who want to ease into the program offerings and are going to have greater flexibility throughout. If you have a very demanding or unpredictable schedule, taking one course per module may be better. And we bring your your timeline between 30 to 32 to 48 months. In the next slide, you can see some of the places that our MBA students have visited through global residency. Last summer, some of our students travel. Last summer our students traveled to Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, and South Africa. I was actually part of the group that visited Denmark and Sweden you can see me on the very back of of this photo on the bottom on the bottom left. This summer. Our destinations are Japan, Greece, South Africa, and Dubai. During during Global residency, our students spent a week abroad and as you can tell from the photos, they spent that week visiting and starting companies as well as participating in cultural activities. The feedback that we consistently received from our students is global residency three, it is one of the most memorable and defining experiences of the program. Not only you’re able to visit a different country and understand its culture and business environment, but through this experience, you are able to fortify your connections with your peers and further expand your network. However, I should I should also note that as I mentioned earlier, if you’re an old a if you’re not able to travel if you if you cannot travel, you can still take a more traditional course with international focus. Let’s move on to the next slide. There you can see a list of courses a sample of our courses. Overall, our program will equip you with a holistic understanding of business and give you the opportunity to improve both your analytical and leadership skills. We do that through our core and elective courses. Again, here you can on this slide, you can see a sample of these courses. As you can as you can notice, all academic in all academic discipline disciplines and business functions represented in our curriculum. In addition, if you’re interested, you can take up to six credit hours outside the MBA program. In the next slide on of our offerings that I would like to draw your attention to is our Certificate in Business Analytics. This is a 12 credits certificate that requires four courses. Data mining for Business Analytics is the core the core requirement and three more electives. And three more elective courses for all that you can you can choose from the lease on on the right, as will emphasize that students can pursue this certificate as part of the MBA program or as a standalone option without even having been admitted to the program. They can use this certificate as a pathway to the MBA program or not. That is if you join the MBA program, you can use the certificate credits towards the 48 credits that I mentioned earlier. In the overall in terms of course expectations, you should expect to learn a lot and also have fun. Now, no two courses are the same. Our instructors bring their own unique approaches and teaching philosophies. But overall, our courses are interactive. And the instructors facilitate active learning, which can take the form of case discussions, debates, hands on activity, simulations, and so on. All our in person. Classes are evening classes taking place from 720 to 10pm. And our all our online courses are asynchronous. Now, asynchronous does not mean that you teach yourself. Our instructors have created pre recorded content and also offers students the opportunity to connect with them through optional live sessions. For each week’s topic, you will have an individual or group deliverable to work on. And in terms of workload. The expected time per week is six to eight hours per course. But that also varies based based on your education and professional background. Overall, you will learn not only from your instructors but also from your peers. 85% of our first year students recently indicated that they have already been able to use the knowledge and skills they gained from their MBA courses in their careers. The next video offers you a preview of our online courses and how we deliver content to our students.

VIDEO VOICEOVER: Welcome to the George Mason University Online MBA program. You’ve taken the first steps in beginning your graduate degree. And we’re excited to support you through this journey. Like many students, you might have some questions about what it’s like to take classes online. So we’ve put together this video to show you what it’s like to be an online student. Let’s start with a quick tour of Blackboard. All of your important information can be found by using the navigation on the left hand side of your screen. Here you’ll find a link to Course Announcements, your course syllabus assignments in the library. at George Mason, we believe strongly in providing you with opportunities to test your knowledge and receive feedback in real time. The only difference is that we’ll also add today’s costs. Faculty have curated and created custom videos and tutorials to provide you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the content and build a broad network of peers who will enhance your perspectives and challenge your thinking through rich discussions and a variety of group work. Remember, your student success coach will be here to support you every step of the way. Because at George Mason University student success is our number one goal.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: Now I would like to wrap up by talking about the biggest asset of our program, and that is our students. As I mentioned earlier, our students diverse academic and work experience backgrounds. No matter what your background, the NBA team, faculty and staff are here to work with you. And keep in mind that in my experience commitment is the greatest predictor of student success. Speaking of student success earlier I also mentioned that it is not uncommon for our students to receive promotions or new job offers while going through the program. The next video spotlights on one of our more one of our reasons your then success stories, but you can find more stories of these on our website. And I believe Suzanne can put in the chat box a recent after after we go to the next video we Suzanne can put in the chat box the link to one of our articles that highlights more success stories. Yep,

SUSAN NAGER: it’s posted right there. And let’s listen to the one that we have on hand.

SAMANTHA CREUTZINGER: My name is Samantha Creutzinger. I am a graduate of George Mason with my MBA I grew up in a very poor background. I just knew that if I stayed where I was in Tennessee, I wasn’t going to grow any further. So I had to figure out how to make like better, I moved up to the Washington DC area and met people who held jobs like I have now, I’ve networked around. And so why can’t I do that. And then I realized the only differences, I’m not making it happen. I knew the only way to get there was through going to college. The MBA program I was in was a cohort, I was with most of these people. The whole time in my MBA, we all worked really well together and helped each other out. coming from my background, I tried to bring a different perspective into leadership. And I’ve been fortunate that my companies that I’ve worked for, have recognized the drive that I have, and the desire, I want to be good at what I do, and they promoted me along the way. And, and I’ve made it to the director level, I was giving someone advice, don’t kid yourself. If you want it, then you’re gonna go for it, and you’re gonna get it. But motivation isn’t really what you need. It’s discipline. When you look back on it, and you think, man, how did I do that? No one ever says, I’m sad that I got an MBA everyone says that they’re proud of themselves. It’s worth it in the long run.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: So I still emphasize that box Amantha and Bailey, they did an MBA only online.

SUSAN NAGER: Yeah. And so I posted Bally’s. And I encourage y’all to take a look at it. It’s fantastic. So now we’re talking about the application process. But before we do, Dr. Bellows, what makes so I love the fact that students can be from a diverse background. One of the majors on there was theater. So I mean, that’s very strong in the arts. So are there any particular prerequisite courses that are needed for this program?

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: There is no prereq courses, per se, we do. We do ask students, I mean to have like, as this slide mentioned, here, now I say yes, to provide evidence on successful prior completion of calculus algebra, or a stats class. This is recommended prior to enrolling in the MBA program. But we do we are fully aware of the fact that and we do want to accommodate and support in diversity of backgrounds. So even if you know quant, or algebra or math was not, you know, your favorite subject topic at college, we have curated a list of resources, that after you’re admitted to the program, you can go, you can go through, and we help you hit the ground running. Again, the only recommendation that we make to our students is that to have completed a calculus algebra or statistics class, that’s a compare that’s recommended prior to enrolling in the MBA program. But we’re here to fully support them. Wonderful.

SUSAN NAGER: Now, Alfredo is asking do you have to be far in the degree to be able to take the global residency so when does that occur in the program, but

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: awfully roughly you will need to be done with your core courses. And that’s, that’s intentional in the sense that we want you to have been exposed to all the core coursework that 10 different courses, right. But roughly depending on when you enter, maybe you may have to be exposed only to nine courses. But ideally, we want you to have been exposed to all the core different disciplines and business functions. So when you travel, and when you visit the companies and interact with them, you’re able to put everything together. So you’re able to integrate, integrate all the different knowledge from the different business functions. Fantastic. So that’s roughly, you have to roughly be done with nine to 10 courses.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay. Now, I love the flexibility of this program. It can’t be more flexible. So 16 months is the quickest that you can finish it. The traditional route is 33 months. And then if need be, we give you up to six years to complete this degree. And the fact that you have the online option if you want to take some campus courses and have a hybrid option or do it on campus you can so that’s fantastic. Is there Any tutoring available.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: So, the tutoring varies depending so if you take if you take the NBA 633, which is our statistics course, if you take that in person you do have access to in person tutor. If you do not take if you do not take that in person, there are so many interactive tutorials that the instructor have put together and they make themselves available once and twice per week for live sessions that, that, that you can choose, it’s those are optional to join if you’re not if you want, okay, but now that the program is fully asynchronous, and it can be completed without, we do not require you to participate in any live sessions unless you want to do so. Perfect. You call the instructor most of your instructors do have standing Office Hours live live via zoom, or other or similar or Microsoft Teams, that it’s up to you whether it’s up to the students. That’s

SUSAN NAGER: wonderful. And in terms of class size, what is it typically range for the online?

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: It varies? Our electives can be from 10 to 20. Our core courses, it can go from 25 up to 45. Maybe 50 Depending on the intake.

SUSAN NAGER: Yeah. Okay. And so you mentioned that you can take six credits outside the MBA program. Does that mean like in lieu of some

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: you do not. So we have let’s say we have 10 core courses, one global requirement and five electives. You can do three MBA electives and two electives outside of the MBA program.

SUSAN NAGER: It doesn’t have to be like in finance or accounting, I mean, could it be in all I mean, I’m just throwing

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: it can be we have I mean, I it can be in public policy, let’s say for it can be from a different unit automation or it can be in, in other units. I mean, this is subject to my approval as director approval. But he said if I if I see that the elective that the student wants fit within their aspirations or profile, it has an element of you know, managerial responsibilities or provide some basic, some elements of managerial training, I approve that and then we coordinate with the other program the other unit, so our students can take it. We have got students who recently I approved a couple of requests for students of ours to take courses graduate graduate level electives in public policy.

SUSAN NAGER: Fantastic. That’s amazing. And the program accepts six transfer credits as long as it’s from an accredited ace CCSP.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: probably wrong. I don’t have the exact number. I don’t remember the exact time but we approved more than that.

SUSAN NAGER: Oh, wonderful. Okay, good to know, good to know. Yeah,

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: we are approved more than that. So, in this is something that that we will have to exchange information, we will we will ask the students to provide us more additional information on past syllabi and so on so forth. But we do approve a considerable number of credits from other programs, past institutions, other institutions and so on so forth. Okay.

SUSAN NAGER: Yeah. So with respect to so you either go a week abroad, or you do the global

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: right, it’s the week abroad is part of it, it is part of the course it is part of a course. So if you if you decide if you decide that okay, I do want to travel, then what’s going to happen is still the course will take place over eight weeks. You’re gonna spend the first you know, few weeks in the classroom or online. You know, getting prepared about the trip, learning about the country stuff. It is studying relevant case studies, then you travel abroad, you spend one week in the country. And then when you come back, you do have one or two sessions to do to do the debrief, talk, some group project presentations and so on, so forth. Now, if you do not if you if you do not want or you cannot travel, many times our students, sometimes our students cannot travel because of you know, work family responsibilities, then you can still take a more traditional course, a course, an eight week course, still an eight week course, but with no travel component. And you you can choose among some options, there are some options that are courses with international emphasis, like international marketing, international strategy or international finance. So, now, there is a focus on international and global elements aspects, but there is no travel required.

SUSAN NAGER: Fantastic. Now, are both choices, are they synchronous? Meaning you have to if you’re doing it online, you have to log on at a certain time.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: So, for the for the courses that do not require travel, those are asynchronous, asynchronous courses, but the courses that do require travel for if you choose to participate in the global residency that that’s going to be synchronous.

SUSAN NAGER: The entire eight weeks, yes. Okay. Meaning you just have to log in at a certain time, you don’t have to show up to campus. That

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: is correct. That’s going to be like this. All right, we are going via zoom or themes.

SUSAN NAGER: Perfect, perfect. And I want to stress to y’all that once accepted into the program, in addition to your faculty, you’ll have a student success coach, okay, who you’ll work very closely with and communicate with to set up an individualized course plan. So that’s wonderful.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: And every time that you need to make any change that your student success coach will be there wanting your students success goals, typically is one text away. You text, you coordinate a call and you adjust your plan accordingly. Absolutely.

SUSAN NAGER: So don’t be shy. Do y’all have any questions? We have Dr. Bella’s, here to answer all your questions about the program.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: Wonderful question that I usually get is what if we choose to do the program full completely online? Well, that’s on our degree will that sound the diploma? No, there is no distinction between, you will still get an end, regardless of whether you do it fully online fully in person or mix modalities. The you will be getting an MBA from George Mason University. That’s, that’s

SUSAN NAGER: absolutely and you can walk to in the graduation.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: And we know that this is not just for the online MBA program here at Mason. But most we know that most online poker for most online MBA programs, the students, the online students are within a certain 50 mile radius within the campus. So we invite you in in person events, speakers, social events, networking, happy hours, of course.

SUSAN NAGER: Now that’s great, because best of both worlds here. So you know, you don’t have to fight traffic, you don’t have to find a parking spot or fight inclement weather, you can access your education in the comfort of your own home. However, if you’re a hop, skip and a jump from campus, and you want to stop on over to set up a study group or you can so to me, that’s the best of both worlds. If we don’t have any other questions, we can talk about the application process. So I work as a part of, of a team. So if you don’t have an admissions representative that you’re working with, on the next slide, I will provide you with our contact information and I urge you to reach out to my team and either myself or one of my colleagues will be happy to assist you. Now the application process is very simple. Okay. We will prove we’ll tell you all about the online program. Again, when you call back in and to apply. We need a bachelor’s transcripts. And the great thing about it is is that Mason will you Use unofficial transcripts if you have one lying around. Now, if not, as a courtesy, we will attempt to order those on your behalf. Okay, a resume. Okay? Now, one of the hard prerequisites for this program, though is two years work experience. Is that correct? No. Okay. Now, okay, unless you’re a non traditional student and and correct me if I’m wrong, Dr. Bella. So say for example, I’ve been in the military and working in the military for 10 years, and I go back to get my degree. And, you know, I’ve been maybe working, you know, while I’m in school a little bit. The military experience will qualify, yes, wrongly,

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: we strongly encourage you to reach out to us and apply or reach out to us if you you have nontraditional work experience. If let’s say you have you have professional experience, even though you that most of the professional experience may have happened before you getting your undergraduate degree, you reach out to us we have a process, we have a process for that. So post baccalaureate, it’s it’s not the post mortem report here should not encourage you, we look at your application holistically. And we if you have professional experience that may have happened, like military experience, right, or paranormal experience that may have happened before you officially getting an undergraduate degree, reach out to us we do have a process to accommodate this. Absolutely, you can potentially accommodate this. Absolutely.

SUSAN NAGER: And with respect to GPA, now, preferably a 3.0 or above but again, what Dr. Bellows just mentioned, we look at you holistically. So if you have tons of work experience and you graduated, you know, eons ago, they’re going to take that into consideration. Correct. Okay.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: Maybe you majored in a degree in in a field that later on, you know, you majored in, in one field, but then later on, you pivoted and you build a successful career on a different field. So, again, we will never flat out deny your application because of some numerical value, we will, we will look at your application holistically. Yeah,

SUSAN NAGER: that’s great. You’re not just a number defined by your GPA. There is a personal or goal statement. It’s like 500 to 750 words. And we’ll provide the little prompts to answer it, why you want to do it, why Mason, your career goals, and so forth. So very easy to complete. two letters of recommendation, this is very easy. All you have to do is input their names and emails into the application portal, they will receive an email with a link that takes them to a questionnaire literally takes them about 10 minutes to complete. So very easy. And we already mentioned the work experience, but then, you know, again, there’s non traditional applicants as well, such as military students. And let me go to the next slide. Okay, so what you see here is the main number, okay, our email, and then the link to apply. Okay, so it’s very easy. And my name is Susan. And again, I work with a team of excellent professionals that our job is just to be your personal assistant through the application process. So it’s, you’re not wondering what to do it anytime we give you an application checklist and you follow that step by step. And then of course, you contact us if you have any questions. Okay. Any other questions since we have Dr. Bellows here. And I do encourage you to listen to Bailey’s testimonial. And I think you mentioned it is on the website. Is that correct? Yeah, good stuff. We’re an accredited program. Top notch, top notch faculties. We’re also a tier one research university. We’re the largest research institution in Virginia. So that means your curriculum is going to be backed by the latest research based evidence. Plus, a lot of alumni don’t even know this. But Mason is actually ranked seventh in the entire nation as a value rated school. So meaning you’re gonna get a go Rate bang for your buck.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: In the NBA, the ROI for the MBA program is two to one, and based on the evidence at the heart numbers that we listed in the in the presentation. So what

SUSAN NAGER: you mean is that you’re going to earn back double what you paid in is.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: We have another it’s another it’s starting another solid and graduation at 104,000. Yes, amazing. Yes. If you do the maths are the total tuition is 52,000 or something like that?

SUSAN NAGER: Yeah. Wonderful. So I thought of one other question that I have. Students often ask, does the department have relationships with local organizations? You mentioned job fairs. How about is there any opportunities for internships,

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: we have two fantastic novel innovative industry leading centers, not just George Mason University with Dean house in the School of Business. We do have the Baroni center for government contracting, they do phenomenal work in the space of government contracting, and we know how big the space is in the DMV area. And we also have the center of innovation and entrepreneurship. We have very close ties with both centers. The director of the Barone center for government contracting helps us find speakers. He teaches an in person course on government contracting, which is a unique course. To my, to my knowledge, no other programs, MBA programs have a similar course within the area. So yeah, so the answer is, yes, we do have connections with industry. And we’re very proud of two great assets. Especially those two centers, and something that I’m not sure whether we talked about probably not you as school of business graduates, you do get you do get lifelong career services. Oh, yes, exactly graduation.

SUSAN NAGER: And big time heavy hitter, companies seek out our MBA grads such as Booz Allen, Deloitte. The list is quite extensive. So again, you know, reach out to the admissions wrap, we can help you apply. Right now we have a January a start. And so like I said, the application process is really easy. And we’re here to help. Dr. Bellows, thank you so much for your time.

DR. IOANNIS BELLOS: Thank you for coordinating this design. And everyone as I always like to say when in doubt, reach out. You will be surprised by how responsive we we are to emails and inquiries. So I do appreciate you taking the time to join this information session. And I do look forward to connecting connecting with you.

SUSAN NAGER: Thank you so much. And thank you so much for joining us this evening, everybody. I hope you have a lovely night.

MS in Data Analytics Engineering Transcript

STEPHANIE RACINE: Welcome to the open house for the Master of Science in data analytics engineering. My name is Stephanie racing, I may have spoken to a few of you in the past. I am an admissions representative here with George Mason. And I’m being joined today by Dr. Isaac Gong, he is actually an associate professor in the program. So we have a real treat here. I know a lot of you often asked me in the initial phone calls, well, can I take this elective? Or can I, you know, go out of order with my classes or whatever. So today, you will have a chance to ask your questions of Dr. Gong. So we’ll go over that, you know, we’ll go through the slides, we’ll tell you a little bit about the program. And then the very end of the program is reserved for you to type in questions right in the chat area. And we will read them aloud and answer them. So just a few basic housekeeping issues, I wanted to point out first of all, that we are still accepting applications for the January 8 Start date, you have until December 4, preferably at 9am December 4 or before to submit your file. If you’re interested in starting in our spring term that starts on January 8, we also have a summer in a fall term. So tonight’s agenda, we will start by meeting Dr. Gong, we will talk about some driving forces of the program. We’ll go over why people generally choose the master of science and data analytics engineering at George Mason. We’ll go over some of the curriculum details. And we’ll also talk about the admissions requirements. And then the question and answer. So thank you all for joining us. And we will go on. See we can see our agenda here that I just spoke about. And once again, you can use the chat feature to type your questions. And as I mentioned here, we’re in the webinar format. So typing your questions as best we’ll answer them at the end. And at this point, I will go ahead and turn over the presentation to Dr. Gong. And so Dr. Gong, welcome. Thank you for taking the time to join us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? And we’ll just get started going over the program? Absolutely,

DR. ISAAC GANG: Stephanie, thank you very much. for that introduction. I also want to thank our attendees, the students who took the time to join us, I’m not going to be long on this live, there’s a bit clumsy, but suffice to say that I am a data analytics associate professor here at Mason. My background is computer science and data science as you can see here. But my my interest in coming to Mason initially was the interdisciplinary nature of the program, data analytics engineering, the term that you guys are aware of or heard about. But the background of it is a little bit interesting, as I will talk about it shortly. The most important thing to take away from here is that we have a very interdisciplinary team, and Mason that will be here to help when you join us. Stephanie, we can go to the next slide, please. Here is our program director. Bernie Smith is our acting director, who has taken over a year ago from Jim Baldo, who has gone on sabbatical. Jim will be rejoining us soon, I think next semester, and Bernie will go back to teaching and also serving as an assistant director in our program. So if you can go to the next slide. Yeah, this is the biggest part again, you know, anytime you are talking about a program, these questions are critical. When I joined the program, the first question I asked is, why would someone come and teach at data analytics, engineering and some of the questions, some of the answers that I got, were really intriguing, which really made it easier for me to come and join. Join the program. So the question of what is the background of this program? And why was it created? What are some of the questions that I was thinking about when I came here? It’s interesting, because when I first found out that we actually wrote a program to go and search if there are data analytics engineering in the country, so we you know, we wrote a web scraping program that goes and angular find that question out. And when it came back that were very, very few of the time. And the reason why we did that. You’d be surprised because we really believe that data. At the center of it is actually engineering. A lot of times students are surprised when we say that because when you think engineering and the good thing about electrical engineering, you’re thinking about mechanical engineering and other kinds of engineering. It’s rare that someone would think about data analytics, engineering, and So that’s the reason why we had to go and see what was out there. Interestingly enough, when we found the program, we discovered that data is most of the time and engineering tests. If you’re given a data set, for example, you will find out first of all that it is inconsistent. It is noisy, and it’s also incomplete. Right? When we say inconsistent, you know, we’re talking about discrepancies, for example, if you have a data set that has occupation as an entry, and an occupation has no value, meaning that it’s empty, right, you as a scientist has to do something to that to fix that issue. And then when we talk about noisy data, you know, we’re talking about data that are that have errors, and they have all liars. A simple example of this is a via that entry called salary. And then that salary is set to negative 10, it’s very easy to say that you cannot have a negative salary. So as a data scientist, you have to go and fix those issues. So, you know, we also have incomplete data, sometimes something is incomplete, and you take a look at it, you say, Man, something is not right. You know, you you have, as you know, as you know, another example, you know, you have a date of birth, that is, say, November 7 2023, and the age column is 42, or 43. So you say to yourself, something has to be wrong. So these are just simple examples of what we have to do as scientists to engineer the data. So anything that you do to fix that information, or that that discrepancies that are lie, that error is considered and engineering. So, in essence, that’s what, you know, we concluded that we have to call this program data analytics engineering. At the time, when this program was founded, it was probably one of the five in the country. So it was among very few in the country. And that’s the reason why, as you have seen this program, United become very popular, because people will like the concept that we have. Stephanie, do you can go to the next slide or not, you know, taking a bit longer here than I needed to. So this brings us to the question, what makes this program what it is, people talking about this, and our engineering program at Mason is certainly noteworthy. As you can see from a US News and World Report, it is some of the top 10. And I think it is ranking even higher now. So we want our students to really set themselves apart. So for this reason, about a year or two ago, we coined a term that perfectly describe our students, we call them blended engineer. In essence, industry has told us that at this in this day and age, you know, they’re not looking for people who know, you know, who know one or two things, right, they want people who know, multiple things, you know, they want people who are interdisciplinary, they want people who are multi talented. So when you come to a program, like ours, we want to make sure that your tool set is really complete when you leave us because when somebody hires you, you become on fireable, if that’s even a word, you know, that, you know, for me, that means that, you know, they can say we have no need for data scientists, but then they have a need for data analysts, we have no need for that archetype, maybe they have need for data, data engineer. And so if all of these tools, you know, tools in your toolkit or tool set, and then you know, you can lay up in one place, and then be hired right away, because you have this this skill set for another position. So we consider our students to be very diverse, very versatile, and you know, very much, you know, that, you know, ready to, to work in any, in any position within data analytics realms. So that’s, that’s, you know, that’s the strength of our program. If you were to ask me, What’s the strengths of this program, that’s because we create people that are essentially ready to work in many, many responsibilities and roles. If you can go to the next slide, Stephanie. And so this translated to the question of okay, so if this is the case, you’re creating these kinds of people, what kind of classes are you taking? This is just a snapshot of what our core classes are, we have five classes. So for those who are you know, question what will you know, what is core coordinates? These are all classes that you have to take. So when you come to our program, these these aren’t inventory that is compared to maybe electives or some concentration options that you can sign up for, if you finish or in your limits of, of the semester ready to graduate, you can take all the closest, but these five classes, which is 85, ADCs, Piper four, or Python one stat by PIP team, and da n 690, which is the last class that you typically take, we get the capstone class in our called, you know, all the core of our of our of our program. So a it is, you know, apply information tech, CS, obviously, computer science, or RS operational research, then stat statistics. And then obviously, the last one is data analytics engineering, which is the main main course, that we teach in our program. Step and if you can go to the next slide, please. So here comes the, what we call the flexible liquidity accredited curriculum. And what we mean by this is that you have plenty of other options, what we typically tell our students that once you come to us, we have a long discussion about what your main interests are, right? What do you really want to do. And this conversation will inform what electives we are going to recommend, what electives we’re going to suggest and what electives we will be advocating for you to take so that when you leave us, you are stronger in the area that you are most interested in. So there’s a long list of things suffice to say that as you will see, I mentioned the word diverse and I call our student blended. This is the reason if you look at this, this these clouds is fan for different departments. Alright, so yep, is T doesn’t really concern. You know, information system and technology. You have da and you have system operation, system engineering and operations research, AC E, there’s electrical and computer engineering. Then you have general business analytics. So five different choices that are available to our students. And so you will see even the catalog that there are concentrations, if you are ready to do a concentration we just completed optional. This allows you to also add more classes to your toolset. So in essence, we give our students a variety of options to choose from so that they are fully fully comfortable and prepare when they leave our program to work in the industry. Next slide please step. This is this. This is just recording that is not running right now. We’re going to go to the next slide. And step in Are you going to take this part of what should I talk about this? Sure,

STEPHANIE RACINE: yes, I’ll be happy to go over it. So we are accepting sessions for the January 8 Start date right now that’s our spring term, and you still have plenty of time to apply. Just make sure you get everything in by December 4. And what we would need first would be obviously a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution. If you have a foreign degree, we can send you information about how to have your transcripts evaluated, as well as the language exams that we accept, then we will have you upload your resume, upload your transcripts into the application. Typically, they usually like to see two letters of recommendation, at least make sure that you have one really solid one from a current or former supervisor, colleague, coworker or instructor. And those are questionnaire form. So they’re quite easy for your references, they fill them out and just submit them electronically. And then we’ll have you write a personal statement essay, which we in admissions will send you the instructions for that. They do require some prerequisite courses. So we really want you to have familiarity with calculus, statistics and basic computer programming on your transcript because they will actually build upon those skills in the program. Once your file is complete, it takes about one to three weeks to receive the admissions decision. And we will handle your registration for you. So you’ll have a student success coach who will stay with you during your entire time in the program in addition to the instructors. And we do not require the GRE Best of all, so you still have time to apply. And I’m just showing this next slide, because here you will see the right down here at the bottom. If you copy that down or scan the QR code, you can go in to this link or scan the QR code to apply. And if you haven’t already made contact with an admissions representative, give us an email here at online We’ll put you in contact with someone and answer all of your questions and wrap up you know just in case you didn’t have something today answered and there is Our phone number there 703-348-5006. And this is the best part of the program, because we get to answer all of your questions. And I just wanted to reiterate, we did see all of those elective classes. But just to clarify, there are 10 courses that you’ll take total in the program. And usually you’ll you will do those one eight week class at a time, over five semesters spring, summer and fall. Is that correct? Dr. Gown? Or do you ever have situations where students double up or you still prefer them to take one at a time?

DR. ISAAC GANG: No, that’s correct.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay. Very rare,

DR. ISAAC GANG: rare exception. But that’s that’s the general rule. Sure.

STEPHANIE RACINE: And I’m just going to go back to the curriculum screen here, because I know as questions trickle in, they may involve the courses. So I just wanted to draw everyone’s attention to the chat feature down at the bottom of the screen, we’re going to open it up to questions here. This is a rare opportunity that you actually have an instructor from the program that can answer your questions. So please type them in, we’ll read them, we’ll answer them for you. This really is your open house, you know, we want to make sure that you get the right programmatic fit to help you to achieve your goals. And while I am waiting for all of these questions to trickle in, I did have a student ask a question earlier in the week, if you would it be okay to get started with that one while they start typing in your questions? Yep. Okay. So one of the students was asking about concentration. So I know earlier, and I put this screen up here. Because you were talking about the different elective courses? Will online students actually have a concentration? And if so, will it be listed on the diploma? Or is it more just a matter of meeting, you know, or having a phone call with the an advisor and figuring out which electives to take based on what they want to do in the future? So just to clarify, will it be a formal concentration showing on the transcript and diploma? Or is it just clusters of classes to help people have the skills for certain jobs? Does that make sense?

DR. ISAAC GANG: Yeah, that’s a very good question all about students have the option to you know, to choose a concentration. As I said earlier, the concentration is an optional addition to your core plus five, then you have once you choose the concentration, and you’re successful, certainly it will be listed in your your diploma. So whether online or in person, this option is available almost to all of our students.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, very good. And thank you for that thorough response. They’re keeping an eye on the chat here, and I’m not seeing many questions come through, Oh, here they come. I knew they were out there. So we have an attendee asking, they would like to take a deeper dive into Python. Is this taught in the electives or the core classes?

DR. ISAAC GANG: Very good question. Yes, it is, it is, you know, just about all of this electives have a pipeline component in you know, in those, the class that I was says Feck will cover pipeline in detail. Since we expect our students to have some kind of programming, it doesn’t have to be Python, it could be C++, Java, but once you know the concept of programming, even Python, which is a very intuitive language will be easy, it will be easier to grasp. So in short, there will be in that there’s an option for Python in just about all the classes but the first one that you will take for example, if I say see as Piper poor, we can you know we can actually teaching alright, you will you will take a deep dive into Python, we have a lot of exercise, we have a lot of homework and a lot of optional assignments that will allow you to learn the language if this is your first time to be exposed to it. So in short, yes, you will have plenty of chance to be introduced to Python and really get a good grasp of the language.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, very good. And a question popped up here about the classes. So are all of the classes eight weeks long, or are there any that are longer than eight weeks?

DR. ISAAC GANG: So pulled online? They are they have a similar length. So eight weeks is the the typical length quad online program, but the the 15 weeks for, you know product ground is is you know a bit longer but certainly we know we You know, we typically, you know, one art student to understand that just because it is in wigs doesn’t cut in your learning opportunities, you know, we it’s just it just accelerated is just that more of the incorporated shorter time. So the same content that we cover in the on ground cloth in the ongoing classes are being covered in the online in with it with classes. So in short, yes, eight weeks is the standard length of our online classes and then 15 weeks is for knowing ground.

STEPHANIE RACINE: And that really makes it manageable for working professionals. Because if we think back to undergraduate studies, taking four or five or more classes, when you have one at a time, you can really dig in deep with the material, even if you’re working full time.

DR. ISAAC GANG: I think that was the intention. Absolutely. Yes, yes.

STEPHANIE RACINE: And then I typed a question. But I had a typo in there. I just came from a student earlier this week as well. What I meant to say in the question was, you mentioned tools earlier, what types of other tools do students use in the program? Or what types of other programming languages I think you mentioned, Python, and JavaScript? Or are there any others or types

DR. ISAAC GANG: in our, you know, well, in the dead is clear, right now, Python, and R are the main languages that are being taught. Within the electives, you will probably have opportunity to learn Java or C++ or the languages that are usable in the domain. But by and large, Python and R will be the key programming language that we teach. We do use plenty of tools, we, you know, we use a lot of AWS cloud service. You know, we teach those in some of the classes, I expose my students that concept and sales Bible poor. And just about No, the course that we teach here will have some component of cloud service, cloud, you know, cloud introduction, we use Google collab, or similar type of cloud service, but it’s from Google. AWS, obviously, it’s not from Google, we were you know, we have similar tool within the university, we have something called the ARPA cluster, that provide computing services for those that need more, you know, more computing power, a lot of students typically are ok with their laptops. And you know, with a cloud server that comes with the student accounts, but if you need additional computing power, we do have a university own run computing cluster, that students can be trained to use. And then obviously, in terms of framework, we use Anaconda, we use Jupyter Notebook. We use other IDE like pie charms for those that may, you know, might have heard about that ID. But essentially, there’s no shortage of tools. When it comes to data analytics, we’ve been hearing that there’s two that students are, are exposed to, and then they have the choice to narrow down which one they you know, they want to use more often. Because we don’t want to, you know, we want you to be exposed to many things. But, you know, we don’t want you to use minute things, every time you do something, you want to choose two or three, that are your go to guys at a time to do something meaningful. So in short, those are some of the tools that are more.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Thank you for answering that. That is usually a huge question from students when they call in. So lots of very hands on tools and programming languages. So we have another question here. How many students are currently enrolled in the program? Or a better way of putting it? What is the current student to faculty ratio, and the classes?

DR. ISAAC GANG: The very good question 25, we, in data analytics, we have 15, that analytic Capstone with 15. But in all the all the classes is 25, we want to make sure that especially for the last class, that our students are given a bit more attention. So the 15 to one ratio is perfect for you know, one to one caps in a capstone class and also team meetings, project meetings, so that we don’t have like a chaotic get together and a meeting. So 25 is it’s not, you know, it’s a high number, generally speaking, but within our engineering program, which is one of the largest in the country. It’s really, really, really good. A lot of a lot of the programs have. I’ve seen people who have 60 in one class, most most of the people Well that are, you know, better, you know have getting Don’t, don’t go below 30. So 25 is something that I really believe it’s been attractive for our students.

STEPHANIE RACINE: And you brought up meetings in the capstone class. One of the big concerns about students is, if I’m in an online program, will I have interaction, you know, with my peers and professors? Can you tell us what those meetings look like in the capstone project?

DR. ISAAC GANG: Yeah, absolutely. So the data analytics, engineering, 690, which is the capstone class, is, you know, one, you know, one of the most hands on capstone in the country, essentially, the meeting that I’m talking about are with the clients, actual period, actual clients, that have given you their their problem that you’re working on. And so, you know, I would be meeting with, you know, with the students, once, once a week with a client, just, you know, so that the student can get their progress report, the client can give feedback, I give feedback, and then this could also ask questions. So when, you know, when it comes to that, that that part, you know, that part of the program, you will certainly not be alone, you will be meeting people, you know, at real, real people that are trying to solve real world problems. Every every single week. So that will not be a problem.

STEPHANIE RACINE: And there’ll be virtual meetings, correct? Correct. Yeah. For the student,

DR. ISAAC GANG: it will be very short. Yeah. Because the, you know, for the Capstone, we do have a partial section that our online student can take. So we don’t expect you to be on campus, if you are online, you know, that are on campus, are expected to be in, you know, to be on campus. But even even then, the meetings are typically very, you know, the decline in the project meetings are typically virtual, anyways, regardless of whether you are online or on, you know, on ground.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, thank you for being so thorough about that. And we have another question here. Are online students able to finish the courses faster? Or is it two years for both? And it’s five, some, well, typically five semesters, but I’ll let you take that, since you work with the campus students also.

DR. ISAAC GANG: All right, I mean, I’m going to answer this, from my personal experience, what I’ve noticed that most of our students that are not all of them, obviously, most that are taking classes online, are working adults. And so, you know, from from that perspective, I want to say, they usually take less classes and, you know, maximize their time within the program. So they get on longer, but as you know, as an option, you don’t have to be here longer, you know, you can absolutely take as many classes as as, as allowed with the shortest time to intuitively the online program obviously is the is the quicker is the quicker program, because you can, you know, you can you can take, you can take more classes, with, you know, you know, within your own convenience, you don’t have to like travel or dry. So that gives you more flexibility to finish quicker, but it’s but don’t it’s picking, given what I’ve said about people working, it’s kind of like striking the balance from online and on the ground. I think I think that, you know, it’s about, you know, the by the standard terms of completion, I don’t have obviously, a numerical data to show but you know, from, from my experience, I think online are are easier to complete quicker, but generally because of the circumstances that the students are in, they are longer.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, thank you. And moving on to the next question. I want to make sure that I’m saying this correctly. But a student had a follow up question saying I’m also interested in a data lake, is that covered in the curriculum? Yes,

DR. ISAAC GANG: dead dead legacy. Big Issue is actually one of my lectures, a lot of stepping in data lakes is a concept that attempts to resolve, you know, what we call the data repository problem, anytime you have data from different sources, like I said earlier, the question of where you keep it right, so that you can actually work on one place is a big challenge. I think that student is thinking ahead, and I think the concept of data lakes is is is is is to address that issue. So we addressed the data lag in terms of theory, as well as practice in many of the classes, but especially and, and ladder classes and add a little bit in the capstone class. But usually when you get to Capstone class, you will have a great deal of knowledge with, you know, on things like data lakes and data warehouses and similar concepts, you know, that deal with data repository.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, thank you. And I can take the next question here. So the question is, do we have to have a class every semester? Or can we do two semesters a year. So just to clarify, even as an online student, there are three semesters in the year. So there’s the the spring semester that starts in January, the summer semester, that starts in May, and then the fall semester that starts in August, and then within each semester, you’re actually taking to eight week long classes, but you take them one at a time. So think of it think about just dividing this semester in half. were to give you an example, for the spring semester, the students will take one class in January, and that’s the a class of the term, and then one class in March. And those are the two eight week classes of the spring semester. And then you know, the same goes for summer and fall. Now you can take time off during the program, they were asking, do we have to have a class every semester? No, you don’t have to take a class every semester. But you do have to finish within it six years, is that correct? Dr. Gang?

DR. ISAAC GANG: That is correct. And and you know, and you make your proposal, right, in terms of taking off, you can take off, you know, as you need. You know, the exception to that is for international students that may have additional restrictions in terms of how many class they can take, and you know, when or how often they can take off. So So in short, in your domestic students. I mean, as long as you plan to finish within the maximum time allowed, you can come back and you can come and go as a unit as you see fit. But for our nation’s for our international students, there are there are some restrictions, perhaps financial and some of it is in our immigration.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Right. And speaking of financial, if you’re using the federal financial aid student loans, they will require you to take six credits in a semester, which would mean that you would have to take the A class and the B class. So if you plan to take a class off, you would have to go on some kind of a payment plan, or make a payment for that semester when you’re not carrying both classes. But then you could jump back in, you know, with the financial aid when you’re taking the six credits again, which would be the A class in the B class or term one and term two, within the semester. And the next question is, is there an opportunity to meet with professors, instructors or TAs via office hours online? And if you reside near the campus, in Virginia, or Fairfax County, Virginia, can you meet with the instructors in person?

DR. ISAAC GANG: Absolutely, I mean, I actually encourage that I, you know, one of the most difficult things I know, if you’re full online, not being able to see your progress, even one time in your life is very difficult. So if you live in Virginia, and you can travel the Mason, a minutes ticket for myself, I love that, you know, I think all the professor will unwind either. So if you are by area, or if you plan, you know, you took two or three classes from this one professor, and you really want to meet them in person? I would definitely encourage that. And the answer is absolutely, yes.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Yeah. And you have other support means also such as the Graduate Writing tutor, the math tutor where you can get help online. So keep that in mind. And the next question is, is there a specific flavor of cloud environment that is taught or is it more environment agnostic?

DR. ISAAC GANG: We, you know, we use AWS more another good question. Yes. In a mason at within our data analytics. AWS is usually our favorite. This is not to say that others are not are not useful. We were, you know, have teams that have chosen to use a Google colab, for example, and I’m perfectly fine with that. But, you know, by and large, we have a, you know, I don’t think it’s a, you know, small agreement with the AWS people they were presented that kind of helped us with some of the issues. So you know, we use their, their service if we’re given the choice to recommend something, we will say, AWS

STEPHANIE RACINE: I am loving these questions. They’re so specific. I really like people knowing you know, what they’ll learn in that classes. So keep those

DR. ISAAC GANG: we love. We love specific questions. Yes, yeah. It’s not to say that open ended question or bad, but it’s, you know, a specific specific question. You Are you getting to the point? So?

STEPHANIE RACINE: Yeah, because you want to get the right program, you know, for you and your goals. So the next question is for the Capstone, if we’re already working in the industry of the clients, do we need to declare conflicts of interest?

DR. ISAAC GANG: That’s a very good question. I never heard that before. But let me think for a second. I want to say no, I think there’s a couple of time that this happened, you know, you as a student, you are not on the team, as an employee. of your company, you are you’re part of the you’re part of the team in your capacity as students. So we have had that before. I don’t think that was an issue it was brought up it was discussed it was it was transparent. So you can you can you can say that. But we you know, you can you can declare that you’re working in the industry, and then the client can decide, and I think this is, you know, this would be a case by case situation. But from my experience, the client that we work with the poor do not have problem with students, also working in the same industry, being part of the team.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, thank you. And next, we have a question about prerequisites. And just to go back to the prerequisites in case anyone joined us late, the prerequisites that we’re referring to our calculus statistics in computer programming. So the question is, for the prerequisite courses, are these required to be from our bachelor’s degree? For example, I have a bachelor’s from Mason in information technology, and the only prerequisite I don’t have his calculus, is there an alternative way to meet this criteria?

DR. ISAAC GANG: There is a we look at your transcript. And that is something similar to what require, it can be discussed. Usually, we need someone to, to, to make the third party verify that or someone within the department to kind of say, Yes, this class is very similar to this class, and yet this person has should have the skills to detect the class without actually taking what we want them to take. So the short answer is yes. But there’s a process to that.

STEPHANIE RACINE: I’ve also had a few students who took dual enrollment classes or earn AP credit for the calculus or statistics, if they can show the community college where they earned the credit with the grade, or if they obtained their high school transcript that shows that it was a college level class, is that okay?

DR. ISAAC GANG: It is okay. Again, I think that will be processed to, to, you know, to credit, that class. Okay, but yes, that should go okay, I think we had a few instances like the report that will allow us to go ahead and waive waive the requirement based on what they bring in.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Right. And we usually have students fill out an experience grid, where the prerequisites are listed. And there’s a space where you can talk about where you took them, or if you work with things on the job, or similar classes, for example, I know we have a lot of students from India, and their math classes are listed differently, where they covered calculus and statistics. So talk to us and admissions about that. And if it’s a one off, we can always, you know, talk to the department and find out. And

DR. ISAAC GANG: one of the ways to do that also is typing in you know, that’s why because I could have done that before, you can indeed have access to the class and the year, the syllabus, you can actually look at the the topic of the subject to kind of assert that he is, you know, these are the same thing that we’ll cover in this class, even if the names are different.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Thank you. Thank you for that tip there. And then our final question of the evening is, what is the difference between online and offline path to this degree? So I’m assuming they’re meaning that if you had to say the main differences between the campus and the online program, what would those be? I’d

DR. ISAAC GANG: say only the platform, I think, I think like I’d say, you know, the content is similar. You know, we don’t you know, that there’s no pitch of treatment for on the ground or online student except that they, you know, the platform, you know, the, the platform or the delivery mode is the only thing that I can say it’s it is the difference, but in terms of everything else, I think they’re the same.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, great, and I am so sorry, fake news here about the last question. I discovered four more questions here. Okay, sorry about that. I didn’t see them popping up in the queue. In a bad I see them now. Okay, the first. Well, that’s actually three more questions. So Will any of the courses discuss neural networks and or large language models? Yes. Okay, very good. And Mark, I will email you the breakdown of the tuition by semester. And the next question is if you start the graduate program in person, or vice versa, can you switch to the other form? In on the campus format, and you discover like the schedule isn’t working for you, can you switch to the online format? Or if you start online, can you?

DR. ISAAC GANG: I want to say yes, I can’t think of any reason why this cannot be done. I mean, I’m, you know, I’m not going to answer this with high level of certainty. Well, you know, I can definitely ask, but I don’t, you know, I never we’ve never had an issue that would prevent someone from doing that. Technical or procedural? But I, you know, I want to say yes, but I can find out more about this. I have this question as report,

STEPHANIE RACINE: I believe that the most recent policy was allowing them to do a one time format switch. Beyond right beyond that, you might have to check with the Department or see if there’s some kind of special circumstance, but because remember, the online classes are eight weeks, and the campus classes are the full semester. So to have people jumping back and forth. Yeah, would probably slow you down. A bit difficult. Yeah. But if it’s a one off, then sure, just talk to your student success coach, and they can help you with that. And then the last question is, what is the base level of programming language needed to be successful in the program or will it all be taught?

DR. ISAAC GANG: So, we as you have seen, as Stephan talked about this earlier, we require you to come to us with some programming. So say, you know, if you have taken a programming language before, no matter what it is, and you come to us, I think the Python programming language and art programming language are all part again, at some point in all of the classes that we have here. So you will you will have the chance to, you know, to kind of refresh, you know, if not, you know, if not, you know, learn fundamental fundamental concepts, or, you know, these programming languages within the program.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Okay, well, thank you all again, for joining us today. Thank you, Dr. Gun for joining us taking time out of your busy schedule. And I just wanted to remind everyone of the application process, I put that screen up here, again, we are accepting applications for the January 8 Start date, you need to have everything in by December 4, that would give you plenty of time to get your decision, and to get registered and your financial aid if you’re using it and everything else. So the admissions requirements are here. And again, I’m posting the QR code and the website so you can apply. It sounds like we have some people that are excited to get started and have an idea of what they’d like to learn. And if you have any questions that weren’t answered today, please give us a call at 703-348-5006 and we are happy to help. Dr. Gang anything else to add?

DR. ISAAC GANG: Yes, this was great. Thank you so much for your help. And thank you so much for hosting us.

MS Applied Information Technology Transcript

HEATHER BRYANT: Thank you all for joining us this evening. If you’re just joining us, welcome to the spring virtual open house for the online Master of Science and Applied Information Technology program offered by George Mason University. My name is Heather Bryant, I’m an admissions representative for the online graduate programs offered by George Mason. I’m here tonight as a resource to give information, answer questions and to walk you through the admissions process. If you decide to move forward with an application, this event is set up so that we will answer your questions at the end. So feel free to put any questions in the chat or in the q&a feature. I will be checking both of those and we will address them later on in the evening. Please don’t be shy, ask as many questions as you would like. So tonight, we are joined by Dr. Rita Cova, who will be sharing more information about the program. Dr. Rita Cova will talk about the program details and about the career outlook information as well as curriculum details and the online classroom a bit as well. And then after that, we’ll discuss admissions requirements and next steps. And finally, at the end, we’ll have some time for q&a. And that’s when we will answer your questions that you have. So please make sure to put those in the chat or the q&a feature throughout the evening. We’ll answer them at the end. And here are the chat instructions. So in your controls at the bottom window, click chat for the chat window to appear and type your message. You can also select who you would like to send the message to by clicking on the drop down next to where it says to. So if you’d rather just send that to me, that’s fine. Or if you want everybody to see the question, that’s fine, too. But you can choose that there. And then for the questions for the q&a feature, you can click the q&a and your webinar controls to get access to see the q&a window and just type your question in the textbox and ask a question. Either method is fine. I’ll be checking both and then as we’ll answer the questions when it’s time for q&a. Okay, so without further ado, I’m going to turn it over to you Dr. Rita Cova. Thank you for joining us this evening. Well,

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: thank you very much. Well, my name is Dr. Rytikova. I’m the director of this program. I’m also the Associate Chair for graduate studies. I’m looking at the chat window. Mohammed, if I answer your question, yes, you are very, very eligible. And you’re welcome to our program. Will you still stay with us? Or you will leave? I will once we get your your transcript and we have all the entire I know. Well, thank you for staying I appreciate this. We begin we will be happy to answer questions about admissions requirements and how it works and how the committee the admissions committee works at the in our department. But in general, before we even get to all the details, we are what what sets us apart from many other programs that that you can find on the market. Even in manga online programs, and there are many programs to choose from is that we are quite quite open, we are very, very inclusive, the way we present a teacher our classes, they we assume that many students will come to us they have very different background, we don’t focus. So that’s one of the differences. For instance, with the CS department, students who go to the CS department in general, they have a very solid CS background. And so solid programming solid math in our department, it’s still required. And we still want students to have a solid technical background. But if it’s not, if it’s not there, if students have for instance, at least some experience with it, some exposure to gain programming, and they have some math classes, which most people do have, or if they have a extensive work experience, like in this case, for instance. And in that case, this program was a perfect fit for all these students. And we are particularly proud how we teach our classes because we know that our our population of students is quite diverse. But we as I will speak later about it. We pay particular attention to innovative teaching and learning techniques. We incorporate all of them, many of them in our classes, despite the fact that it’s still an online class, the way we teach is quite, quite, not quite, but it’s very supportive and creates an excellent support we provide excellent support for students. And in general, if you even you can look at statistics about our program that our program is quite well ranked and we get very good feedback from the students who are going through our classes. Well, before we start, well first of all, again, some information about myself. You can find it on the screen, but I wanted to let everyone know that I can easily get carried away by I absolutely love this program that we have multiple graduate programs and I is the Associate Chair, I coordinate all of the graduate programs in our department. I also like the rest of the programs we have to offer, I will be happy to answer questions about those programs if we have a separate session, but in general, Ms. AIC is it is is the program that I probably care the most? Well, you probably shouldn’t say that. Because again, you should care about all the programs like the children, you have to say you love all of them. But nevertheless, this program, I know how this program, why this program was created, I still remember being around it this department for many years, over 10 years ago. So we were approached by some federal agencies that asks us, they asked us if we could provide some of the workshops or just some courses in back then what was considered a very fancy area like, like cybersecurity to them. Big Data analytics. We did well, we went there. We said, Yes, of course, we have something to share. We went through some multiple workshops, and at the end of one school year, and they came back to us and said, Would you be interested in developing the new master’s program, which means that this program originally was developed in response to the needs of industry. When we create this program, but wasn’t created internally, as a classical educational unit, I will say we just closed within a university. But we created a pretty large team of experts in industry. In academia, researchers, we put together all our efforts and created a program which I believe has one of the best curriculum that you can find on the market. And I will go over some details in just a moment. I do see that there are some questions in the chat window. It’s difficult for me to to answer questions and to continue with the presentation at the same time. So if there is a kind of critical question, Heather, please let me know I will stop by and then I will stop and I will answer this question. But unless we can maybe postpone a little bit, then I will answer at the end. If we move on to the next slide. Then, if you just look at the description, and you can find lots of information about all this, that’s what I love about our our days, because you can find all the information about this programs online. What’s important, and the main reason why I while I’m here today, and we’re trying to prove to give a presentation about the program is to make sure that we answer some specific questions which we already have with the chat window, about about the program and your specific interest, why you would like to know more, why you’re considering this program if it if this program is for you, if it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to answer all of the questions that you have today, I try to limit my presentation to maybe 20 minutes or so, in general, if we stay too long, then with the presentation, then people lose interest. But I prefer to stay longer and answer questions now. And I find when students come into these presentations, I find it quite fascinating to hear different questions. And often sometimes students they share their personal some information. And then it’s always a very nice discussion to have. As I mentioned earlier, the ideal of the MSBA program was to support those individuals who are interested in in the pursuing higher level degrees, particularly in it and by it. That’s another very interesting point about our program that in our days, it is such a broad area that anything you have in mind that is related to well, computers, computing, that’s pretty much what we do. I am very proud of this program specifically because we are very dynamic because of the nature of our program. It changes literally every day. If you think about any. If you think about any degree and idea, then it’s quite challenging because if you start if you apply today, for instance, and you start your your degree in the spring semester, then within the next two years, when you finish this program, a lot will change. Our goal is not just to give you some information about different areas of it and some of them is presented on the screen at the end of this slide. But more importantly, we build strong foundation for pretty much any new technology that is that might come within the next few years. We give again great foundation then we build your specialization in multiple areas. We are very happy to offer one of the most successful programs in cybersec You’re at the cybersecurity concentration for three years in a row was in there in the top 25 programs in the country. But we also have a lot of interesting courses into either concentration, specifically the data science or data analytics concentration, and also the machine learning engineering concentration. What you see on the screen, this is a summary of, in general, some of the areas of topics and questions that you might see in your courses. Because we don’t just build a strong foundation. More importantly, we teach students how to apply we are after all, we are in applied program. And when we when we work on any area, like cybersecurity or its data science, then it’s very applicable to what people do every day in their lives in different industries. It could be health, it could be, it could be beginning with an indication, but But nevertheless, no matter which path you choose, we provide excellent curriculum, we have lots of courses that we develop, that we developed in the last less than two years, because every semester, we offer some new courses, which is also quite, quite, it’s a significant difference from many other departments, or schools, because it’s not easy to come up with a new course. But in it, we don’t really have a choice, which works for us and for our students quite well. And the way this program is designed that we can easily create an ad of courses that students are interested in an injury in it. And we are happy to help students to get through the program to select courses, that concentrations that they’re interested in, and help them understand how this program will help them in their future career. Well, I always work I look why I myself my degrees in data science, what’s called today data science. But what I hear quite often from students and what I see in lynnium, reports that were collected and producing when we analyze data about this program, that there are questions about different concentrations and how it’s applicable to, to students careers. So if that’s something that you would like to discuss, we can then I can answer some questions today. In addition to that, I will encourage you to contact me directly so that I could help you connect to relevant faculty, and you can work with them directly to get deeper into any question you might have. I highly recommend that I don’t think we have how many students actually do that. I don’t receive a lot of emails, I will say after after the such presentations. And of course, I can convince myself that is because we answered all the questions, but I don’t really think is true. So don’t be shy. If you have any questions in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer help you even connect to the people that could answer questions if I can move. Next slide, please. Another reason why I am such a big fan of this program is because we are we are not only dynamic, not only we that our curriculum is industry based, and I’m so excited about courses, I know all the courses that that are offered in this program, because again, I was the person who was leading this initiative in our department, I was working with the faculty on all the courses that we do offer. But what’s important is that the courses we offer their very, very high quality. I know it’s also another very common question that students ask when they select an online program. They say, Well, if I if I start taking this classes, will I be alone alone. And that’s the scariest thing that you can even I can imagine about students that someone is, is taking online classes and they sit there quietly in the corner alone, and they’re trying to do their work. This is not fun. What we do we provide media rich collaborative learning environments and all our classes. When you start taking classes in our program, then that which is a which is the students say we always hear this from students. There’s so convenient because all the courses they have the same design, they have the follow the same structure, even though courses are different, but you don’t waste your time trying to figure out it’s very user friendly. You don’t because we worked in we collaborated with with with developers that that the designers who helped us develop excellent courses. But but but you know how to go for the course it’s clear for students it’s convenient. It’s easy to use, in addition to loads of excellent activities. I don’t want to say assignments. Assignments is just a small part of that but we offer loads of have activities for students and online classes to make sure that students are engaged, they’re involved with what we do. We make sure students create and participate in the online learning community that we created each class, we try to help them stay connected afterwards, and so forth. We have each course they have videos developed by faculty. In addition to that, we also incorporate what’s called Open Educational Resources, which means that we introduce even top resources available out there and developed by maybe by other experts in the field so that you could see what else is available out there, you could use that. And we help students to navigate through this large variety of resources in the most efficient way to meet their personalized goals. So one of the areas that I do research, and it’s related to personalized learning, I’m a huge believer in that, I feel like it’s the same as when you if you if you get sick, and then you go to a doctor, you don’t want to get in generic treatment, if you can get a treatment that works specifically for you, then you will be healed in less than 24 hours, it’s fantastic. The same I see the same I approach education, if when you have you have a person, everybody has a different background. In our days, it’s getting even more and more interesting every year, because the amount of new sources out there is tremendous. And people go through their indications in very interesting ways. We get students who will never ever heard anything about it. And we have some additional courses to help them prepare to go for our program, we have a course which is a prep course. And we when the student is admitted, we have what’s called in the provision, they’re provisionally admitted, if it happens, it simply means that we want the student to take in a course to help them prepare for what’s coming in the future. But we also have students who are experts in certain fields may look a little initial single field in it. But in some courses, you might have someone who is really, who is a true expert, he has been or they have been in, in in this area for a good 20 years or so. And you have to balance that when students go through your course. And that’s what we try to do in our courses, we make sure that it whether you are a new person, a person who is just starting this, this field or you are a relatively you kind of know what what this is about. But you can still find some some assignments and some resources that will fit your needs, and will help you learn in this course. Well, again, it’s difficult to explain without showing that and letting you into the course. But But still, the idea is that we create a very supportive inclusive learning environment to help students to get through. And it’s very collaborative. Again, you communicate with the instructors every day, it’s not one of those courses where some material is posted. And then one week later, you get the reminder about the homework due date. But you do communicate with instructors and GCS, whereas the support our cloud classes, every every day, basically, there are assignments that require you to work with other students, there are materials that you need to study. It is still self self paced during the week. So you can decide when you want to complete certain assignments. Usually all the assignments are due at the end of the week when you begin the end of the of the module. But But collaboration within each module during each course is quite, quite impressive. And that’s something what will always will always submit our applications to the US ranking and we’re getting higher and higher with that. But but one of the questions there that would they ask if we provide such an environment in our courses. So that’s also part of why we do that, because we want to make sure that we we are we we are with the standards provided by online learning theory, and we make sure that students feel comfortable and interested in our courses. As I mentioned earlier, there are three Currently there are three tracks. We’re also thinking about additional more, but for right now, that’s three tracks, and they cover probably the top areas that I see that you can think of today, if you’re on the market. That’s precisely what people want to hire. And we are very proud because of this of some of these concentrations. Because now we created new courses in the last two years, as I mentioned new courses in machine learning engineering, in in data analytics and intelligence matters, those courses that that required some new knowledge or new new ideas that we were able to incorporate that into this curriculum. Our courses are again, very flexible, they’re fully aligned. I know you complete all the assignments online, there is no need to meet with with a professor or GTS on a specific day. Nevertheless, what we also do is we offer what we call optional class meetings, even though it feels like if you take a class online next year, I don’t know how it feels, I don’t know why I’ve taken some online club classes myself. And I do see a lot of differences in how instructors work with their students. But what we try to do, some students are very, very comfortable working alone, then that’s perfectly fine. But some students still would like to have more communication with their professors. And that’s why we offer optional class meetings, you don’t have to attend that. But amania students find it quite useful. Every week I receive emails, I teach one of those classes. Every week, I receive emails from students to Professor for some reason, I didn’t see today’s lecture is not posted yet what’s going on usually takes several hours for it to be posted on Blackboard. But once in a while is delayed, it’s done automatically. But for some reason, this is some delays it until next day. And then students immediately start sending emails and asking about that lecture, which tells me that they really enjoyed that. And they really feel that it’s very, very supportive of for what they do. Because they’re optional, you don’t have to come. But we record these videos, these presentations. And then you can also watch this in the evening if you cannot come in if you are not available during the time when the lecture was given. And this is in addition to videos and learning materials, we provided each course by default. So students even if the lecture if there is no lecture for some reason, during one week, then then in that case, students still have loads of materials to cover in each module. Thank you. Next slide, please. All right. Well, this is probably one of my favorite slides, because I’m so proud of what we produce. If you look at some numbers, and these numbers are very impressive. I don’t even have to convince anyone that pretty much any area that united see that you’re interested in today’s specifically, machine learning cybersecurity data analytics, these are the areas that are in high demand. If you look at the projections for the next few years, they say that’s one of the fastest growing growing fields. Salaries are, well, I wouldn’t even say that this was down six months ago. So I would expect the service will be much higher than then what you see on the screen. But what’s important, what I always talk about here is that keep in mind that when you search for a job, in our days, it’s not enough just to enter a title for instance, machine learning engineer, it’s, you will get some some positions and you can see what’s what’s out there. But there are so many names for titles that are used today for each and single path that you can find that like data scientist or a data engineer, or, or data security administrator yourself. And so what I always tell students, the way I recommend to approach that, find one of the areas you’re interested in, let’s say machine learning just because it’s on the on the first position. So you will you will choose machine learning that answer these in any job websites, and search through specific skills that they ask that they require you to have for that specific area of field or position. Once you identify a list of skills, then try to find positions that require these fields and visit skills. And you will see how many options you will come come up with if you if you search again using skills, not just titles of jobs. Again, these are just some some average numbers that’s not given. Then, again, you can find other positions, you can also find salaries that are higher than this one, I usually don’t see anything below what we posted on the screen, we tried to be quite again, careful with all the numbers that we present. And we have a great analytical team which which has done a very, very good analysis of the data again about six months ago, so you might find some additional information about this on the internet. Next slide please. All right. If you look, this is probably a bit difficult to see but when you have time I highly recommended to look at the list of courses that we have to offer. You can again contact me or you can contact our support team. You can request specific information about each of these courses. We can provide the syllabus syllabus for these courses, you can contact instructors, professors who teach these classes and if you will, would like to have more information about it. In general, the idea is quite straightforward that first we want students to complete core courses. I don’t really feel known or not. But we usually students take two courses per semester. And this is in the format for online for these for this program is an eight week classes. There is a lot of research and everything we do here is all based on research all decisions about the length of classes, the amount of work required students, the type of classes, we offer them, everything. It’s all based on research, because our department has several faculty who are truly, they devote loads of their time towards innovative teaching and learning. We also partner with other units to make sure that what we do is, is the best the best practice, we follow best practices available for online education today. We don’t have time for this. But actually, in other interesting fact, I always mentioned this because I think it’s interesting. Well, in our days, you will not you will not surprise anyone if you say oh, we teach online. And the reason for this is because after COVID, pretty much everyone teaches online. But what what’s important for to mention that our department over 10 years ago, 10 years ago, was the first department in the university that creates the entire program online. The director for online education in our college, Professor Garrison, he, I always put this that sentence, he once said that not only we were the first one to to develop that. But more importantly, we developed best practices, policies, procedures for effective innovating online, online classes and courses. So I think that is quite important. There are many programs that were created just recently in the last few years. And they are also all presented online. But we have, we have great history, we were very always very successful online. We’ve been doing this for many, many, many, many years. We know how it works with partner with the best out there. With instructional designers core, we’re working with us on our horses. So our program is is really well done. I’m proud to say that. But so the first thing we do is we ask students to complete four courses. And usually that’s two courses per semester. And then they continue with their concentrations, we recommend to complete workhorses first and then start with with concentrations. At the same time once in a while there might be cases when students say well, I feel that I really would like to start with my concentration. And I and I understand them I myself I’m so excited about three cases data analytics and machine learning, because these are my number one field fields. And I will be really curious to take some the course in that case, that’s fine, you can still take 500 level courses are perfectly fine to take even in your first semester though, again, we recommend in the following semester. But you can start with the concentration this way you will be excited about this program, you will find it interesting. I just received a very I finished them one of these classes. In eight weeks. Again, it’s eight weeks, I just finished teaching one of my classes for this program. And I received the email after class. The students said well, it was such a great class professor, I didn’t I teach the databases that database management systems 524. He said I didn’t even expect that I will I will be so into this class. But now, I love databases so much. I really would like to continue, could you please give me some recommendations which courses I should continue with because I am excited. And I wanted to continue to take in database classes not just required courses, but also concentration courses. It was a very nice discussion, we identified some of the courses and the student continued. So something like that is I consider to be a success when students get excited about our classes. And they want to continue and they come up with questions. Some students also might be interested in research, though this is not a primary focus for this program, but we still offer some research opportunities for students. All right, next slide. I feel like I’m getting into this more and more. Well, this slide is not very useful at all, and I understand that, but there’s just the picture looks kind of nice, and that’s why it’s there. But it’s it doesn’t really have a lot of information in it. But this is how our courses look like. They have again the same structure on the left side which you cannot see and I clearly see that but on the left side we have eight modules. That’s one module per week, you will see the same image Just you will see this the first one we’ll do section actually, at the bottom of the screen. That’s I believe it’s my course, actually. So that’ll be, that’ll be the introductory video that every professor has to record and then talks about themselves a little bit, but but every time you’ll you’ll log on into your course and that it’s familiar. Yes, it’s a different title. It’s a new course, it’s a new description. But still, it’s familiar. It’s easy to navigate, easy to find all the materials and easy to get through the course. So in if we have, if anybody’s interested, we can schedule the meeting separately, and I will be happy to show you the course just to go into the course and show it to you. Next slide, please. I believe that’s pretty much it. And before we finish, I promise it will be just a couple of more minutes. But I really wanted to say that, in addition to what I discussed, now, I realized that I don’t have I should include this in one of the slides somewhere. Next time I will do so I did not talk about our faculty. And that’s something that I’m also very proud of, because our department is very selective. When we hire new faculty. We have lots of faculty who are nationally recognized researchers in all this all of these areas. What’s important, the reason why it’s important is because they not only do the search, but they bring it back to our classes. In addition to that, some of our instructors are industry experts. They’re not full time faculty, but they also break so much for our classes, their guest speakers, some of them teach our classes, and you get a case scenarios you’ll get. You get stories that that are told by experts in those fields. And we work with tobacco companies like Amazon, for instance, IBM, we have great, great connections in the area. In addition to that, as I mentioned earlier, we have quite a few faculty who are working specifically in the area of innovative teaching and learning. And it’s not just from the educational perspective, which is also still very good. But it’s all supported by by our primary research, you might use, for instance, data analytics, some others, it’s machine learning, it’s AI, and we incorporate and by the way, if you heard about challenge GPT, just this semester, I, I had a lot of sewing, a lot of experiments I’ve done with GPT with my students. And I explained, you know, I experienced a lot of my classes just because I want students to experience something unusual, I want them to try new things that they’ve never seen in their education before. It’s all about innovative tissue learning. And so we do research. And probably that’s the reason why we have not one, not two, but we have several faculty members who are recipients of the number one teaching award in the university, it will be a excellence, the Teaching Excellence Award. That’s number one category. The second category is excellence in all online teaching. And just and they’re very difficult to get to because we have several 1000s of faculty in our in our university. And it’s so named for instance, two years ago, it was only one online teaching faculty award for the entire university and the faculty member in our department received it. We also have Teaching Excellence Award winners just only last year, we received one more faculty for not full time, but they teach some of our classes, Selected Classes, they also have such words. And these awards are extremely difficult to receive in our department has a very, very good number of those words that again proves that what we do is probably well, we’re probably doing something right. But more importantly, all the faculty that you will see the omitting of meeting your classes. They’re very, very enthusiastic. And I think that’s something that you probably would like to see from your professor. Well, thank you very much for your attention. I really appreciate you being here today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions. And that’s all I have to say today, but that will be happening more about the program. Okay, thank you Dr. Rytikova. Um, before we move on to q&a, I just quickly wanted to go over the admissions process. You can kind of see a layout of that on your screen right now. So in order to apply to the program, you do need to have a bachelor’s degree, the Committee will be looking at your work experience as well. So you need to submit transcripts from your degree, any degrees you hold previously, as well as your resume, a personal statement and two professional letters of recommendation. The application portal has a recommendation questionnaire that your recommender can complete in lieu of a traditional letter. Basically, you add their contact information to the system, and they get notification to fill out that questionnaire for you. It should only take them a few minutes to do so it’s a little bit more of an efficient way of presenting a letter of recommendation. But that is the process for applying. And if you have any questions about that you can reach out to us our contact information is here. There’s a phone number you can call 703-348-5006. You can also reach us admission support folks on by email at online And the website is listed there as well. There’s also a QR code here that will lead to the application. So we’re happy to answer your questions now. So please put them in the chat or the q&a feature. Any questions you have, please don’t be shy. There’s a few that are already in here. So I will go ahead and ask one of them. Hang on one moment, I’m just going to look in here. I know that someone had asked about financial aid. So I would recommend going to student If you’re applying for financial aid, that’s the most direct way to do it. But if you have more detailed questions about financial aid or anything else related to the application process, I do encourage you to reach out to us and admissions folks directly at the contact information that’s listed on your screen right there. Someone is asking what subjects do the prep courses cover the prep course that you mentioned earlier? Dr. Rita Koba.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Thank you. That’s a great course. That’s only one course. It covers a Programming Fundamentals. I love this question. That’s something that we hear from students, once in a while. They say that programming is something that they are struggling with some, again, not all students. But once in a while, you get a student who would say, well, that course was difficult or challenging, but not that often. But if, if I was instigated would collect statistics about that, if I look at the statistics, then if we do have some concerns from students, that will be our programming course. It’s at 512. And the prep course prepares students for that. So it should be it should usually students say that is quite helpful.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you. Um, someone else is asking is taking a Data Analytics course on Coursera? A good prerequisite. So if somebody has taken a course in Coursera, will the committee look at that as part of the application and consider that a valid prerequisite for the course will require the program?

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Well, you don’t have to, even though I highly recommend to get as much as much maybe a game preparation as you can. But you don’t really have to. When the committee looks at we have a we have a committee and they review applicants every week. But what the committee is looking for is number one is your transcript. So if you have a degree related to IT related to confusing, then that’s the first step. So that’s already good. So the second step is we look not just if there is a requirement for the GPA, but we don’t just focus on the GPA, we’ll look at the courses that you completed, if you have relevant courses. Maybe your degree is not directly in computing, but maybe you had in mind or maybe you took some additional courses, or drug academical courses, and they are related to programming to math, then in that case, it will be another plus for you. If someone completed courses, if I would make a recommendation, then I would highly recommend to look into courses for programming. If you don’t have a strong IT background. Data Analytics is also an excellent choice, but I will do it second, not as not as the first course. But again, the way I see education, if someone is excited about one area, it’s always good. If it’s a good data analytics course that usually they cover some fundamental, a little bit of fundamental fundamentals of programming, and you will be prepared by that.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, great. Thank you so much. Um, so I know there’s another question in the chat asking if their transcript shared with GMU last year is still valid. So I can answer that. So it depends. We did go through a change in the application system just recently. So it’s possible that we may still have your transcript on file, but it’s possible that we may not. So my best advice is for you to reach out to us directly at the information on your screen right now. You can give us a call tomorrow if you’d like or send an email to the email address there. Um, if you reach out to admissions directly about that, we’ll be able to assist you in locating your transcript if we still have it, or letting you know that you need to resubmit it. So please feel free to give us a call or send an email to the information on your screen right there. Someone just asked, Is it possible to do a dual degree such as data analytics, master of science and software engineering, Master of Science, or a double concentration in data analytics and software engineering? So there is not a software engineering concentration in this program? Correct? Are Dr. Rita Cova? Okay. But I didn’t know if you could speak to that further. Yes,

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: sure. I’ve seen this in the past. And by that I mean, once. So I cannot say it’s very, very common, we could certainly look into that. And in the work on that, again, it’s not very common, but it is possible. If you would like to have more information about this before you apply. In that case, please contact our contact us. And we have in addition to, to the contacts on the screen, our department has multiple advisors. And they are amazing, just just, I wish I could speak more about this. But our advisors, advisors are fantastic. They are very experienced, they know everything, they understand how to help the student in any situation. So this the the level of support we provide, I should probably also mention this in my in future presentations. But the level of support we provide for students is just outstanding. What I always recommend to do if you have a question before you apply, for instance, so and you really want to make sure that that’s exactly what you want, then you can contact us and we’ll give you the exact answer. But this is it’s doable, but we need to look into details and how it should be done. Because there are a couple of forms you need to sign up. We also need to discuss about the the courses that you are going to take and that will require some work for for just not work but some discussions. Okay,

HEATHER BRYANT: thank you. Someone else is asking is track and concentration the same? I believe the answer to that is yes. Correct. When you’re, they’re interchangeable terms. Okay. And then there’s a few questions coming in that I’m just going to kind of paraphrase and ask is one question. So folks, if you are one of the people who have been asking question about this, and you have additional questions for clarification, please feel free to put those back in the chat. But the question is basically about choosing between computer science data analytics, and MSA it How does the student decide which program would be the best for them? Do you have any advice on which student or which programs Students should choose? Out of those three if they’re looking for specific things?

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Yes. Well, how much time do we have? That’s something that in the past, I did not like this question, I will be honest. But over the years, I’ve been doing this presentations for several years. And now I kind of enjoyed a because I finally know how to respond. And to help students. I wish I could say well, street number one, you do CS student number two, you go to msa, it I cannot do that. I can look at specific one specific example I need but but if you really need to someone to help you with that, that someone I will need to look into your transcript to look at your your education at your work experience, and your goals and the kind of individual you are again, that personalized idea. I will explain what I mean by why it’s this is so important. And it’s not an easy simple. It’s a simple question to answer. In general, the way I the way I see it. First, it’s very easy to see the difference between CS and MSC it and MS data analytics engineering. So those kinds of two categories that start with those, if you have a degree in CS, in computer science, if your BS degree if you enjoyed it, really, you know, it’s not like what you went through the program I have. I have close friends and their daughter is graduating right now with a CS degree. She hates it so much. It’s just so sad because she’s graduating and she did not treat doesn’t like what she does. So if your experience is very different, you went through the CS curriculum and you loved it, then I would probably recommend you to look what The S has to offer to see if you’re still interested in that. The difference between CS and AIC data analytics. The main difference is that CS is more on the theoretical side, you will need Wilson will also cover a theory. And we do a great job with that. But I’ve always said that if ces goes like 100%, deep, we will probably go maybe 50%, maybe save 75 At most, and some horses. But the rest of that it will be applications. So our focus is applied, we apply if you are one of those people who are interested in how applications can be utilized, how we can use it in different fields, how it works, and how how, again, how you can, how you can use it creatively how you can use a synergetic approach to create a complex solution using existing tools. That’s definitely AIC. If it’s, again, a different type of student who has strong very, very strong CS background, who enjoys it, the theory behind CS concepts of any programming concepts, the student who has lots of programming experience, then I would probably recommend to start with the CS department probably, again, just because you enjoyed that. If your experience is well enough, the difference between CS and I compare the same online program with our online programs. In other difference that the CS department offers their courses in the 15 week format, which means that you will take also two courses, I believe you will, I don’t know how many courses you can take. But it’s 15 weeks, you know, MSC IT and data analytics, we offer courses in eight weeks. And there is I don’t have time for that. But there is a very interesting research behind that. Because some researchers believe that when it’s compressed into eight weeks, then students don’t get distracted with other courses. And they really focus on only one field, one course one, one kind of area. And they do better because it’s very focused, but others say well, no 15 weeks is better. So in, that’s a battle that we’re still trying to win. So back to the to the comparison. And if you are one of those students who you’re you’re okay, so also in addition to that, if you enjoy it, it might be small thing, but I think it’s important, if you enjoy being around people, if you are if you feel that at some point, your position might be not a developer, but a manager. In that case, a it would definitely be probably a little bit better choice. Not that we teach managerial skills, per se. But we again, since we teach students how to work with applications, that’s a different approach from what the CS department does. But again, programs are both very good. With the difference between data nitrix and MSA, it is a little bit well, difficult to maybe to define. So the main bigger and the reason why, because the data analytics program is an interdisciplinary program. It means that all the departments in the school and now in the college, we contribute to that program, you will see a lot of AIC classes in that program a lot. So we again, we share that. So whether you go to that program to our program, you will still get our courses pretty much most of them. The main difference. The way I see it, though, we do cover well, they cover slightly different areas. And they have different concentrations provided by other departments. So again, you can choose a concentration, which is more theoretical, because why at least one concentration is offered by Cs. Now, but there will be also lots of applications that are applicable to for instance, I think it’s like business applications, for instance, that’s one of the concentration or our concentration, you can find it there too. But the one of the differences that the data analytics department offers allows students not to have a concentration, whether it’s good or bad. I don’t know. I will be very honest with you because it might feel like well, I know I’m supposed to sell our program but I I don’t see it this way. My goal is to help students to find the right program because if you come to us and you don’t like it, you will still leave the program, it doesn’t usually happen because we are, we tried to be very open and transparent with students. But this is something that some of you might consider. I’m not sure that I’m the biggest fan of this idea. Because when we selected courses for our concentrations, we were hand picked. We didn’t just say, well, you can take bunch of courses here and there, it will be okay. No, they, they contribute to one to another. So by the end of our education, our program, we guarantee that you get the most sorted education, cybersecurity to for instance, or any other field, it’s it’s enhanced piqued, so something like that. I hope I didn’t take too much time. But that’s a very interesting question. Yeah,

HEATHER BRYANT: thank you very much. Um, so there’s a couple other questions. Someone was asking if there is an on campus equivalent of this program, which I believe the answer is yes. Correct.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Absolutely. We’re very proud of that. Also, it’s literally identical what we do. And I really want to say that because I’ve seen some other universes, not George Mason, but it was brought up somewhere there is a case where a university advertise the program one way and then south male. So I am very proud to say that courses that I just showed today, we go back and that little monitor that picture with the monitor, we use the same courses in both programs. So yes.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay. Um, and let me see, I’m just looking through here for a couple more questions. So I have somebody asking, How does MSA it differ from certification and a broader picture? So the person who asked that I’m not sure if this is what you meant, so please correct me if I’m wrong, I think they might be asking if they’re deciding whether to get a full master’s degree in this field, versus just getting a certificate in something related? Like, what would you recommend in terms of their choice in doing that? Like, what what does this master’s degree prepare you for or qualify you for versus just getting a certificate?

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: I love this question. Thank you. And the reason why is because again, we’re very dynamic, we make changes all the time. I just submitted I swear, two days ago, I just submitted curriculum changes for the next for next academic year, because we usually submit them ahead of time. And the biggest change is that we modified the cybersecurity certificate, I don’t know which certificate you’re talking about. But that’s, that’s the one that we usually hear about all the time. So the cybersecurity certificate and the new format, which you will be eligible for if you apply, it will allow you to transfer full courses towards your MS. AIC degree. So if you so what I’m trying to say is that I if you ask my personal opinion, I would probably recommend the entire program, because that’s something that always looks better on the resume and statistics that that we have is that you get a significant boost when it comes to salaries with a master’s degree. At the same time, what I see right now is that a lot of companies they focus on as you probably know, they focus on skills, not education. And you can get this from different pathways. The easiest way to get a master’s degree you will be all set. The second one is to get a few certifications, and then you will be prepared also to get a job probably, or to do it on your own just online courses like MOOCs and all the stuff Coursera and you can also prepare for for a job that way too. I would say it’s mostly about your preferences. what’s convenient in case of our department is if you do a certificate first then you’re more than welcome to continue in MSAT it will not will last you will utilize this for MSC it

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you so much. I’m so somebody else was asking if there are additional areas of concentration in another program besides this one. So they were looking into additional concentrations besides the ones that we have online? Does the on campus program have other concentrations? Or are there other programs you know about that have concentration such as web development, software development, computer hardware, anything else like that?

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Will that will be CS the CS department I don’t know what they offer in their online program. I’m not aware of that. But what the description that’s what they will do our own mind program. I’m sorry, our own ground program has The past two more concentrations. That’s the cyber human systems. But it’s the new concentration we just started with this fall. And that’s why we don’t offer it here, just because it’s not ready yet, where we just started, usually takes first you, you create your own ground program, and then you continue with the online version of it. So we are working on it. The second concentration, is it management, and that concentration is in, in development right now. So by the end of this year, I expect it to be ready. So in the following year, we will start the also it’s still available right now, but we are modifying it. So that these are two more areas that we have expertise in. Okay,

HEATHER BRYANT: thank you. So I can also speak to the CS program a little bit because I do work with them. From an admission standpoint, I believe that the concentrations in CS are not available online. But they do have them on campus, I think I can only really speak to the online program. But the thing that you mentioned earlier, Dr. Rita Cova, about the 15 week classes is correct for CES, you typically take two classes at a time that run for the entire 15 weeks. So almost the entire semester, which is different from the eight weeks one course at a time format of this program.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Correct. And what I hear from students, what they like about the eight week format is it’s flexible. Sometimes they say I can only immediately for instance, we get loads of military suits. So they say well, I can only do here and then I will be away. And can I just take one core. So I come back. And yes, we are very, very flexible in that sense. And we also offer if anybody is interested. That’s something that we were so proud of. We just discussed it today that in summer, we also offer now two classes, which is fantastic, because now you can complete this program in in less than two years. If you take classes in summer, which is quite, you know,

HEATHER BRYANT: in person. Yeah.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: Thank you very much, David, less than just teeny tiny bit less than two years. Not much, but still. Yeah.

HEATHER BRYANT: All right. Um, so, um, someone just asked a question. I think this is specifically about computer science, which we can’t speak as much about, but um, they were asking if the classes are offered after 7pm, I can tell you that the classes are asynchronous. So you can pretty much complete them on your own schedule each week, as long as you get your assignments and when they’re due. Dr. Rita Cova. Is that true for this program as well? The courses are asynchronous.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: It is correct. Yes, that’s what I was talking about earlier that we get I don’t know the CS department, that’s if you’re interested in the CS department, I would suggest to contact them directly because we try to focus on MSA it. And that’s what the and I don’t want to put I’m the reason why I mentioned this is because I am always concerned that when we discuss something, then you might feel this you it’s applicable to other departments too, we’re quite different. And we have to be careful when they present that when I spoke when I earlier when I discussed our classes, we do have Well, first of all, it’s asynchronous. You don’t even have to do that. But we also have those optional class meetings, for instance, or, again, optional office hours. So for professors and for GTCYS. So we tried to provide some additional ways for students to contact professors. But students don’t have to be to be on campus or to be online at a certain time. That’s one of the requirements for this program.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you so much. So we’re just at time right now. So we’re gonna wrap it up in just a moment. I did want to just share the contact information again. So if anybody has a question that didn’t get answered this evening, or if you have additional questions, please reach out to us in admissions 703-348-5006. Or you can email us at online You can also scan this QR code here for application information. But thank you so much to everybody for joining us this evening. I hope it was very informative for you. Thank you so much, Dr. Rita Cova, for taking time out of your evening to discuss the program with all of us and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

DR. IOULIA RYTIKOVA: I would like to also thank everyone for coming today. I love meeting with students. Thank you so much for being with us. And I hope that we will see you at least at George Mason, if not in our program. Thank you so much/

Masters in Economics Transcript

HEATHER BRYANT: Thank you, everybody for joining this evening. If you’re just joining us, welcome to the spring virtual open house for the online Master of Arts and Economics program offered by George Mason University. Again, my name is Heather Brian’s I’m an admissions representative for the online graduate programs offered by Mason. I’m here as a resource to give information, answer questions and walk you through the admissions process. If you do decide to move forward with an application, this event is set up so that we will answer questions at the end. So feel free to put any questions you have throughout the presentation into the chat. And we will address them later on in the evening. And please don’t be shy ask as many questions as you’d like, you can use the q&a feature or the chat feature I will be checking both of those. So please put any questions you have in there. Okay, so tonight, we are joined by Dr. Coin, who will be sharing more information about the program. And Dr. coin will talk about the Mason omics tradition, the value of economics. Dr. coin will also share some curriculum details talk about the faculty and the online classroom as well. And then we’ll discuss admissions requirements. And we will have time to answer all of your questions after that. Here’s an overview of the instructions for the chat and the questions. So just take a look at this and the controls at the bottom window, you can click the chat to type your message. And you can also select who you’re you are sending it to as well. You can also click the q&a and your webinar controls to gain access to see the q&a window and you can put your question there if you’d like as well. I’ll be checking both throughout the evening. Okay, so without further ado, I’m going to hand it over to Dr. Coin.

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Well, thank you very much, Heather. I appreciate that. And the introduction. And let me second, Heather and thanking all of you for taking time out of your schedule to spend a little bit of time with us and to discuss the online MBA program in economics. My name is Chris Coyne. I am a professor in the Department of Economics. I am the online ma director. So I oversee the online program that we are discussing this evening. And I’m also an alumni of the program I did my masters and my PhD in economics. Here at George Mason, I started in 2001. and finished in 2005. I did them jointly my master’s right into my PhD. And so I know the program very well both as a student, and then I, after I graduated in 2005. I left the Virginia area area and had two other academic jobs before returning back to Mason in 2010, as a member of the faculty, and I’ve been here ever since, as part of the department and as part of the faculty that run and participate in our graduate programs. And so it’s truly a pleasure to discuss this with you. I love George Mason, and I love the Department of Economics, as you can tell, given my own background. And so what I’d like to do next, Heather, if you don’t mind advancing the slide. Before I get to the logistics of the program, I want to say a few words about the unique tradition. That is our department, and that defines our department. And that tradition, we call it Mason omics here is really a three prompt. And part of the influence on the Department of Economics and the way we structure our program comes from the Nobel laureate economist FA Hyack, who won the Nobel Prize in 1974. He is oftentimes associated with what’s called Market process economics or Austrian economics. And so he is one aspect of our program. Another influence on our program is an economist by the name of James Buchanan. He won the Nobel Prize in 1986. He was a faculty member here at George Mason when he won the award. And he won the Nobel Prize for his work in the field of public economics and public choice, which is the economic analysis of politics and political institutions. And so you can see a theme here, which is I’m highlighting Nobel Prize winners that have been both influenced influential and associated with our programs in various ways. And then the third person I just want to highlight briefly is Vernon Smith. Vernon Smith won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. Again, while he was a faculty member here at George Mason, and he is one of the founding fathers of the field of experimental economics. And so our tradition here is quite rich in terms of having kind of pathbreaking innovative scholars who have influenced our department in the history of our department, but also how we teach and structure our program of economics. And I wanted to begin with this both to give you that tradition, because if you do end up entering our program, you will be part of that tradition. And also to put it in the back of your mind. Because when we move to the structure of classes and the electives that are offered in a few slides, you’re going to see some of those fields I just mentioned, come up again, and I’ll reference them and connect back. But I wanted to give you that anchor, both as a point of historical interest, but also to foreshadow some of the things we’ll be talking about when we get to the structure of the program and the courses that we offer. Are there please. So what do we do as a department? Well, we’re an economics department, and we do economics. And our programs are designed to teach students at the undergraduate and graduate levels of economics. But the way we view economics is having a multifaceted purpose in the world. And part of that is teaching where we, as faculty members engage in economic instruction, to empower our students at all different levels, to become effective economic economists in the traditions that I just mentioned to you. In addition to that, my colleagues and I are focused on on producing original economic scholarship, and a whole host of different areas, which we can talk about later on. If it interests you. We’re also very motivated in terms of communication. And so many of my colleagues have, for instance, various channels through which they communicate with the public, whether it’s blogs, and so my colleagues, Tyler Cowen and outs tabouret run marginal revolution, which is a blog and I believe the most widely read economics blog, in the world, other my colleagues are quite active in terms of social media and writing op ed columns, and going on various media programs, to communicate their knowledge of economics, their scholarship to a broader audience. And so we take that quite seriously that economics is a discipline, it’s a social science, it’s an academic discipline. And so we folks certainly focus on the scholarly aspect of it. But we also take quite seriously the importance of communicating economics, and communicating oftentimes complex economic concepts in a manner that can be understood and digested by the general public, because my colleagues and I believe it’s important for human wellbeing, and for helping people understand the world and be informed both in their own lives, but also as members of of a policy of a political entity as a citizen. And the other thing my colleagues do, is engage in various policy analysis. And part of that is linked to their scholarship. Part of it is linked purely to the study of specific policies. And some of my colleagues, not all of them, but some of my colleagues are often involved in testifying on Capitol Hill, in terms of giving feedback to policymakers. And so having a real world impact, if you will, in terms of leveraging their economic skills and knowledge, to inform policy discussions in a way that hopefully will help advance the interests of members of the polity. Heather, please. So let me say a little bit about the program and talk a little bit about the mundane aspects, but also important aspects which are this, the master’s program in economics is a 30 credit program. And the way it’s broken down is there are five core classes. And by core classes, I mean, that they are meant to both provide you with a core knowledge of economics, but also that everyone is required to take them. And so that’s econometrics, micro theory, one, micro theory to macro theory and math, econ. And that’s not the exact order you’ll take them in that’s, that’s ordered by the course number. But all everyone in the program has to take those core classes. So that’s, that’s five classes, three credits each. That’s half the degree 15 credits. Everyone also has to take the capstone course at the end. That’s the bottom line on this slide. The capstone course is a course that concludes the program and ties together everything that you’ve learned, and so that three credit courses requirement as well. Then you have four classes left because there’s 10 classes total three credits each and we’ve already talked about six the five core classes in the cap stone. So that leaves us for remaining classes. And there, you have flexibility. And you can choose among the electives that we offer. And so causal inference is a statistics class. And so if you are interested in developing and cultivating your statistical skills, you’ll have an economist just classes part of the core, but then you can take causal inference as an elective to hone those skills. We also offer a class in comparative economic systems, which focuses on institutions and issues of economic development. experimental economics, which I mentioned earlier was talking about Vernon Smith will introduce you to the idea of experimental economics, what is involved in designing and executing a basic experiment, and what the kind of cutting edge findings are in that field. Gender Economics is the study of gender related issues from an economic perspective. And I should mention, although she is not associated with our department, the Nobel Prize winner in economics this year that was just announced, I believe, two days ago was named Claudia Goldin. She’s a professor of economics at Harvard. And what she is known for is her work in economic history as it pertains to women in the labor force. And so she did groundbreaking work in this field of what some people call gender economics. And when you take that elective, if you choose to take it, you’ll be exposed to her work, as well as the work of others. Market process theory that links back to FA Hyack that I talked about earlier. So this class gives you in depth, exposure to market process theory and Austrian economics. And the final elective that we offer is public economics, public choice. And that links back to James Buchanan that we talked about earlier. And so you can see that connection to high IQ Buchanan and Vernon Smith, in the courses that we offer, in addition to offering you the opportunity to focus on things like developing your statistical capabilities for those of you who are interested in doing that. So 30 credits total. There’s flexibility in terms of those electives. And what you want to take the entire structure of the class, excuse me of each class is online, so that this is an online program from start to finish. We also offer a on the ground program, but they are distinct programs. And so once you enter one program or the other, you remain in that track for the entire duration of your program of study, meaning that you can jump back and forth between the online and the online activity online on the ground. And that’s for purposes of accreditation, and different requirements in each program, not in terms of the total number of courses, but the on the ground, students have to take an exam rather than the capstone. The online degree, although it’s a unique degree, it is a fully accredited, a master’s program at George Mason University, you receive a diploma when you are done with all the rights and privileges of any other George Mason graduate. So the same as the on the ground program, or any other master’s program in terms of the rights and privileges associated with that degree. So there’s no difference between the online program and the on the ground ground programs. On that margin. You have access as a George Mason student, to the services that are offered by George Mason. And so although many of our students most of our students are remote, in fact, that’s why they choose the program because it gives them the flexibility of being remote and having more control over their their schedule because of the online asynchronous structure of the class. The nature of it is that you have access to things like Career Services, which can be used remotely, you can access the GMU library. And even if you’re not in person, George Mason University is what’s called an r1 University meaning a research tier one university, meaning it’s research oriented. And so the library is a is a very state of the art library system. And so the access to things now online is is truly excellent. I can get access to almost everything I want. I’m sitting in Virginia, a couple of miles from campus, but I rarely if ever go to the library in person. Most of the things that I want to read to access in terms of journal articles from my own interests, from my own research, my own teaching, I can access remotely and you will be able to do the same. And so you you will be a George Mason University patriot, a student here at George Mason with all the rights and privileges that are associated with that And so I wanted to mention that because one of the common questions I get is, well, since this is an online program, and I’m remote, does that mean I’m somehow different than the students that are there in person. And really, the only difference is that you’re not here in person. And so to the extent you’d want to do certain things in person on campus, you obviously can’t do those unless you come and visit, which you’re welcome to do, of course, but everything else is is is available to you. Have there please. So I mentioned faculty before. And I just wanted to highlight a couple things that I already mentioned and put some names to some of the courses that I just mentioned. And so let’s start in the upper left, that’s the marginal revolution blog, I mentioned, this is my colleagues, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabak run this. And if you’re not, if you haven’t looked at this before, and some of you might be regular readers like I am, I highly recommend you do it. Whether you end up joining our program or not, it’s free, it’s updated daily. And it’s a great way to learn economics to keep up to date with current events, and to really refine yourself as an economic thinker. And so it’s a great resource. If we move down then to the bottom picture. That small little picture that’s on this certificate of needs photo is my colleague, Thomas strapline. And this is a great example of what I was saying earlier about the overlap between scholarship and policy. And so the reason I chose this image is this is a policy piece that Thomas stratman did. And he testified them beat before the Georgia House of Representatives. And if you don’t know what a certificate of need law is, it relates to the health care system. And it’s a state level law. So it varies across states in the United States. And it goes something like this where their certificate of need laws, in order to open a new medical facility, you need approval from a board, a certificate of need. And this restricts entry into the healthcare industry. And what Thomas stratman found in his work is that in restricting entry, it also restricts access for people. And so that’s why he was talking in front of the Georgia House of Representatives related to the Rural Development Council, because when you move out into more rural areas, oftentimes there’s less less access to health care facilities. And then if you’re doing things that are restricting access to building new facilities, it restricts people’s ability to access those facilities even more, because there’s fewer of them. And so this provides a really concrete example of how straightforward economics combined with policy combined with scholarship can really influence people’s well being. Because of course, as we all know, health care and access to health care is crucial for human wellbeing. And so Thomas, who, by the way, developed two classes for the online program, he developed the public choice class, and the causal inference class is is a key actor in that policy space. And then if you look to the right, this is the cover of a book that was called authored by my colleague, Peter, Becky, on public governance, or what some people would call public administration. And this deals with the overlap of Economics and Public Policy. And I mentioned it because it really highlights, again, how my colleagues are focused not just on one of those boxes I put up earlier, but on the interplay between many of them. Here Pete’s engaged in a work of scholarship, studying Public Administration, and the limits and possibilities of public administration. And of course, public administration feeds directly into policy, and what type of policies are adopted, but most importantly, the effectiveness of those policies in meeting the needs and wants of members of the of the polity. And that’s what Pete and his co authors in this book are looking at. And I should mention that Pete was responsible for designing the comparative institutional class that I mentioned earlier. And so you, if you end up taking that elective, you’ll be exposed to some of his work on that topic. Heather, please. One of the most common questions I get, and rightfully so, until I was involved in designing this program, I didn’t know how online education really looked either. But a lot of people want to know, how does this look? How does this work? So you gave us this list of classes, but what’s the what’s the deal here? And I want to give you a little flavor of how it looks with a few screenshots, but also say a few words about about this in order to hopefully answer this question, or to begin to answer it and then I’ll gladly I’ll do my best to respond to any other questions you might have in a few moments when we finish up. So the first two top images, that’s me on the left, and the spontaneous order image, as part of my class, I designed the market process class. And that’s where those images are taken from. And then the bottom to the the photo on the bottom right, and then the image with round one, these are images taken from the gender economics class that my colleague, Joanna Mueller, strim, designed met her in the in the bottom photo. And so the way these classes are structured is this, they are all fully online. So they’re virtual, and they are designed to be asynchronous classes. And so what I mean by asynchronous here is that most of us who went through traditional education, you went to college, or if you have another master’s degree, and you had a class schedule, and your class would meet Tuesday and Thursday, from 1130, to 1230, or one or in the evening, and you would show up there in person, you’d that would be your class time. And it would be very structured in that way. The way these classes work is that there’s weekly modules, and so each class is eight weeks. So there’s eight modules, and there’s deliverables each week. But and those deliverables can range from readings, to written assignments to group work to quizzes or exams, that depends on the specifics of the class. But within that it’s asynchronous, meaning that you’re not meeting at a certain time, in a certain week, where you have to show up and be there, the material is accessed through an online interface, Blackboard, and that’s where you access the material and interface with your professor. Now, some of the classes incorporate optional synchronous sessions. And so they might have a welcome session at the beginning over zoom, they might have a check in at various points throughout the semester, the the session, the eight week session that allows you to attend if you want, and to interact with the professor and with other students, the structure of those and the frequency varies from class to class. And that’s on purpose. It’s on purpose, because this program was designed for people who want flexibility in their schedule, and want flexibility in their their educational program of study. And people typically highlight this aspect of it both for selecting the program. And one of the aspects of the program that they like. That is that they have that flexibility within each of these weeks, meaning you’ll have deliverables do, but when you do it exactly, is up to you within that week long time period. And so if you have work obligations, or travel obligations, or family obligations, whatever other personal or professional commitments may arise, you have that built in flexibility. But of course, there are professors in these classes. And so you will be able to reach out to your professor and interact with them over email or messages through Blackboard or to set up a Zoom meeting with them. If you are either struggling or have questions that you want to discuss. That option is there. But I do want to make clear the asynchronous structure of the program, so that you have a very good feel for how the courses are structured. But also the program is structured. So as you’re thinking through what’s a good fit for you, you can take that into account. Some people prefer the on the ground type approach where they’re in the classroom, and they get that interaction. Others don’t because of obligations that they have, whether they are geographic constraints, or other personal and professional constraints. And so that flexibility is there. In terms of the structure of each class, it varies. But you know, I can speak, for instance, to my market process class, since since I designed it, and it’s a mix of videos. It’s a mix of material that you read and interact with at your own pace. There’s discussion forums amongst the entire class so that you interact with your your fellow colleagues who are in the class. And there’s various writing assignments that are meant to assess and allow you to reflect upon the material and interact with the professor. I also designed the micro one theory class, the first micro class you take, and that’s a mix of lectures that are available online, and various assessments, quizzes, exams, discussion forums and opportunities to reinforce the material that you’ll be learning through the class. And so that’s a very general overview of kind of the interactive aspect of it. But hopefully it gives you some kind of feel for the overall structure, and a few examples from a couple of the classes I had there. Next slide, please. So this is and Heather, feel free to jump in if you want. But this is an overview of the application process. And I’ll let Heather say more if she wants. But before I do, so, let me just say one thing about these bullet points at the bottom, before turning it over. And it’s one of the common questions I get, which is, well, do I need to have an economics undergraduate degree in order to get into programming? The answer is no. And then people say, Well, do I need to take certain classes and have a formal transcript? And again, the answer is no. But at the same time, people say, Well, what background knowledge do I need? What will benefit me. And while we don’t have requirements, these are our suggested minimums. And so a working knowledge of intermediate micro and intermediate macro, and then at least one semester of calculus and statistics. And again, where you get that background knowledge, whether it’s in a class, whether it’s self study through some online program, again, it doesn’t have to be for credit, is up to you. But But those are kind of the minimum suggested background with crime. And so as you’re thinking through this, if you have more questions about that, I’ll gladly answer them after Heather’s done saying a few words, please.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay. Can you all you can hear me, Dr. Coin? Okay. Yes, great. All right. So, um, first, you do need to have a bachelor’s degree in order to apply to the program. As Dr. Coin mentioned, there aren’t any required prerequisites that you must have in order to apply. The ones that he just mentioned, are very helpful to have. But you do need to have a bachelor’s degree. In order to apply to the program, you need to submit your transcripts and your resume. Typically, a decision can be made based on just unofficial transcripts, we would need the officials if you’re accepted. But you can submit your unofficial transcripts through the application portal. And you do need two letters of recommendation. Now they don’t need to be a traditionally written letter of recommendation, the application system has a recommendation questionnaire that your recommenders will fill out. So basically, you add their contact information to the application portal, and then they get a notification to fill out that questionnaire for you. So that’s how that works, it should only take them a few minutes to do which is great. That allows them to complete it very quickly helps to move your application forward faster. But that’s how that works. And you also need to submit a statement of purpose as well. All of that can be submitted right through the application portal. And if you have any questions about that, you can let me know in the q&a as well. Does that pretty much cover it? Dr. Coin?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Yes. Yes. That’s perfect. Thank you so much. So maybe at this point, we can turn it over and open it up for any questions that participants might have related to really anything at all, I’ll do my best to answer questions as we’ll head there. And if there’s anything we can’t answer, we’ll certainly like you know. So the purpose here is to give you as much information as possible to empower you to make the right decision for you.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay. All right. Um, so there is one question that came through the chat that says, do you accept the Duolingo English test to meet the English proficiency requirements? So that one I can answer if you don’t mind, please. Okay, so the Duolingo English has a proficiency test. For my understanding this upcoming spring semester, spring 2024 is the last semester start date that George Mason is accepting that. So I do believe that you can submit that for this upcoming start date, but that would be the last one that they would be accepting that for. They also accept the TOEFL. And there are a few other options available as well. If you have other questions about the English proficiency exam, please feel free to reach out to us the contact information is on the screen that you can see right now. You can call us 703-348-5006, you can email us at online You can also reach us at Mason as well. But please feel free to reach out with more questions about that. Let’s see. There are a few other questions coming through as well. And I love that Olivia asked this because I had some folks asking the same question earlier, too. Can you talk about some of the capstone projects that students have completed in the past? Oh, certainly.

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Certainly. Thank you for that. That is a great question. So thank you for raising it. So the capstone course I mentioned earlier, it’s the culminating course of the program the last course will take and there’s a presentation part and there’s a replication part where you are responsible for picking a piece of scholarship that has been done already, and expanding upon it. So replicating what’s been done incorporating new data if you want to. And I’ll give you an example that in the moment to be more specific and answer your question, in order to allow you to execute a project unto yourself. And the neat part is, from my perspective, you can pick whatever you want. And so let me give you two examples that I like to point to, because I really think they highlight this flexibility. And so we had one student who worked on, and I’m not going to name names, he worked on a prison rehabilitation program. So his interest lied in the study of prisons, and prisoners and recidivism, that is returning to prison or being rehabilitated so that you are a contributing member to to society. And so in order to pursue his interests, what he did was he found a paper that had been published in a journal called the review of economics and statistics. And the title of that paper is or was, pardon me, to better prisons reduce recidivism, and you can see both sides of it. On the one hand, you could say, well, better prisons being better facilities, more updated facilities, provide prisoners with an environment, that gives them more opportunities, because of the better facilities and, and opportunities within those better facilities to develop skills, and a mindset that allows them to be contributing members of society and lower the likelihood that they’ll return to prison. On the flip side, some people argue that keeping prisons terrible is a better way to keep people out of prison, the argument goes something like this, well, if you go to prison, and it’s really terrible, you’re not going to want to come back. And so you’ll stay in a prison. And so what this student did is he took this paper that these prior authors had done, he updated it, he found new data. And he also reached out to the authors and corresponded with them throughout the process, which was really neat. And what he found was that investments in newer prison facilities, reduce the likelihood that people in prison, returned to prison once they got out. And so that’s one example where we had a student who chose a project based on their own interests and passions and was able to link it up with things they were doing outside of school. Let me give you one other example, which again, I think nicely highlights the flexibility but also opportunity to pursue your passions and interdisciplinary work. We had another student, too, was very much into issues of international relations and International Affairs. So they were pursuing a master’s in economics, but but this student was interested in these international topics. And what they chose to do is they picked a paper from the Journal of Conflict Resolution. It’s called conflict and trade. And what the paper looked at the original paper was the relationship between trade between nation states or people within nation states and the likelihood of conflict. And again, there’s different views on this there one view is that trade can lead to conflict because people want to, you know, someone side wants to get more of a kind of rent for their people. So it creates a it can create a situation between nation states where there there’s conflict, or in situations where there are certain resources being traded can lead to conflict. The flip side is that some people argue that trade reduces conflict because it creates peaceful relationships between people. In any case, what this student did was, took this paper, which I believe was originally published, like in 1980, so several decades ago, and they replicated it. They collected data up through I forget the exact year, but maybe was like 2015. And they rewrote reran the regressions. And if I remember correctly, he found that trade between nation states reduce the likelihood of conflict between them. And so that’s another example where you have someone that says, Well, look, I’m really interested in this issue of International Affairs. And so I’m going to use this opportunity to to explore those questions. And those are just two examples, but I think they nicely touch upon the type of opportunities you would have to pursue whatever it is that you’re interested in so that there’s broad guidelines to carrying out that final project, but within it, you have a lot of flexibility to choose the direction and the topic in the approach. Do you want to take? So thank you again for the question?

HEATHER BRYANT: Yes. Thank you. I have a follow up question for the Capstone as well. So I earlier you mentioned something about the exam that students on campus take. So I just was wondering if you could clarify, do students in the online program also need to take the exam? Do they take the do they do the project in lieu of the exam? Is there like a traditional thesis they could write instead of the project? Are all students do the project? could you just clarify that point, certainly,

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: thank you for asking, because this is an important point. So I appreciate it. So let me start by saying you do not for you being the people interested in the online and if you enroll in the online, you do not take the exam. And so the on the ground, people take the same exact core classes as you, they are not not in the same class as you. But the same stuff on the ground, the same electives, options, as well as some others that are on the ground. Those are they’re what they do, but they don’t take a capstone, they have to sit for an exam. And that exam is two to three hours. And it’s a exam that covers the material and the core micro and macro class, and they have to pass in order to get their master’s degree that’s on the ground, the online only does the Capstone, and you do not have to worry about taking that cumulative exam, you can’t take it in fact, if you’re in the online program, this is why we keep them separate, they can’t do the cut the on the ground, people can’t do the Capstone, for the same reason. And so that’s that aspect of it. There’s no thesis option. The project is the culminating project. And again, it’s eight weeks. So you know, you got to get moving along and be focused. And at that point, your your program of study, you’ll have an idea what interests you, and because you’ll have been in the program for a while. So if you can, it’s certainly doable. But that’s, that’s the structure of that class. So it’s an opportunity for you to draw upon all the stuff you learned in your prior classes, because you can pull that in to this, the capstone course, but also to pursue that kind of topic that interests you a lot.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you so much for clarifying that. We have a few other questions coming in. One of them is for international applicants, applicants with five years of working experience in the States, is there any way to waive the English proficiency test score? I can answer that one? The answer to that is no. There are no and the only way that you can waive the English proficiency test score is if you got, if you slept say that you did get a bachelor’s degree outside the US but you already hold a Master’s Degree in another, another area and you got that master’s degree in the US, then you could waive the proficiency test. If your highest degree was earned in the United States, you don’t have to take it. The other way is if you earned your previous degree from a country that’s on the exam waiver list, there is a list of countries that the Georgia basin does not require you to take the test if you got your degree from that country. So those are the only two ways currently that you can waive that exam. If you have any other questions about that, please feel free to reach out to admissions at the contact information on your screen right now. So there’s a few other questions coming in? What are the courses that follow the high IQ tradition?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: So very good question. Thank you. And the only course that is exclusively dedicated to that’s the market process theory class. So that class is built around those ideas. That’s the entire course. That said, you will also be exposed to some of those ideas in the micro one class, again, which I designed. So I know quite well. But it’s not the focus of that class. And so the focus of that class is traditional micro economic theory. But there is some discussion of high IQ as it pertains, for instance, to the role of prices, and competition, as well. And so while there’ll be exposure in that micro one class, it’s not the focal point of that. It is the focal point of the market process class. And then the other class I’ll mention is my colleague Pete Becky design, that comparative institutions class I mentioned. And there is high IQ and nesis in there as well, on the comparative economics class, if for the students that come into the program, who tell me that they’re interested in these ideas, and that’s part of what they want to focus on is what my response is, well look and microwatt. Of course, we’ll get a little bit but it’s really not the main part. But what you’ll want to think about for your electives is market process and comparative economic systems is to have your electives, because you’ll be exposed to those ideas in greater detail in there and have a chance to engage with them and discuss them. But thank you for that question. I appreciate it.

HEATHER BRYANT:Hey, thank you. Another question is does the program strike a balance between theory and policy?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Yes, and especially if you want it to, and what I mean by that is, you know, it depends on which classes you end up taking. And so, you know, the core classes are going to be theory heavy. That’s, that’s economics in general. And so that, you know, I mean, if you just look at the titles, it’s it’s micro theory, one micro theory to macro theory. So their theory classes, and the idea is that you have to learn kind of the apparatus or infrastructure or framework and models that economists use in order to think those are conceptual frameworks. And so that’s the purpose of those those classes. And from that perspective, our core classes are similar to core classes and every other MA program in terms of that focus. But then when you move to the realm of, of electives, and you look at things like comparative economic systems, that’s going to focus on topics like economic development, and different economic systems and how they relate to human wellbeing. So there’s, there’s going to be an element in there related to the type of things you’re asking, you think about public economics and public choice. public economics is the economics of the public sector. That’s what that field is, as I mentioned earlier, public choice is a field is this is the application of economics to the study of politics. And so in that type, of course, there’s going to be things directly related to the political process, which of course, influence policy. And so those are just a couple examples of the type of interaction you’ll get with those things. And then just to provide one more gender economics, part of that course deals with policies, but also things like social norms as it pertains to gender and things along those lines and how that influences things like labor markets, for different genders and so on. And so you can see again, how that can relate to policy or at least policy related issues. But thank you for the the question. Okay,

HEATHER BRYANT: thank you. Someone else is asking if all the courses are available every semester. All?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Okay, so great question. So the way you have to think about it, which took me a little bit to get my head around. So I don’t know about you, it depends where you went to school at JMU. And my own undergraduate and graduate education were based on a traditional semester system. So 14 to 15 weeks. The Masters online is eight weeks, as I mentioned, then they’re called sessions. So in the fall, there’s two sessions in the spring, there’s two sessions in the summer, there’s two sessions. And so not every course is offered every session. But every course is offered every two sessions, which is the equivalent of a semester of 14 or 16. week semester, really, the only exception to that is if no one enrolls in a class or too few students. So I think our cutoff was like three or four students minimum to run a class. And we have had a couple instances where we’ve had to cancel a class. Because of that it’s not the norm. It’s not the norm. But that would be the one exception. And so that’s why it’s a good question. So let’s say, you know, to people sign up for market process theory class, it’s gonna get cancelled. And obviously, we reach out to the students and help them pick from the other electives that are offered. But all the classes are on the books to be offered at least once every two sessions. So once a fall once every fall, once every spring, once every summer.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you. Someone else is asking how many courses do online students have to take each term? And is the pace and workload of the program adequate for someone who works full time? Great

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: question. So let me try to try to answer that and with caveats. Because I certainly, the the reason I say with caveats is not to be evasive, but because obviously, it’s depends a lot on on the person and your situation. So it’s hard for me to give a universal answer will apply to everyone. And so most students take one course, per session. All right. And it flows quite nicely that way. And the way the program is structured, if when I went through the core classes, how would you mind flipping back to the to the accredited curriculum slide at slide number six or seven? That had the course listing on it for a moment? Yep. Thank you very much. Remember when I was going through this earlier, I said, that’s not the order that you’ll take them. So let me just walk through a hypothetical program of study to be a little more concrete. Our first class is math, econ. And the reason we do math econ first is to make sure students had those foundations down. So econ 630 comes first. Usually a student will take just that class, eight weeks, then they’ll move into 611, which is micro theory. One and that course, has actually very little math in it. It’s straight up micro economic theory. And the purpose is, now you’ve done the math and you have the math concepts down. Now you’re doing micro one, and you’re getting those micro concepts down, then from 611, you move into 612. And it combines the two. So 612 is combining economic concepts you saw in 611, with some of the math concepts you saw in 630, to combine the two into one, and then you’re moving along one course, a session, so to every semester. So to answer your question is, is the is it? You know, are you capable of doing this while you’re while you’re working? Part of it depends on your job. But yes, it is designed so that you can do it, it’s a lot of work. I mean, if you’re if you have a full time job, and you’re taking one class, you’re gonna have to fit it in. And I’ve talked to students who have graduated in our program, graduated from our program, pardon me, because I like to just hear about their experience and what worked and what didn’t work. And it really varies greatly. So some of them, you know, given their schedule, because a lot of people have families too, in addition to their job or other personal commitments, you know, some set aside one day a week, where they’d say, on Tuesdays or some it was Saturdays, if depending on their job, they would say, This is my day, I’m gonna dedicate to this class, and they would dedicate almost a full six to eight hours that day to the class, and that would be there one day, others would spread it out, some would say, Well, I just couldn’t do one full day, I couldn’t get the time off from work, or, you know, in the weekend, I had family commitments. So I couldn’t sit there for six to eight hours. So I had to do two hours, three nights a week, or perhaps in the morning. And so that’s how they had they did it. I will say this. And again, there’s no rule against it. But but I’ll say, because it’s important, I would not suggest taking two classes a session. Some people do it. Some people are successful doing it, others are not, it is very hard to take two classes per session, if you’re working. Just I think at that point, it gets overwhelming for most people. So it would be overwhelming for me if I was a student in the program. And so some students will listen to that advice and say, I hear you. But I want to do this anyway, to get through the program faster. And my own view on this is, I’ve tried to explain to you, you know, I’m a I’m a big fan of live and let live and people need to decide what’s best for them. So you can do that. But I caution you to think carefully if you if any of you are in the position of potentially doing that it’s not that never can work out or that you’re necessarily not going to succeed. But it’s a lot to lot to take on. So so that’s kind of the way I think about that. And, you know, some students struggle early on adjusting, and then they have to adjust. So they have to adjust their schedule, it’s a minority of students. But they realized that what they had in mind when they joined, it’s more work than they thought given their work schedule. And so they have to figure out how to adjust and that can come from the way they adjust their personal schedule for it, meaning their family schedule, or sometimes I’ve talked to students who work out different arrangements with their employer. And again, that depends on the employer. But again, they might come in, they might get, you know, a couple hours of time during the morning during the week where their employer says, you know, you can focus on your classwork, whether it’s in their office or at home. Others are able to move their schedule around so that they can focus half a day or a full day on the class per week. And so it really varies from that standpoint.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you. Another question is, does the macro economic theory course focus on a particular school of thought? If so, which one?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: The answer is no, it does not focus on a particular school of thought instead, the purpose is to give you an overview of the major schools of thought that are associated with macroeconomics. It’s a very mainstream standard macroeconomics course, that is going to introduce you to the main schools of thought. And so that’s the way it is designed. It’s not focused on one particular topic or area or school of thought, but rather broad base to to give you exposure to all them or as many as possible within within the timeframe.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you. Someone else is asking if you have information about how many folks are currently enrolled in the program?

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: I do. There are. I know exactly, actually, because I just was looking at the numbers the other day. There are I believe, 52 students at that is students at all different points in their program of study. So I thought students who are just entering that throughout their program of study. There are I believe have 52 students that are currently enrolled in the in the Masters online program. And so some of them are just starting. Others are moving along further along in their program of study.

HEATHER BRYANT: Okay, thank you. I have another question. How intense is the math component in the program? And what advice do you have for prospective students who might be a little concerned about the math of the program? Yeah.

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: Important cons a question. So thank you and one, that one that I often get. And so first of all, the math that you are expected to know, is, as I mentioned, it is exposure to at least some calculus, you should have exposure and comfort level with exposure to basic algebra, and, and then anything above that, of course, will make it easier for you. That said, our program is not as far as economics programs go, I should say, our program is not super math intensive. But it’s all there’s also not zero. Math, obviously, is a math econ class. And so here’s what I would say to you. I would say this, I, you know, when it comes to math, not my kind of advice to people is to as a baseline, the get your hands on on two books. And I’ll mention them here. And if for some reason you can’t remember or you forget to jot them down, you can always email me to one of them. There’s a series of books called Sean’s outline, you spell it s ch, Aum Sch, Aum Sean’s outlines. They’re kind of these overview books, and what they have one called Introduction to Mathematical economics. The author is someone named Edward Dallin, D, O, W. Li NG. And it’s a good overview book of basic math econ. The second book I would mention is called fundamentals of Mathematical economics. And it’s by Alfred Chang. So alpha A L, pH. A is the first name Chian. G is the second as the author’s name fundamentals of math, econ, or Mathematical economics. And those are the two books that you actually use in the in the first math econ course. And so if you get your hands on those, and you look through them, that will give you a sense of of kind of the basics. The other thing I want to suggest, and Heather, I don’t know, if you have access to this, if not, people should feel free to email me, I put together I put together. Because this was such a common question I was getting, I put together a two page Word document called suggested background for the core classes. And what I did was I asked each instructor who teaches the classes I sit and design the classes, I said, Can you tell me what basic kind of background concepts students should have coming into your class as it relates to math and statistics? Because this question I’m getting is one of the most common, and I put together this two page Word document that is bullet points of the main topics for each of the different core classes. And so if you contact us, we can get you that. And I’ll happily share it with you. And it will give you you know, it’s not every single concept you’ll need no, but it’s the main ones. And then you can kind of look through them and say, Do I feel comfortable with this? Is this the kind of stuff that I have background knowledge on? And then you might say to yourself, Well, I do but there’s some gaps, then you can fill those, if you say, I have no clue about any of this, then you might need to take a math or statistics course prior to joining the program. Because, you know, I and my colleagues and Heather, all of us want you to succeed, we don’t want you to come into the program and not succeed in accomplishing your goals. And so we certainly want to make sure that you feel comfortable comfortable with this. And then once you get through the core classes and complete those the electives. It’s a mix. And so for instance, in the market process theory class, there’s no math in the comparative classes. There’s no math, you know, in causal inference and experimental economics, there’s going to be some math in there and statistics. I mean, that’s just the nature of those classes. And so depending on your interest, your skill set, what what skills you want to develop, you can customize the program of study in that way.

HEATHER BRYANT: Thank you, and I do believe we do have that resource. So folks who have been working with me, there’s a couple of you in here if you would like that or if you have more questions about the math, please feel free to reach out the contact information here as well, as well as reaching out to Dr. coyness He graciously offered just now to All right, we have a few more minutes so if anybody has any last minute questions, please feel free to put them in the chat or the q&a. Again, In all the contact information on your screen, if you’d like to apply to the program, if you’d like more information, please reach out to admissions, you can reach us at 703-348-5006. You can also email us online You can also visit the website as well for more information based on And there’s also a QR code here that you can scan for the application as well. Looks like? Let me see if there’s any more questions. Didn’t see any other questions coming in just yet? I can

CHRISTOPHER COYNE: I can say one of the things. That’s okay. You know, one of the one of the other common questions I get, and so I’ll answer just because I’ve been asked it so much is is kind of a profile of our students in terms of their careers and career trajectory. So this is a very interesting, what can you do with this degree. And you know, the one thing I really liked about economics, or one of the things I like about economics is a field of studies, you can do lots of different things with it, because it’s a way of thinking it’s an analytical toolkit, you can apply to all different things. And so our student body amongst those 50, some odd students that I mentioned, it is truly an amazingly diverse group of students, in terms of their careers, in terms of their ages, in terms of their backgrounds and their interests. And so just to give you a sampling, we have had students in our program who are high school teachers, so we’ve had students who enter the program, because they either teach AP economics or want to teach AP economics and they want to learn economics. And so we’ve had several students do that, who do that, we’ve had students who are in private industry, that private industry can vary from banking, to consulting, to being a financial analyst, to people looking to make some kind of career change, we’ve had, and we have students who are in nonprofits, who are interested in a whole host of different areas related to nonprofit from higher ed, to kind of aid and assistance domestically and internationally. And so we’ve had that. And we’ve also had students in government, both were in government in Washington, DC, but also who are in government, in in their various local government, and so on, I should say, a very small minority of our students are interested in pursuing a PhD in economics, but want to kind of strengthen their skill set before pursuing that. And that’s a very small number. But we do have a few students who have that interest as well. And so it is truly a diverse group of of students who historically have applied and enrolled in the program, and who have all different career aspirations. In some cases, they want to stay in their career and advance in others, they want to change their career. In still other cases, they want to move on to get either a further terminal degree in terms of a PhD. And so I wanted to mention that because that’s another question that people often ask me.

HEATHER BRYANT: Alright, thank you so much. So there are no further questions coming in. So I think we’re gonna wrap up there. Thank you so much, Dr. coin for sharing everything you have this evening. Thank you, everybody who’s attended for taking time out of your schedules. Thank you to the folks I’ve been working with personally as well. It’s great to see you in here. And it’s great to meet some new folks in the chat as well. But I think we’re gonna wrap it up there and I hope everybody has a great evening. And please reach out to us if you have any other questions.

MS in Health Informatics and Graduate Certificate Transcript

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: I am Professor of George Mason University, and director of health informatics program. I also direct something which is called machine learning and inference laboratory. By training. I’m a computer scientist, but they moved to healthcare domain many years ago. And what they really do is they combine my technical expertise with what they learned in the healthcare over the many years. And do research actually, most of our faculty do independent research in in the health informatics area, and they also teach and run the program. Our program is key Hema credit. And many of you have heard of commission of accreditation for health information for health informatics and information management programs. This is the professional body that accredits health informatics program. There are 20 Something health informatics accredited programs. Right now, across the nation, our program was I believe, 11th to get accredited, one of the early programs. And K hem ensures that our standards or education are very high. So there are lots of online program programs out there. And but our program, we have both actually on ground program and online program. And what Kay him, for example, makes sure is that what we teach students on campus, we also teach students online. So in terms of your educational material, in terms of what you receive what instructors teach you what you get at the end, through the program, there should not be really difference between regular on the ground program and what you’re getting in online programming here. So the curriculum will be the same, lots of other things are actually the same. It’s the delivery of the courses that are actually different. The program can be completed in somewhere between 2024 months for most of you two weeks and 24 months, exactly two years. If you look at 12 required courses in the program that takes exactly two years are some of you that specifically come with a background in computer science, or background in public health, may be able to waive two introductory courses, or one of the two introductory courses. And that will make the program slightly shorter, or go down to 20 months to complete, which is going to courses. But those decisions are made once you are admitted to the program. If you need to talk to the advisor and actually find out what’s possible what’s not possible, somebody will need to review your transcripts or look at the skills that you have, and all the other things. All right. This is a quick look of the curriculum. The first course which is listed there is foundations of public health. And this is course actually destined to be potentially waived that from somebody that comes with a bachelor’s degree in accredited public health program. The same for computational tools in health informatics, if somebody comes to with a degree in computer science or it or something similar or, or can demonstrate really strong programming knowledge, and it knowledge we can await that course. Rest of the courses are actually required. You have things like Introduction to Health Informatics, healthcare, databases, and other courses. At the end of the program, you have a capstone Capstone, there is a sequence of courses that start with workshops in health informatics, which is really like an industrial immersion program in which you start working as a group on the large real project in health informatics, then you move to the extra Capstone practicum. And for the actually Capstone and many of you will end up doing internships somewhere outside of the university. And those internships aren’t usually like undergrad internships in which you go out there and do something. They’re actually very project focused. So the faculty who teaches the Capstone at Mason will need to agree to do topic with your preceptor a bear, and you need to write a report at the end you need to do a presentation at the end. There are several other requirements. So it’s a very project specific, usually outside experience that you do. All right, we have two concentrations in the online program. One is health informatics management concentration and the other health data analytics concentration. Health. Let me start with Phil data analytics concentration, because that one is a real data science and health program. This is where you learn heart data science skill. You get programming, you get hard statistics, you get data mining, you get machine learning, you get what people call AI right now, all of those things are part of this data analytics concentration and So this is the the most technical and you know, the most hands on concentration that we that we actually have. Health Informatics management concentration focuses more on soft skills. This is really about project management, you know, didn’t help it. There is always some statistics, but you get things like privacy security, like behavioral health, like thinks that what you do organization organizational behavior, are things that are legal aspects of administration, things that make you run large health informatics projects, and be able to interact between IT vendors, and healthcare organizations, you’ll be one of those people that sit in between, and really make the translation make the connection between IT people and health administrators of clinicians, because those two groups don’t really talk to each other. And one of the role of informaticians is to provide this translation. So health informatics management concentration needs to go this translation about run running those large projects, from different aspects. And data. Data Analytics is about doing data science, in hard data analytic skills. Right. learning outcomes. So, you know, a while ago, I went to my LinkedIn account, and you know, in my LinkedIn account, I have lots of graduates from our program, you know, in my in my connections, and I just started, do you know, to copy and paste job titles, and there are a couple of 100 different job titles. And so they are all over the place, right? Very rarely, we see jobs that are called something like health informatics and but once you start looking at actual requirements of the different jobs, and it can be anything from health IT consultant to data analyst to something that can sound completely bizarre. But if you start looking at job requirements for those positions, then what you really see this, these are things that we actually teach in the program. So we do prepare you for those jobs. Depending on the concentration, you’ll end up with more technical jobs, something like a data analyst or machine learning specialist or whatever it is. And if you end up with health informatics management concentration, then you your job position will be most likely something like a consultant or project manager or something similar. But graduates of our program work for health IT vendors, they work for analytics companies, some work for hospitals in the US in the insurance companies. We have some graduates from our program that work actually in the government at all levels. We have several graduates in the federal and state government, also a few in local governments, county governments, our public health departments, so graduates of our program are all over the place. And you can informatics a very broad area, you can specialize in different areas. And it really depends where are your career goals? To a large extent, it also depends what is your undergraduate degree in. If you’re a clinician, you’ll always be a clinician and you’re building those informatics skills on top of it. If you already have a degree in Management, you always be a manager and you’re putting those extra skills skills on top of it. So to large extent, what you end up in depends on where you’re coming from. And what is your education so far, and we can take it from there. And did you do informatics

CASEY SCHULZ: All righty. Well, this is my section of the presentation. As I mentioned, I am an Academic Advisor. So once you guys start the application are interested in our upcoming terms in the master’s program, we go through we as advisors help you throughout the process of the application process. So that looks like we obviously you know, like to see your bachelor’s degree and have a 3.0 GPA. We do accept the GPA addendum if your bachelor’s degree is under a 3.0 GPA. We also ask for your transcripts. We do accept unofficial transcripts usually transcripts that are not sealed for a decision. We would need your officials by the time you’re registered. We do also ask for your resume. An updated resume would be you know the best option. Obviously in putting any skills that you have in healthcare or it any technology skills that you have as well. We do ask for statement of purpose or personal statement sometimes some people call that that which is an essay, usually about 750 to 1000 words, which defines your motivation your professional goals, and how this program will help you achieve those goals. In your future. We do ask for also recommendations. One, preferably from a supervisor is required, you can add more than two references if you’d like written letters are accepted, not required. So our program does a questionnaire format as well. Once you start the application, you are able to input your recommendations email. Once you do so we send them an auto generated email with a link to a questionnaire, the questionnaire is around five questions should only take them about 10 minutes or 15 minutes to complete. Really simple, really quick to do a lot quicker turnaround than a written letter. But if they have written a letter, they can always attach it to the questionnaire or send it to you. And you can upload it on your end. And then once you submit there is a $75 application fee. So basically, my role as an advisor is basically to be your mentor, helping you throughout the application process, making sure nothing’s missing, to make sure that your application is perfect upon review for from admissions. So in a sense, we are basically your final draft, in a way, and you’re kind of like the rough draft. So once you start the application or request information, you would speak to someone like me

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: already, a couple of things there are when you write your goal statement, you know, and I serve, you know, as you know, one of the people on the admissions committee, you know, we actually read those goal statements, you know, and, you know, make sure this stuff is first of all well written. But also really talk about your goals. You know, sometimes I see nicely written letters that talk about everything, but why you want to do health informatics. So, you know, make sure you really talk about informatics and make sure you do some research in you know, reviewing the coursework, that we have difficulty, the other things, so it is specific for the program that you’re applying to, and really try to think through how you see your career, why you want to do health informatics, and similar things, because it’s really about the purpose. It’s why you want to do informatics and not anything else. Absolutely.

CASEY SCHULZ: And I already got one so everyone can if you have any questions, please feel free to utilize the question and answer or the chat. I already got one question here. I have a bachelor’s degree of occupational and Health Sciences, I do have experience working in the medical field for more than three years. Can I change my career path by pursuing to health informatics without an experience in it? Would I be be part in the program?

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: Okay, so let me answer that question if you want to. Sir. The answer is yes. If you the long answer. The long hours answer is it gets several parts. First of all, probably about 60% of our students that come to our program come from health related background. We have nurses, we have physicians, we have pharmacists who have administrators, some public health backgrounds. So there are different ones that are coming with, you know, healthcare related background, we have some students that come to our program with actually undergraduate degree in health informatics, there are a couple of undergraduate health informatics programs that are coming. These are relatively new programs. So for example, at Mason, we have undergraduate Bachelor’s in health informatics, and some students from our undergrad program come to our master’s program. They’re slightly different prepared, because their informaticians from their undergraduate program in the rest is either those that come with it background in strictly computer science it or something similar, or those that have completely unrelated. Once in a while we get somebody in with biologic backgrounds, or psychology or something that is just unrelated. And it’s fine. It we the program is designed to take fit the wide spectrum of students, if you don’t have technical skills, once you are admitted to the program will ask you to complete what is called a bridge course. And that bridge course is a free thing that you get access to. You can complete it on your own pace. It has four components. First component is about really reviewing computer use your computer skills, making sure you’re essentially proficient computer user. The second part is about math. And many of you have not seen any math since from the high school. So you know, it’s a good thing to refresh a little bit of math, you know, before you actually join informatics program, and you’ll start diving into more advanced statistics and underthings the third part, it’s really overview about what informatics is. And last part it’s about computer programming and And even though it’s the last part, I actually really strongly recommend everybody who has not have any programming experience to complete that part. One is about Python programming. And the other is about SQL and databases. And, you know, once you get to both, you know, computational tools course, which is 70% of the courses of Python programming, or a database course, those faculty kind of assume that we start from zero, but the pace of those courses is really fast. So if you really have not seen Python programming before, you will get lost in a couple of weeks. So it do, we don’t strictly require you to take this bridge course and you know, prepare yourself, but we give you those resources that will make your life really, really easier, once you take those technical introductory courses. And it’s something that you know, I strongly recommend, and again, the moment you get admitted to the program, you will be added to the bridge course, with those four components. From practical perspective, probably the last part, the part four, which is about programming is the most important, but others are also important.

CASEY SCHULZ: And then the next question as a full time health health worker, it would be important to know how many hours per week I would need a budget for in the week.

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: There is a rule of thumb, they know that and, you know, usually, you know, you have a three credit hour course, in an eight week condensed course, you need to add at least another nine hours on top of that. So we’re talking about probably 12 hours, maybe a little less, maybe two more. And that’s a rule of tap. Right? I mean, some courses are easier, some courses are more difficult, you know, in one courses you spent, you know, spent those three hours, you know, on the you know, reviewing materials on the for the online courses, and course, related to you know, recorded videos and other things. And maybe another few hours just doing some reading quick assignment, and it will be easy. For the other course you’ll spend 20 hours a week and you know, hardly actually make it to the assignment deadline. Because some courses are more difficult, some are easier. There is really big difference between different students, you know, the same course, one students find extremely easy, the other very difficult. And the same two students will like completely switch or they think about some other course. So it’s very personal. But I would expect, you know, somewhere 10 hours minimum, you need to budget every week, you know, to complete assignments to you know, go through material and so on.

CASEY SCHULZ: And then the next question, I have a strong public health background and currently work at a nonprofit, but do not have a great degree in public health. Can the intro public health classes still be waived? I am also a certified community health worker? The answer

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: is no. And this is because we are a College of Public Health. And as a College of Public Health. Every student in our college, which is self accredited college is required to take a public health course in return only the only exception is for somebody who already graduated from Ceph accredited program. And we had this discussion back and forth, you know, with academic affairs and with the accrediting body. And the short answer is actually no you have to come from you have to have a degree in public health in order to enter class.

CASEY SCHULZ: And then another question. Do you know how many students on the program go on to pursue the am I a health informatics certification? Or some other recognized certification? If there are more?

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: There are? Well, so one is the Aimia. Aimia is actually American medical informatics Association. And actually, the BT Emir meeting is actually starting this weekend. And you know, this is where we’re actually going on, you know, on Sunday, and we’ll be there next week. And you know, this, it’s more of a research organization, and everybody doing research in informatics will be there. It’s one of the big important metrics. We have couple of students who do offer Aimia certification. There are two types of EMEA certification there is Aimia certification. One is specifically for clinicians. And you know, these are if you’re if I didn’t know what your bread rank but if you are a physician, you can actually pursue physician certification for from Aimia. And if you are in there is another certification for doctorally trained students. And there is another type of certification at Aimia, which is more racing experienced. But that actually requires many, many, many working years of experience. So you wouldn’t be be able to do it immediately after graduating, they do require many years of experience, however, are more relevant to actually informatics, it’s hips, it’s a CP hims and CA hips. These are two certifications which are done by different organization, which is HIMS, which is called Information Systems Management Society. And these are essentially industry gold standards. If you think of me as a more academic organization, hims is an industrial organization. And we have a good number of students that actually received ca hims or CP, human certification, we don’t prepare you exactly to take the test. There is no course in the program that says, you know, you, you take the test for four CPMs. But we did some pretty close mapping between what’s required for CPMs into what we cover in the program, and there is a very good overlap. I wouldn’t say it’s everything, but it will make you very close to being prepared, you still need to you know, learn nuances how to answer their specific questions on the test. But you will be fairly close to actually getting to speaking exam of the program.

CASEY SCHULZ: Alrighty, any, any last questions? Can you talk more about the capstone projects that have been completed? In the program?

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: Okay, you will, I can talk about a capstone project, or I can talk in general, you know, there are like, you know, we have a couple of 100 graduates from the project program. So, you know, we’re actually lots of projects completed over the years, right. And I mean, both combined, in online and in, in person programs. They can, they’re all over the place, you know, some students will go out there, and, you know, analyze data about something specific, and, you know, report on the results. You know, we may have somebody, we have a person who is actually a nurse, and that person went to surgical unit in a hospital, and extracted data about delays in the operating rooms. And the capstone project was really about understanding, you know, when the delays happen, what are the causes for the delays? How scheduling KB changed to affect those delays, and lots of similar type of questions that you actually answered. So it was very purely data analysis, project that in which data was extracted from EHR system. And that didn’t analyze that data. Some other student, essentially work with a team that built in cell phone up for a mobile intervention for patients who have some chronic conditions. And that was a nonprofit organization that got deployed. And actually, you know, that a nonprofit organization is used it to provide educational materials to their patients. So they’re all in some are more managerial. And so, those projects are all over the place. Usually, the scope is that it is actually doable within eight weeks of the condensed Capstone you have in the online project, although the faculty that runs capstone was, her name is Dr. Emang, Alaska, she actually reaches out to all students way, way way before you actually start talking about get enrolled in the capstone project. Because you need to be ready, you need to work on, you know, finding the right place, you know, our faculty helped you find a place. But you know, finding an internship or Capstone place is like looking for a job. And that’s a skill you need to get to. So she reaches out to those two took informatics students way before you actually start looking for the extra Capstone and walks you through the process, what needs to be done, and all the other things. So the moment you start the course that is about doing the Capstone, you already have the placement, you know where to go, all the formal requirements are satisfied, all the contractual needs are done. If there is a need of a special contract between Mason or wherever you go, it’s already signed. So on the first date of the extra Capstone, you can go there and work on your project. So there is a process to it. And that process actually starts long before you start the actual customer.

CASEY SCHULZ: That’s very informative. Thank you. Someone else asked money for in state there, I can answer that there are no difference between in state and out of state tuition for the fully online program 12 courses equal to 36 credits, three credits per credit hour, that’s about $100 per credit hour. So the total for tuition for the entire program is 30,120. Again, no difference between in state or out of state tuition for the online. And then the person that asked the question about the practicum said, Thanks for forgiving, forgiving a sense of the process range and scope of the capstone project projects. And that helps me as well when I talk to the students to get a little bit more information about what those capstone projects look like. So great question.

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: One more thing to the capstone project. Even this is fully online program. And you know, many of you may be all over the country. You know, some students are locally here in Northern Virginia. And if you happen to be here, you know, we have this very nice presentations of you know, projects at the end. And online students can join the virtual, you know, present their work with the capstones, but you’re actually physically not in Virginia, you’re welcome to actually be in person at the presentation of the presentations of the posters or the capsules. So you we do this nice combined event at the end where you have to present your work.

CASEY SCHULZ: Oh, that’s great. That’s really cool. Awesome. Great questions, everyone. Any last questions? As we start to wrap up, does working in the health informatics required a certification to work? No.

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: No in depth is different, for example, from HRM, health information management management, in which you actually have to be recertified in health informatics Actually no.

CASEY SCHULZ: Already, well, also everyone, if you’re looking at this page, now, if you scan the QR code, that would be the link to start the application. Our next upcoming term is spring, it’s dark date is January 8, deadline for applications for the Spring term are December 4, our next term upcoming is fall and summer. So that’s kind of where we’re at. And then next terms, sooner that you apply, the sooner you can get a decision. But we always recommend the sooner the better. I’m also going to put down my my contact information, if you are interested in starting the application, feel free to contact me or call the main line that will also input here.

DR. JANUSZ WOJTUSIAK: And sooner also means that you get sooner access to the bridge course. Yeah, actually, you know, if you’re, if you aren’t recommended to the bridge course, you know, you have more time to do it. Absolutely.

CASEY SCHULZ: And that’s a great incentive to start sooner rather than later for sure. Alrighty, well, thank you, everyone, for joining tonight. Got a good amount of people and great, great questions. And thank you, Professor autoshack, for joining us tonight. And taking taking the time out of your day to join us and give us some information about the program. It’s really helpful for myself, and I know definitely really helpful and appreciated by the students as well. Thank you. Alrighty, well, everyone, I’m gonna stop sharing. But I hope everyone has a great rest of their night and enjoys their weekend on Veterans Day, as well. So have a great rest of your night.

MS in Learning Design and Technology Transcript

STEPHANIE RACINE: At this point, I’m going to hand this over to our instructors who have agreed to join us tonight, Dr. Dabbagh, Dr. Bannan and Dr. Wilson. So welcome. And thank you all, again, so much for taking the time to speak with us.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Of course, thank you very much, and welcome, everybody. We’re excited to see you this evening. And we hope that we are able to share things about the program that make it special compared to some of the other programs that are out there. Which brings me right to this first slide of our graduates, we’re very proud of our graduates. And this is a recent class. And you can see Dr. Bannan there and Dr. Dabbagh and some of our students there I am on the right side. And one of the things that’s different about this program is that we really are human centered. And that’s kind of a family kind of thing, because we’re a small program, so you get a lot of one on one attention. But the other reason the slide is up here is that the concept of human centered design, the idea that instructional design, and learning design and technology is fundamentally about equal. There’s a lot of technology and a lot of other things that we talk about in the program, learning theory, design theory, those sort of things. But really, what we’re about is, is people, and that’s what makes instructional design a critical field these days and learning design and technology critical field these days, because we can influence outcomes in a variety of settings. So there are some of our happy graduates, they have good jobs. Now we can talk about that as we go through the slides. Oops, sorry about that. All right. Let’s take it away to the next slide. So one of the main things about the program, in addition to being human centered is that we’re very flexible, we’re 100% online, each course in the program is eight weeks in length. And if you’re working, or you have a family to take care of, or any other type of activities that you might be doing, this program can be fit into your current life. Now it’s a it’s a comprehensive program, you will be busy, it’s demanding. But we think that all of that’s good because when you leave us with your degree, or your elearning certificate, which we’re going to be talking about in a little bit, you should have a really good job and make a good salary. And so part of that post pandemic, these days is work life balance. So we think we’ve set up a, a wonderful program that allows you to maintain that work life balance. And so here’s one of our students, one of our former students, a graduate who’s working in the Northern Virginia area. Her name is Jill Mitchell, and so she has this short testimonial we’d like you to take a listen to so let’s listen to that now.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Yes, and if anyone has difficulty hearing this, we did test it at it ahead of time, but there is a link in the chat. So you can watch it but you should be able to hear this well right now.

JILL MITCHELL: My name is Jill Mitchell, and I’m a professor of accounting at Northern Virginia Community College. This is a flexible program for working professionals to really enhance their instructional design skills. Or for somebody like me to learn instructional design for the first time, you have the opportunity to work with your peers in the program to practice what you’ve learned to implement to design and create solutions to real learning problems and can manage the entire design process. My journey after completing the program really gave me the confidence to explore and design meaningful learning experiences for my accounting students. It gave me the confidence to share my instructional design expertise with accounting educators across the country at conferences and giving webinars. I think anyone who works in the learning space will find that this program is exactly what you need at any point in your career. Because whether you are an experienced professional that you need to just enhance your skills, or if you need to learn this for the first time. This program is going to give you the confidence to become an expert in instructional design.

DR. DOUG WILSON: And so that confidence that you saw on display there and I saw a lot of Phil Mitchell, Jill Mitchell being Jill Mitchell, but at the other piece of it is her way of speaking about the program and the tools that gave her and the credibility it gave her that cuts across all disciplines. So whether you’re in education as Jill is, or you’re in the medical field, or you’re in the tech field or the defense industry, we have quite a few of our students who are working in the defense industry, you’re going to have that authority and that credibility in either your future working environment or your current working environment where you are now. So let’s take a look at the

JILL MITCHELL: resumes reason, Mitchell, and I’m a professor of accounting.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Sorry about that next slide.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Yes, please. So, here’s a brief testimonial, from yet another student about the actual work in the program that you do. Of course, it’s all online. And so take a look at this, I’m just going to pause for just a moment. So you can read that. So students leave us with more than skills, which is important. We want those to transfer into the workplace. But one of the catchphrases about George Mason is that we’re all together different. And I think this student testimonial embodies that spirit. And altogether different means a lot of other, it means a lot of different things. But we really do respect individuals, and how they think through this complex learning design and technology field, right? There’s no shortage of problems in the world that needs solutions. And so this gratitude that you see in this post from this student, that’s meaningful to us, because we’re a small family, essentially. And we get to know all of our students as individuals. And so I think that testimonial here really points to is the nature that instructional line is about people

DR. BRENDA BANNAN: are losing your audio just a little bit that next slide, please.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Thank you. I’ll keep it tight. So you know who these people are. I’m the academic program director and an assistant professor. I’ve been at George Mason, about two and a half years now. I love it. And Dr. Dabbagh is our program director, and the Division Director, excuse me. And Dr. Brenda Bannan of course, is a professor of learning design and technology. And we teach we do research, we do presentations. If you Google, Dr. Dabbagh, or Dr. Bannan, you’re just gonna get a laundry list of books that they’ve written papers, peer reviewed, papers, presentations, they done they’re quite influential in the field. And I’m following in their footsteps as an assistant professor and so I get a lot of guidance from them and hope to join them, you know, at the, at the high ranks, that they are now during my stay and in my career at George Mason. Next slide, please. I also want to open it up to Dr. Bannan and Dr. Dabbagh and any thoughts they might have, if they feel like they want to add something here. But we talk about the technology field and learning design and technology and the jobs that are available. So now this is that point in the presentation where we’re going to talk about employment, and the dollars and cents side of things. And so on your screen right now you see the the brand names essentially of some very large corporations and businesses. Some of these are global corporations, and many of them have operations in the in the DC metro area, this Smithsonian Institution, S A I see Booz Allen Hamilton, these are a very large defense contractors. We employ a lot of people all over the world who are making sure America and our allies stay safe National Geographic Society if you tune into any streaming service, on a weekend or a weekday, you’re likely to see some programming from National Geographic Society that perhaps many of our students have been involved in on the teaching and learning side of things in the instructional design side of things and at that organization and of course, George Mason is on the slide there as well. So our graduates, and our current students actually are often working in departments or divisions at George Mason University to earn their degrees and practice what, what they’re learning from us in the program. Next slide, please.

DR. NADA DABBAGH: I’d like to add here, if we can go back to that slide that one of the cool things about our program is that when our students work, you know, graduate, they may already be working at some of these examples that Professor Wilson just shared with you, but um, we have a listserv where we are constantly with so many partners in the DMV area and beyond the DMV stands for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, of course, but we have a listserv and our alums are just amazing, because they keep sending us job opportunities, and we funnel them through this listserv, to our current students who are, you know, active students. And so we have a great connection with our alums. And with the with these partners on this is just a sampling of, of the partners in the area and beyond. And so our alarms really help will help you as students, if you’re looking to transition, let’s say, from a K 12 environment to a, you know, corporate, nonprofit, government contracting space, to, to practice your knowledge and learning design and technology, you’ll have a lot of support is what I’m trying to say you have a lot of support from these partners that we already know and work with. And you have a lot of support from our alums who are constantly sending us opportunities, work opportunities, internships, etc. And we funnel them to our current students, and, you know, that’s kind of how, how things keep flowing. So, so Joe’s recent graduates and students, you know, kind of get priority with these with these companies and organizations because of the connection that we have with them. And with our alums.

DR. BRENDA BANNAN: We’re kind of, we’re kind of a community of practice, I might add to that. And it’s, it really is our students are our best advocates for our program. Our alums also appear in some of our courses, they will come to events and panels and online, offline and others. So that regional perspective as well as a national perspective, we really have the best alums who students get jobs from other students and progress and advance through their connections through the program, they advance their careers. So tech going to point

DR. DOUG WILSON: thank you for that. Both of you. Excellent input there. And so, in case you’re wondering, here’s some of the career opportunities. We talked about the corporations and organizations where some of our alums work, but here are some of the job titles that they have. And you can see there’s a big list. I know there’s some interests out there in UX design, and we can answer some questions about that. But look at the other things on this list, Instructional Designer, learning developer, under the designer developer piece, which gets talked about a lot, but then some of our students have the entrepreneurial spirit. And so they come in, and then they go out and they start consulting firms. And so I’ve met some of these students, and some of them are doing really well with their consulting work. And so if you have more of an entrepreneurial lean, then you can, you know, get some of the tools that you need here to engage in that, as well as professional credibility with a master’s degree from George Mason University, which is a well known school. And then if you’re already working in a field that has training and development, or instructional design. Moving up the moving up the ladder in your current organization is something that our students also do. And so having the base and the base, but having rather developed some expertise at a high level in a master’s degree program or with the elearning certificate, this gives you an anti organization and most of them are technology based these days post 10 Post pandemic, you’re going to have a leg up and in a room full of people you oftentimes with your training might be the only one who knows what you know, and can influence an outcome for an organization in a positive way that but others might not be able to do because they just don’t have the training in the

DR. BRENDA BANNAN: background. And if I might add, Doug, some of you may have these titles already, and have been doing this work for a while. And the master’s degree gives you kind of that credibility. And so, you know, we get that as well. I’ve taught students I’ve been here 27 years, I’ve taught students who have had 20 to 25 years of experience all the way down to, you know, just a few years, and everything in between. So it really becomes kind of a way to network with other professionals in the field, as well as kind of advanced from whatever point you’re you are, whatever goals that you have for yourself in this field. So I just wanted to add that a little bit done.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Thank you. Thank you, Brenda. Next slide, please. And so now, on the screen graph, the dollars and cents side of things, and this are some of the salaries that you could expect to make, with certain years of experience starting on the low end at 56k. And that might even be a little bit low, one year of experience, and then moving up the ladder, over 10, 15, 20 years topping out on this slide anyway, it’s 78k I’m keenly aware that there are people with master’s degrees who are senior instructional designers, or directors, or managers of organizations, our graduates are earning a lot more than that in the Washington DC area in particular, which is really a a center for all types of military training, commercial training, organizational training, Amazon’s a big player now in the northern Virginia, or the DC area, rather. And so salaries have bumped up. And this is despite, you know, some trends in the technology industry, you’ve probably heard about, you know, some downsizing in San Jose and some other tech capitals, but the tech hasn’t gone away, it’s still there. And it still needs people who understand it beyond, you know, the flashing lights are the, you know, the latest gadget that you bring to a training organization. But there are some of the salaries that you can expect to make as return on your investment and a master’s degree. And again, I think these numbers are a little bit low. Yeah,

DR. NADA DABBAGH: yeah, it was in the we need to update them, I think there are no.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Next slide, please. And so, you’ve already heard a bit about what makes our Learning Design and Technology program unique. But here’s some more specifics, we have an elearning graduate certificate that’s built into the program. So you can either earn that separately, or you can earn a master’s degree, and specialize in elearning. And the three of us can talk a little bit more about that. If you have some questions or now, you can also take classes that are, you know, part time format in the sense that our courses are eight weeks in length. And so you take three graduate credit hours at a time. And so this gives you some flexibility. Not every program is like that some programs load students up with a lot of credits, and you can really only focus on that. And so when we talk about work life balance, I think that’s one of the pluses that we have, in addition to the individual attention that you get from your faculty, advisors, and we’re the three faculty advisors, George Mason University is well known, the College of Education is very well known that the US News and World Report their ranks as 67 out of 456 colleges of education in the United States. So that’s really cool. And then we have a competitive tuition that makes our education available to students. And then as Dr. DuBois was saying, and as Dr. Bannon was saying, the added value is this network that you become a part of. And so when you’re looking at Coursera, or you’re looking at some of these other programs out there, I’m not gonna knock those are their programs, but we’re not this massive entity. We’re three professors. We get to know our students and everything is very hands on. And so I want to say just quickly a little piece about that. This is not some esoteric program where you’re learning theories and you’re reading papers. I mean, you do those things. But the focus is really on authentic learning experiences. And so what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is students who come to us and work on their master’s degrees or elearning certificates, typically are bringing in real life projects from their organizations, and they’re getting an opportunity to develop those projects, or design them with faculty members who know what they’re talking about. But then you also get to rub shoulders, as Dr. Bannon said, with your classmates, many of whom will already be working in Learning Design and Technology field. And so not only is this an added value, but it it, it adds exponentially to the experience that you have. And you leave here with friends and people that you know, in the business, and that was one of the other reasons why we had that first slide on the screen. That’s a family that you’re looking at there. And you can be a part of that family. Please, Yep, yeah, someone,

DR. NADA DABBAGH: somebody needs to mute. But I just want to add that, as Dr. Wilson just mentioned, we this is a graduate program, there are no tests, no exams, in every course that you take, there’s a design project. So it’s very project based, and it’s, you’re designing something, either individually or collaboratively within a group. And we’ll talk a little bit more about the program in a moment, but it’s very hands on, as Dr. Wilson mentioned, it’s very, you know, you get to design, training, learning instruction, using technology for a real client that you could bring to the table yourself or some of your peers in the program will and lots of opportunities to, to, you know, create a portfolio that the you can then showcase and, and be proud of your designs, and what you what you’ve done.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Thank you, Dr. Dubois. And so we talked about flexible curriculum, it’s accredited, of course. And here are some of the courses actually, these are most of the courses that we that we offer. I think they’re all on the screen. And so that first course, under core courses, you can see the list there, that instructional design course is a foundational course, that’s my course. It’s a great course, it’s kind of where we set the tone for everything to come. A lot of the things that we talk about in instructional design are kind of old school. But if you think about it, like chemistry class that you took in high school, or in university for the first time, you cover all of the basics, you learn the language, you you reaffirm things that you know, if you’ve already been practicing in this area of instructional design, and then the sequence of courses is they’re listed in the sequence that you take them include instructional tech, foundations and theories of learning. I call this the adult learning class, adult learning theories class. That’s a class that I also teach. And then Dr. DeVos touched on this about the authentic learning experiences and the project based design that we do business of learning, design and technology. And so we’re talking about learning theory and those sorts of pieces that are part of this program. But really, there’s a bottom line focused all that we do that you cover in a course, like 706, which is about return on investment is about revenue streams, which is about costs for developing training. And you know, how do you pitch that to a manager and who needs to be on your team in order to develop that training, so that you meet the organization’s bottom line, which is usually a financial bottom line, which is different than say, Jill, who you’ve heard from earlier, who’s working in an education institution. And the bottom line is there. What did students learn, as opposed to a business which is, you know, essentially, you know, how much money did we make, so you can be a part of those conversations. And then on down the list, I don’t want to go through all of these because I want to leave some time for questions. But 732 and 752 are two courses that are focused on UX. So I know there’s some interest in UX in the room here. And so you can see these two courses are paired, analyzing user experience and learning design and technology, very current class. And then 752, which is the companion course, to 732, where you dig even deeper on the UX side of things. And then another one of our newer courses is edit, sip the 751 You hear a lot about learning analytics. These days. Well, this is one of our new courses that takes you through learning analytics and how systems collect for So volumes, like huge volumes of information and data. And so how do you how do you package that, evaluate it, look at it, and derive meaning from the enormous data streams that technology collects these days, which also has a very big bottom line oriented orientation to it in terms of money that organizations make. And then there are some elective options. So you can specialize web accessibility and design, I love that class. We get into in that course, some HTML, you don’t have to be a programmer to be in the course. But we talk about cascading style sheets, and how technology can be used from a universal design for learning framework to make sure that everybody is included that you pull everybody in, nobody gets left out in a training, or an instructional design project, which is important from the learning aspect. But also for legal reasons, depending on the organization that you work for. Right? There’s a lot of regulation when it comes to web accessibility and design and making sure every learner who comes to you, whether it’s in a school or an organization can access that training. So you can have some skill set to protect your organization as well. Project management, elearning design applications, online teaching essentials. And then I’m happy to tell you about this course, which I’m teaching now edit 772 augmented reality and virtual reality and gaming applications. I have that course underway right now, we actually have students, a student in New Zealand kind of funding the UK was a scientist, British Telecom, I

DR. NADA DABBAGH: hope she’s you breaking up,

DR. DOUG WILSON: I hope she’s going to be able to come to our Yep, sorry about that. I think we got a little lag here. So I’m just going to abbreviate this conversation or this part of the presentation, and say, next slide, we have a lot to offer. And so that’s what the screen is about. Next slide, please. Alright, so we’re coming to the tail end of the presentation here, this is how you get admission to our program. We require a bachelor’s degree and usually two to three years of work experience, although it kind of always depends on what you bring to the table and what you write in that. That information in that essay that you have to write for the program. And then we want to see transcripts, and resumes. And we have some other protocols provisional application. So let’s say that you’re somebody who has been away from school for a long time, maybe you didn’t do that well in college, that should not be a barrier to applying to the program. Because the three of us look at these applications. And we are, we have enough experience that we can kind of discern from the application materials who’s a good fit, and who can be capable of doing graduate work. So if you don’t have a, you don’t have a 3.5 or a 3.0. Don’t let that stop you from applying. We have many students who have applied and didn’t have stellar college records, but they ended up leaving the program with good grades and they get great jobs. The personal statement and goal, this is kind of the bottom line here. You want to make sure that it’s clean, no typos, that it’s focused, that it’s coherent, that you have goals that you know why you want to do this degree, because that’s going to be the that’s going to be the fuel that’s going to carry you through what is an intense two year period, if you work on the master’s degree, and then two professional letters of recommendation. And then importantly, no gr e required. And that’s the admissions process. In short apply, we want you to apply. Yeah, and I want

DR. NADA DABBAGH: to mention that if you apply for spring, those of you who are here on this call, I’m happy to work to waive the application fee. So I can work with Stephanie racin. And make sure that because you attended this information session, I’m happy to waive the application fee. I also want to add that our program is 30 credits if you want to get a master’s degree and 15 credits if you want to get the graduate elearning certificate. And as Dr. Wilson mentioned, there embed embedded like they’re integrated. So you apply to the master’s degree do that apply to the Masters of Science in learning, design and technology and once you apply and and you get accepted. And Dr. Wilson explained the criteria, you will be assigned an advisor, one of us like either myself, Dr. Wilson, or Dr. Bannon. And we will work with you one on one on your program plan. So that you can achieve, let’s say the certificate first, if that’s your desire, and then the Masters later, if you already have a certificate, and you’re not interested in earning another certificate, even though the certificate is very specialized to the elearning field, then you can just go ahead and get the masters. But the, the program I’m based on, because most of our students 90% work full time, they have families and you know, other obligations. And as Dr. Wilson mentioned, in the beginning, our program is flexible so that you’re only taking six credits per semester, which is typically about two courses. And they’re not even overlapping, because as Dr. Wilson mentioned, you do first eight weeks of the semester, you take one course you’re done with it. And then you start another course for another eight weeks. So every semester, you’re doing two courses that are not overlapping, and they are like six sequence back to back. So if you start in the spring, you should be looking at getting your elearning graduate certificate in December of 2024. And we will do our best to make that happen for you. And you would be looking at earning your Masters of Science and Learning Design and Technology, potentially, in May of 2025, or in the end of summer 2025, depending on your pace. And of course, depending on the program offerings. So again, you’re kind of getting to bang for the buck as one says, you’ll graduate within, you know, two years plus or minus about, you know, four semesters, including summers, or one summer with your elearning certificate and your Masters of Science in learning design and technology. So even if you’re not applying specifically to the elearning graduate certificate, once we are your advisors, we will work with you to make sure that that certificate is included as part and parcel of this graduate program, it’s just a matter of adding a form. So that we know that if you want that certificate, you can actually get it and get it you know, faster than you would get the master’s degree. Again, the certificate, it’s the same courses, there might be minimal differences. But it’s the same courses as the masters. But they’re compacted in a way like you only need 15 credits, to get the elearning graduate certificate and 30 credits to get the master’s degree. But all of these 15 credits will apply towards the Masters, or at least 1212 of them will apply towards the masters. And one last thing I want to say is I’m going to put in the chat, right now a link to our division of Learning Technologies newsletter and take some time to click on it and bookmark it or keep it or save the link so that later on tonight or during the rest of this week, you can really look at this user first, you will learn about us the faculty and you know our publications, our research interests, etc. But more importantly, you will be able to see under the Student News, you will be able to see what the students are doing in the program, what kind of projects they’re working on? And how are they working on those projects. And you know, who are the clients, it’ll really give you an idea of the stellar work that our students are doing, and the types of instructional design or learning design or user experience design projects that you will be working on when you get into this program. So thank you. That’s kind of what I wanted to say.

DR. DOUG WILSON: Those are all wonderful ads, Dr. Dubois and I think we’re on the last site slide or pretty close to it. And there’s a QR code for you there and some contact information but take Dr. de vos advice, look at that newsletter. Reach out to us or you can use the contact information there on the on the screen. And so with that, there’s a lot more that we could say but it’s time to open it up for some q&a and find out what’s on your mind and answer any unanswered questions that you may have.

STEPHANIE RACINE: You Yes, thank you so much for that presentation and especially the explanation Dr. de Bourgh of the certificate and the Masters because that is a question that comes up but as we understand it, then within the 10 courses, they can have 30 credits, they come away if they choose if they work with their advisor to earning the certificate bundled in with the masters. Is that correct? All right. Very good. So that is a huge value. Now, as far as our panel of professors, can you see the questions? Or would you prefer that I read them? Or can you see the raised hands?

DR. NADA DABBAGH: I was able to, but I think Kailyn just put her hand down. But I’d rather that you go there, she has her hand up. So maybe you should call on them to ask the question. Or if you can, let us know what the questions are? Because I can’t. Yeah, yes,

STEPHANIE RACINE: yes. So Caitlin was asking, how many of the skills when you were talking about the classes? I think you went on to answer that question after because you mentioned their hands on projects, you know that as far as the skills but earlier in the presentation, he was asking how many of the skills from the list of employers can people expect to get from this program? So I know, you mentioned that it’s very project based very hands on, could you maybe give us some examples of student projects and how they related to their careers?

DR. NADA DABBAGH: I’m sure I’m not sure I understand the question. I’ll let Doug and Brenda tackle it. But we because we are an accredited program, of course, we have to subscribe to instructional design skills. So our entire program, every course in our program is aligned currently with what we call the STP instructional design competencies. These are the performance training and improvement competencies that drive our field. So if you’re asking about the the companies that want to hire you, all of them, I mean, they send us the the the the, the instructional design opening position, or it could be, as Dr. Wilson mentioned, if we can go back to that slide that had the names of all the potential employment. Titles, yes, right there. So some companies would be asking for Director of learning and development Now that one is a little bit of a higher level, you know, job you would need to have, I believe, a lot of years of experience, all of these positions that you will come across will list the skills and the competencies that they need, they will list the number of a number of years of experience that they want. And you know, depending on the years of experience, and depending on the level of the position, you know, you may be hired or not. But obviously, if you are going to be hired as under designers and developer like instructional designer, absolutely all of the skills listed in positions for instructional designers, you will gain in the program learning designer, the same UX designer, the same curriculum designer, the same learning architect, the same. I mean, when you get to the level of a consultant, though, or wanting to be a director of training and development, then you I think it it, it depends on the number of years of experience. But yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s what we train you to do, is to be able to be hired using those positions. And perhaps Dr. Bannon wants to add to that, or Dr. Wilson? Yeah, I

DR. BRENDA BANNAN: would just say, you know, the project based orientation across all of the courses is, is one aspect, but bringing what you bring to bear and enhancing and expanding your knowledge and your skills and your abilities in the field, is what we’re focused on. So many skill sets and many points of knowledge, for example, we are, we will include, you know, kind of the UX design, analysis, design, development and evaluation process across those two companion courses that Doug spoke about. And in that process, you will work to uncover usage research kind of processes to uncover a need and uncover an audience and figure out at what level and being able to then do a conceptual design that you know, some people would call learning experience design, which is another aspect human centered design that Doug spoke about orientation, and take an approach to ideation and sketching and wireframing and putting putting some some design ideas together and putting out a conceptual prototype and evaluating that with target audience members. So there’s a process model that just one of many that are taught in in this as part of your skill set. In courses like learning analytics course that Doug mentioned, we have the most current thinking on as artificial intelligence and education and how it is utilized, whether it’s chat GPT, or some of the current tools that are all embedding generative AI in them, we talk about that and the algorithms and how they can be used for personalized learning for adaptive learning. So there’s much there’s, there’s a lot of richness underneath of each course that keeps you current. And ahead, we strive for that we work very hard for that in the field, so that your skill set, you know, based on the projects that you’re doing really reflects that, that current knowledge and skills that are expected and that meet those job requirements, or it meet your goals to advance your career. So we’re very cognizant of really bringing that to bear. So I’ll pass it to Doug.

DR. DOUG WILSON: All all excellent points. And I’ll just put an exclamation point on it by sharing three quick stories. So this term because of the dynamic nature of our business, I felt I needed to change up the augmented reality Virtual Reality course. And so rather than have office hours this week, I found an online virtual conference in the Netherlands. And so my students rather than coming to office hours and talking about their, their, their projects that they’re working on, I say, Let’s pause for a minute. And I would like you to go to the Netherlands to the virtual space that they have set up there and a system that called spatial IO, I hope I got the name, right. And so this week, I’m looking for them to bring back something that we can talk about in a system we use called VoiceThread, which is going to allow them to share in a very dynamic way, what they learned at a conference working with European scientists, and augmented reality, experts. And this, so we’re going to talk about that. And then one other two other pieces that I wanted to mention about projects, and you can read about this in the newsletter, our students are simply amazing. A lot of these AI ideas I couldn’t come up with on my own or say, oh, you should do this, right. I had a student last year who graduated, and this lady is the head of training for Oregon tissue transplant bank, for the state of South Carolina, she developed training that literally pair pears, the families of loved ones who lost their lives, with the organs and tissues that they need to donate so others can live. I mean, imagine this, how sensitive you would have to be to develop that type of training. And she did it for the state of South Carolina. That’s just one of our graduates. And then the other one that I want to mention is this was about two years ago, we had some students come in to my course from the Foreign Service Institute, the United States State Department. And these ladies identified that there was a instructional problem or performance problem in Russian speaking countries, where the Americans who are protecting our embassies overseas, were not communicating very well with their Russian counterparts, security operatives, about things like suspicious packages in front of the embassy left on the ground. I mean, it’s kind of mind boggling when you think about it. But our students are developing that kind of training, that I guarantee you at the State Department right now. It’s deployed overseas, in Russian speaking countries where Americans are working, where it was our students job to develop training to protect Americans working overseas. And so So George Mason is about creating a more fair, free and just world. Our students are actually doing that they’re empowered to do it because of the skill set and the things that we excite our students about and get them talking about.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Yes, I know you had an excellent example in a prior open house about a female employee also. So very practical, hands on skills from the program. And for those of you that may have joined us late, I just wanted to remind you that we just have a just a, just a few more minutes, but if you have questions, you can type them into the chat. I don’t see any raised hands currently, but you can also raise your hand and I just wanted to go back while we see if any last minute questions come in. I have had many students ask if they have a decent GPA, say say they’re around a 3.0 GPA, right? and about there, but what if they don’t have any prior learning design and technology experience? Is there? Are there classes that you would recommend that someone take first? Or can they apply to this program now?

DR. BRENDA BANNAN: I think having having an interest and really what they say in that goal statement is very important for all different cases. So being able to, you know, if if you don’t have formal experience, I’ve had students who will encapsulate, you know, an informal experience that they’ve had this in teaching, training, or design of some sort that learning design oriented. So, you know, the field is so vast, our field is very eclectic, we don’t have one exact undergrad that, you know, we don’t have one exact skill set or knowledge to come in. And that actually makes it a very rich learning experience, because people come in from many different areas and many different fields, and they enrich each other’s experience by, you know, we’ve had former teachers to military professionals, to corporate professionals to you know, nonprofits everything, oh, probably the World Bank, everything across the board I’ve had, it’s, it’s wonderful to enrich that. Because you begin to think, oh, yeah, you know, this is something I’ve never thought about, or this is how, you know, we’re doing the kind of the same thing that you are, and you know, that you get those kinds of exchanges that are very, very rich to make the classroom that way. So if you have some formal or informal type of, of experience or strong interest, and you can, you can lay that out, but we will consider it. Absolutely.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Thank you. Well, I am not seeing any questions trickle in right now. Is anyone else out there seeing any raised hands or questions, just making sure I’m not missing any.

DR. NADA DABBAGH: Now, it’s really great for you guys to attend. And yes, as I mentioned, you know, we hope that you will apply and we can waive the application fee. And you know, you can work with Stephanie. So if you have any questions you can feel, you know, reach out to questions about the program, academic questions, you feel free to reach out to Dr. Wilson. About that you can look at our program, also online. Thank

STEPHANIE RACINE: you, Dr. Dubois for that. And I just wanted to reiterate that, it may seem like it’s just around the corner. But with the new year, it’s your start, you know, it’s your chance to really learn those new skills, these hands on skills where you come away with a portfolio of work and access to the listserv opportunities and access to the Career Center as well. So if you’re ready to get started, look for that email or give us a call here at 703-348-5006. You can scan the QR code, or see the link at the bottom, we’ll be working with you throughout the application process, you do still have time will be they will be reviewing the files up front between now and up through before the start of class. But the deadline is December 4, we’d like to have all the files in by 9am or earlier. The sooner you complete your file, the sooner you’ll have your decision. And that gives you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the holidays. So thank you again for joining us, all of you. And does anyone else have anything to add? I know we’ve seen a lot of thank yous in the chat for participating professors. So thank you again. And if anyone else has anything to share, just let us know.

Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Transcript

PAM HAYRE: My name is Pam and I’m an admissions representative for the online MSN FNP program here at Mason. And I’m here as a resource for all of you to give information and to questions and kind of walk you through the admissions and application process if this is something you already engaged in, or if you’re looking to open an application soon. So let’s get started here. So first up here, we’ve got the agenda for the evening, we are, of course going to meet our presenter, and we’re going to focus on the MSN FNP program, specifically on what makes a program unique. Looking at curriculum details, and career outcomes as well. Towards the end of the session, we will focus on admission requirements. And there will also be a period of time for q&a At the very end as well. Um, a few housekeeping items here as well that I want to review before we jump in, feel free to use any of these features this evening. So we have of course, a chat, which all of you have already started to use here. You can kind of drop your questions in there. As they pop up. There is also a q&a box that you can ask the questions in as well. And you can of course, raise your hand. But I would recommend just kind of saving your questions till the end because they might be addressed during the session itself. And there will be plenty of time at the end there for a q&a portion to make sure those questions get answered as well. But please don’t be shy, you can add those questions in as the session is going. Okay. Without further delay, I’d like to hand over to our presenter this evening, Dr. Shanti Cheng.

DR. SHANTI CHANG: Hi. Yes, thank you so much, Pam. And thank you everyone for joining. As Pam said, my name is Dr. Shakti Chang, I’m an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing here at Mason. And as of this year, I am new to being the Mason online program director, and MSN division director. I was previously the program director for the DNP program at Mason. So if that’s something that you also want to discuss or discuss pathways in general, are pros and cons of each. I’m happy to go into that. But yeah, super excited to be with the Mason online program, specifically this year. And it’s just a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful program. Since we’ve built it. I’ll get into some more details of why I think so after this, but happy to be here with you guys tonight. So we are, as I said some details. Ranked number 37 In the best Master’s of nursing schools by the US News and World Report in 2023. We have financial aid programs and lifetime access to Mason’s Career Services, actively practically practicing faculty with decades of experience in curriculum informed by latest research, and the accreditation of the MSN FNP. Program by CCNE. We are up again for accreditation this year and expect that to go well. So our curriculum is founded on interprofessional education, collaborative core competencies, and we are the only school of nursing that sits within a College of Public Health as of this last year. So that’s really unique and really important to us. I think at Mason, we believe in providing access to those who do not have access. And I think that that’s something that rings true to a lot of us as nurses, we’ve seen how people are impacted by not being able to access health care services. And that’s that’s just really at our core here at Mason. And I can go into more details about how we do that, including our map clinics. I’m happy to answer any questions as it relates to that. But our faculty are very passionate, are all active in practice. As nurse practitioners, we all honestly all of us work really hard to see patients who do not have insurance. I think that our curriculum is competitive and really tries to prepare the best nurse practitioners. And we have a 100% pass pass rate for the boards. So just lots of really good things happening at Mason, I think things that resonate with why we all became nurses in the first place. So what makes our program unique, we’re very community focused with an evidence based curriculum. Like I said, we do have all of our nurse practitioner faculty in practice, whether it be in community sites or in our free clinic sites at the map clinics. And we really just try to get to places where people don’t have access and we work hand in hand side by side with our nurse practitioner students in that and even if you’re not local to Virginia, we’ve got advanced telehealth options to be able to do that with you, which is really unique I’m really special, we’ve got a presence in the majority of the homeless shelters in the Northern Virginia area, where you work with your faculty as you’re learning in the direct provision of care for them. And I think, just overall, being an understanding program that’s flexible with understanding that you guys are usually navigating family and work and school, were really, really, really responsive, and can be reached easily to discuss some of these things. And make make plans accordingly. So, and we are accredited by CCNE. Like I said, our next accreditation cycle is up this year. But I anticipate that that will go well. So just some really cool things that Mason happening was with a partner paired with opportunities for if you see something that you’re like really passionate about, and you want to practice and work on something or giving access to a certain population, just we’re all we’re all very collaborative and interested in working together to better health care. So our curriculum is, like I said, it’s I think it’s a perfect blend of flexible but structured enough, you typically enter with a cohort that you’ll stay with, if you don’t take any breaks. And if you need to take breaks along the way, then that’s something that you and I would talk about, and figure out and you have a student success Student Success Coach that you’re also assigned to that helps you register and figure all these things out, because I get it life happens. But but we do have a structured plan and pathway through the curriculum. And then, you know, you have the people that you can talk to along the way if things happen and come up, or if you have questions or need to pause for whatever reason. But we start with theoretical and ethical foundations related to nursing because we really think that it’s foundational to have a good basis in theories and ethics as it relates to nursing. And that sets a good baseline for you to move forward from. And then, as I mentioned earlier, we’re the only school of nursing in Virginia that sits within a College of Public Health. And part of that includes them the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team with other health professionals in public health, and in GCH, 500. You actually go into that class and a lot of times are exposed to social work majors or health admin administration or health information technology majors, Global Community Health majors, to to work on some of these things related to public and population health. Nursing 715, is nursing nursing informatics inquiry, I think we’re all very familiar with technology. At this point, we kind of don’t have a choice not to be at least to some extent, but this course really hits on where does nursing live within technology and within data analytics within being able to address issues and come up with evidence based plans moving forward? And then 757 nursing research and biostats is also focused on looking at issues that we might see commonplace in practice, and how do we evaluate the evidence that is there to understand and come up with solutions for it moving forward? And and within 688? We talked about the organization of nursing and healthcare delivery systems, because we need to understand that we sit within a healthcare delivery system in the United States, and how does that, you know, compare and contrast to other systems? What are the challenges? How do we how do we address some of these challenges? I don’t think it’s any secret that probably don’t have it all the way figured out yet. And this is what we hope for our mason nurse practitioner students that you would be a person at the table when you leave here as a graduate who’s who is able to say, here’s the problem, here’s how I want to go about it. Here’s the evidence for that. Here’s my plan. We go into the level two core classes, which are community oriented primary care, decision making and farm management practice health assessment, both clinical and practicum. And then farm and Patho. And those are all really important to establishing your care or establishing your practice as a direct care provider as an advanced practice nurse and helps prepare you to do that. And then you get into your family nurse practitioner concentration courses, which is where you do like the didactics and the clinical for your FNP certification. And it’s really case based learning, competency based learning Do you work in small groups you usually partnered with prepared in a group with six people to one faculty. So it’s really high touch. I mean, I know most of the faculty have text text chains go on with all their students have just say, what are you guys doing today any any interesting ethical or clinical scenarios we want to talk about. And they meet regularly with their students, we do also have students from across all time zones. So it’s not anything that we’re not familiar with in terms of trying to accommodate and just like I said, be accessible and responsive to you guys, because I think that that’s probably one of the better things that Mason does is be available to our students and understand how to navigate both the need for structure, but flexibility. I think there was a slide here Yep, here we go. So career outcomes, like I said, our FMP students are typically, I think the average really has been 100%. On board pass rates, whether that was a MP or ANCC, there’s two boards that you can take as a nurse practitioner, so a little bit different than the NCLEX, when we all became registered nurses. But I think in general, there’s just such a demand for nursing and nurse practitioners and primary care providers. And I think nurse practitioners are uniquely suited to be able to fulfill that need. And we also have that holistic point of view to be able to do it. Not to toot our own horn, but better than a lot of other people. So we’re just really passionate about making our our graduates well prepared, like I said, to sit at that table and be in these critical roles to make the biggest impact in nursing and in healthcare in our country, as we have a lot to improve upon. A lot of our graduates do go to community health centers, primary care practices, home health organizations, urgent cares, hospitals and residential treatment centers. I’m super proud that so many of our graduates continue to work with underserved populations and provide access to those who do not have access. So again, probably when we when we bring it back, and we try to remind ourselves of Why did I even become a nurse in the first place? There’s some things here that really ring true for a lot of people. And, Pam, I think I hand it back to you on this slide. Absolutely.

PAM HAYRE: Yep. So before we jump in here, against reminder to everyone that we have got the q&a box going and the chat box as well. So if you have any questions, please pop them into the box into the chat box. And moving on here to the admission requirements admissions process. So it’s a pretty straightforward application. We obviously need your official transcripts from your undergraduate degree from your BSN. We do require this a 3.0 GPA from your undergraduate degree. If you are having trouble requesting your official transcripts, you’re not sure how to go about that. That’s where we will step in and help you but we can typically get a decision using your other officials, if you have them on file at home, which is always a little bit easier. And then, of course, if you are accepted, we will need your officials on file by the end of the first semester. So that’s a really important piece of the of the packet. We also do require a copy of your resume up to date professional resume, as well as three letters of recommendation professional letters of recommendation. And what you will be doing with that is inputting the names and email addresses of your recommenders into the portal. And they receive a questionnaire kind of format recommendation. So we’re not expecting your traditional letters of recommendation, which can be a little bit more time consuming. So that should kind of make things a little bit easier as well. And then of course, your personal statement word count for that is 750 to 1000. And the prompt for that is shared with you as part of the admissions process as well. In terms of prerequisites you can see at the very bottom of the screen here, we do, as I mentioned, require a BSN from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0. We also do require an active us RN license at least one years work experience as an RN, and a copy of your current CPR card as well. Okay. Now if you have any questions about the steps or start dates, or any questions about the application material, anything like that, you can reach out to Admissions Advisor. If you don’t know who that person is, I will be sharing the main number to the main office on our final slide here. Take a note of that. And you’ll be assigned admissions representative you know by speaking to our main office, and they’ll be able to address any questions that you have moving forward about application fees, start dates, things like that. So that will be shared and we’ll actually share it just right now. So we can give you a better chance to make a note of that and Go. And we’ll move on here, I think to the q&a. So let’s take a little look. See, we’ve got Thomas with a question here. He says, I submitted the application yesterday, I thought that you set up the requirements for the two letters of recommendation. So that is, indeed correct, we do the minimum requirement is to, you can definitely send off with two letters of recommendation, there is space for three. And so that’s kind of why we mentioned the third recommendation here. But again, we have sent off plenty of applications with two, we do recommend that they are strong recommendations. So in some cases, an applicant maybe, you know, has come straight out their first year as an RM and we haven’t gotten recommendations that they have maybe one, they want to add an additional professor in there or something like that. So three is, is there’s room for a third one, but two is also totally fine. And I’ll actually have a question from one of my applicants that I’m working with Dr. Chang, if you don’t mind. So she actually asked me if classes are kept relatively small, what’s the typical class sizes that we’re seeing? And some is previously as well, in terms of what kind of faculty student interaction can be expected? Yeah,

DR. SHANTI CHANG: so I actually went to a really great annual meeting today with the whole team. And we talked about retention and class sizes. And, you know, main points coming from lessons learned, I guess, since this program has been in existence over the last three years, and we’ve got people moving forward from one semester to the next with, like, 95 96%. And that tells me and when we look at then what was the other, you know, three, or 4%, whatever, like people not moving through the program as planned. It’s all because they needed to take a pause, you know, for unforeseen, you know, family or life things, which again, is not the end of the world, like not a big problem to take a break and jump back in. If that’s something that happens for you. This program is seven semesters, usually from start to end once you go through. But I think that’s a testament to how connected our students feel to the faculty and to the program director, and I’m happy to pop my email into the chat here, directly, I’m always available to talk on Zoom or via phone about any unique situation that you have going on our class size for the bigger classes, like you know, the theory and ethics or stance or this and that, usually, we try to cap it with one faculty to 24 students. But we’re also mindful again, of if it’s a higher intensity class, like health assessment, for example, we just had three faculty teaching that class for about 30 people, because we realized that that’s really important for you guys as nurse practitioners to learn how to, I guess, perform advanced practice assessment. Luckily, we’re all registered nurses. So it’s not like it’s brand new to us. But it is a little elevated in becoming that nurse practitioner. So we’re really conscious of making sure that you have the family, the faculty, and the administrative support that you need. And then like I said, once you get into your clinical group, you’re in a group of like one faculty to six students.

PAM HAYRE: Fantastic, thank you very much. And I’m Thomas drops that you find you can ask as many questions as you like. I will actually, after this webinar today, I’ll go ahead and just make sure that the email has been sent out to you, I can just double check that for you. But you might want to check your junk folder, sometimes they do end up in there. But you probably would have been sent a recap email about the program and then Application Checklist email, by the sounds of it, I will just check your junk and spam. As I say, I’ll take note of your name. And I’ll make sure that you get that email tonight before I head out the office. Okay, and again, guys, please do make a note of the direct number on the screen here to the main office and also to our email address where you can kind of ask general questions. Typically when you reach out, you are assigned an enrollment counselor who will support you all the way through the enrollment process if you haven’t been assigned one just yet. Typically by reaching out, you’ll be assigned automatically that way as well. So please take note off the details on the screen here. And you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate. Don’t be shy.

DR. SHANTI CHANG: Yeah, don’t be shy. I just would really like to highlight that. I promise you we’re accessible and responsive and happy to talk about anything and even if it’s like a weird situation like I have some people sometimes they say I planned a trip to fill in the blank out of the country, you know, and I need to plan for that. Moving ahead. How can I addressed that right now you know that there’s there’s a lot of like I said, blend between structure and flexibility here because at the end of the day, we as me Send faculty are passionate about providing, I think our world you know, and certainly our country with the future leaders that are well equipped to address problems moving forward. And and and that has to consider that we all come from different walks of life, we all have different things going on at all times. And so how can we ask you guys to do that for the people that you’ll care for in the future as the leaders of the future, if we don’t also provide you the same kind of structure and guidance and flexibility here in your education and training?

PAM HAYRE: Yeah, just to add to that, you know, obviously, you’ve got an incredibly supportive faculty, you also have, as I mentioned, your enrollment counselor, someone like me helping you during the enrollment process. But after you’re accepted, you’re also assigned a success coach, who will be with you all the way up until graduation. So again, if life happens if something changes to your curriculum plan or your degree plan or anything like that, you have a main point of contact. So even though you’re online, you have all these different resources in your toolkit to reach out to you’re not working through it, you know, alone. You definitely have a lot of support to reach out to should anything happen or if you have any questions and things like that.

Master of Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology Transcript

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right, everyone. Welcome. Welcome, welcome. Hopefully you all know that you’re here tonight to learn more about the master Professional Studies and Applied industrial organizational psychology program. Dr. Stagl and I are excited to host you all this evening to share more information about the field, and our specific program and hopefully address any questions that you all have. Typically, a lot of other programs like to do webinar style, but we really like to be able to see you all and hear from you all, and interact with you all. So that’s why you see in ours in a Zoom Room, so please, please, please feel free to jot your questions down in the chat. And we’ll make sure we also have time at the end to be able to take your questions. So again, we want this to be interactive, we want to hear from you all and make sure that you can answer all the questions you’ll have. You’re going to be meeting both Dr. Siegel and I learned more about making this program, the IO program, background of the NPS program, we do want you all to meet some of our students and alum. So we have invited them to join us this evening. So they’ll be hopping in around 730. We want to give as much time as we can to them. Because yes, it’s great to hear from us. But it’s also amazing to hear from people who’ve actually been through the program. And so we won’t allow enough time for that. And we’ll wrap up with some admissions requirements from one of our reps, then q&a. And again, if you have questions along the way, feel free to put them in the chat. But we want to make sure we get through everything that evening. All right. So a little bit about us. My name is Dr. Ephrussi them and I am the director of the program and a very longtime patriot. I completed my undergrad master’s, and doctoral studies here at George Mason University. I started study diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. So that’s sort of where my research interests lie. And I’m excited to be able to have the opportunity to talk to you all tonight and interact with you and be leading this program. So I’ll turn it over to Dr. Stevo Oakley, I’m the

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Assistant Director assistant professor of the program. I will be your instructor during the first course I’m a Youssef along with all that in the chat. You know this, I studied under the great Eduardo Salas. Dr. Marcel is one of our fantastic IO psychologist, my current mentors, doctors, Cairo, you’re going to learn all about these fantastic professors and all their great theories when you when you attend our program. Welcome. I look forward to meeting you.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Thank you. So for those of you that are not from George Mason University, I’m like Angela at the George Mason background. We’ve been around since 1956 as the Northern Virginia branch of UVA, and then we sort of branched off in 1972. We are the largest public institution in Virginia. And, you know, we hold you know, high classifications in terms of the Arbonne doctoral research university. We have multiple campuses. So we do have for those of you familiar with Northern Virginia, we have one that’s our main campus in Fairfax. We have one in Arlington, one in Prince William, we actually have one in South Korea, and then a number of growing online programs that sort of started prior to the pandemic and some after the pandemics. Now, before he gets diving straight into, you know exactly what we do and who we are, we thought we would take a few minutes and share a little bit about IO. So Kevin, do you wanna tell them a little bit about SIOP before we play the video?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Sure, this society for industrial and organizational psychology or SIOP is our professional association. I have been a member I think, since 98, and seen some market changes and expansion SIOP and its resources. And this is just one of the terrific initiatives that has ongoing, it has a sign up YouTube channel now. And you can visit that channel and then preview a day and let you know realistic job preview of what it is to be an IPO. And there are many different perspectives on that. And that channel is growing, it’s nascent, and it’s expanding all the time. So enjoy that. Multimedia, when you get an opportunity, please visit So that you there are many resources for students there about whether this is the optimal career path for you. Although it can take many different paths, and as well as information to inform your choices about the research that we perform the topics we study in the workplace, how we help businesses, so it’s a terrific resource for you, as applicants to this program.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: And again, we’re gonna try to make sure you get these slides and a copy of this, but I’m going to just see if I can play a couple minutes of it, and then we’ll see if we need to cut it short or not. Because I’m looking at the time and want to make sure we get to your questions, but just so you get a little bit of a feel of what this signup channel is what the field is and what it has to offer.

VIDEO VOICEOVER: We hear comments in the news or from coworkers or friends. The workplace is changing. Businesses have to work smarter to compete in the global economy. Technology is altering the way and pace at which we work, we need to find and prepare employees for the jobs of tomorrow. To meet these challenges, organizations are increasingly relying on experts in workplace science. These professionals, known as industrial organizational psychologists, or I O psychologists, work to improve organizations productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, while striving to make the workplace better for both employers and employees.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right, I’m gonna pause it there, but we’re gonna make sure that you get a copy of the slides and get to check it out a little bit. But there is one of my favorite features, as Dr. Siegel mentioned is sort of seeing what is the day that life and psychologists look like? Because that’s a question that a lot of applicants usually have like, what will I be doing with this degree? What does my day to day look like? What kind of jobs can I obtain? And so again, some of that video information interviews and things like that are featured on the site web page. Dr. Siegel, did you have something

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I want to follow up on this point real quick, and then two questions popped up real quick. Just so you know, I just reviewed some of the, the where our students work and what they do. Some of them are students, some of them are alums. But we have the game at the spectrum of opportunities here that our students are engaged in, at major consultancies, like Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton, and major government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, and the NSF major private sector, entities, organizations, such as Clear Channel, or enterprise, rent a car, Microsoft StateFarm, Nestle, some of their jobs that you might think about in the future, or you might be forming already, or include business development manager or change management consultant, Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, human capital, strategy, consultant, staff, support analyst, talent acquisition specialist, research assistant, and even PhD student. So they’re really, really I can’t share the whole list with you because we got to keep moving. But there are dozens of major entities that you would you would know from AstraZeneca, to Microsoft that I can name where our students work that we have this vast network of students that you can connect with and alums that you can connect with. And that’s one of our major, I believe, competitive advantages. The two questions Where’s where’s the PhD program that’s in Fairfax, Virginia. And then the second is, other MPs programs that noted they are not focused on research. No, not like we are, we believe in a very balanced scientist practitioner approach. We are an r1 university, we are the Ph D. program is ranked in the top five globally, they have boasts six out of five on their staff, the extended staff includes six for an extended staff who’s six in the B school and in our program. And that’s very rare, there are about 280 of these people, six are here at Mason in your program. So we have we have a balanced perspective, we believe that your competitive advantage is that you’re going to be able to drive smarter work places through quantitative research. And, you know, making better and more informed decisions. So data driven decision making. And that’s what we’re about here is a balance between science and practice. And just to

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: add to that, you know, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. And we remind students that we you notice the name applied industry, organizational psychology, we do, you know, again, I always found it in the scientist practitioner model. So we are, you know, using the research and science to make, again, evidence based decisions in the organization’s now, what people do with that, again, as Dr. Stable mentioned, it’s not our students have had a variety of positions. Some of them want to be data analysts, and go into that others are like, guess what, I don’t like one as much, but I’d like to do something else. And I’m more, you know, enjoy more of the organizational change management and leadership development sort of roles. So the great thing is that, depending on what you would like to specialize in, you do have all of that offering here at Mason, you will get all that training, and you will be able to successfully apply for a job in any of those spaces. And you and again, learning is a continuous process. And we are looking into opportunities for you to hone even more of those skills if you’re interested in a particular area. So in the future downstream, we’re interested in offering things like certificates. And those are again, opportunities for you to have this sort of lifelong, continuous learning process in this field. So that’s something to keep in mind. Just

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: that Thank you, ma’am. The diversity of outcomes here include Jimmie Johnson, the only head coach to win national team championships in college, and pro football is an IO psychologist. So you can apply to any endeavor to any occupations any interest that you have. And so we don’t want to constrain that we want to encourage your, your innovation and your application.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right. So to tell you a little bit about Mason XyO program, as Dr. Siegel mentioned, our IO program was founded in 1972, as well, we have had faculty members prominent in the academic side practice side, and several SIOP, presidents and fellows and so forth. Now, this IO program has been around since 1972. And that’s the PhD and MA on ground programs. So someone asked about the doctoral program that is located at the Fairfax campus. And that is the program that I went through. Now, the NPS program, we began in 2019. And that was prior to the pandemic, the idea of when we began with sort of, we get so many applications for our doctoral and master’s program, and how do we allow a pathway for people all over the country and world who are interested in studying IO, and getting IO knowledge and training? How do we provide an opportunity for that, and that’s where our idea came from to start this following online program. So we began in 2019, as we mentioned, focused on the scientist practitioner model, you have coursework that spans over a year and a half, you take one class at a time. So this is designed so that you can balance your work life demands. So if you’re working full time, you’re not willing to two to three classes at a time, you’re focusing on one class at a time, that is eight weeks long. And then you dive into the next class, every single class. It has applied projects and assessment, you don’t have something like a cumulative midterm, or a cumulative final exam, you’re learning material every week, and you’re applying it that very week. And you’re also applying it and building it into a project that might be larger. So for example, in the selection class that I’ve developed, you’re doing a job analysis. And it’s broken into four weeks, and you complete the full job analysis project. In the research methods, practicum course you have 16 weeks to conduct a research study in addressing a workplace problem. So you know, these are sort of the steps that you have and how you’re demonstrating your competency, and that knowledge gaining throughout the program. So what makes our program unique, I think our students are single mentioned some of our renowned faculty of experts and innovators. So all the Someone asked about that PhD program, all of the tenure track, PhD faculty, either developed some of the courses or teaching the courses. So all of them are rotating and teaching. So in addition to their PhD, masters and undergrad, undergrad teaching, they also teach in the MPs program. And so that is something that’s unique and different is that we do have this collaborative effort with the on ground programs with teaching and with additional sort of, you know, enrichment activities, like our learning curve, again, so forth. So that’s something to keep in mind. We are competitively priced for a master’s degree program, we’ve done the analysis and benchmarks to be able to say that we are flexible to accommodate the working students. So while we, you know, are a synchronous, we do have synchronous components to support you. And, you know, every week you’ll have, you know, asynchronous work to do the deliverables to complete. But there are synchronous components, where we hope that you join office hours and you connect with faculty members. And we strongly encourage that, honestly, our best students are the ones who take advantage of that opportunity to learn from faculty and learn from their peers. And not only do they attend those office hours, but they set up study groups with their peers, then they get to know them, and they network and connect and so forth. So and they end up oftentimes becoming lifelong friends at graduation, you see each other and they’re acting like they’ve known each other their entire lives. So you do have that opportunity. And at Mason, in addition to being financially competitive, you do have access to our career services. And we strongly encourage you to reach out to our industry experts. And a lot of times students are asking, Can I have someone look at my resume, can I have someone help me apply for jobs. And not only do career services do that, but Dr. Stable, and I take out time from our busy schedules, and we’re happy to meet with students and support them and they talk about where they want to go in their careers and how they want to apply for jobs and sort of setting them up for that success. Anything else you’d like to add to that? Before we dive into coursework?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I’m sorry, Zach’s question about the Ph. D. program, Zach. There is a whole website set up for the PhD program, you’re gonna want to review the requirements are much different than our own requirements. And it is a more protracted process. Those applicants or do applications are doing I believe in like, five weeks, December 15. Yep. Yep. So there’s copious work to be done in the interim, if that’s your plan.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right. Thank you. So a little bit about our curriculum. So just so that you know, we have a required set of courses so everyone coming into the program is taking our introduction to the science and practice of industrial organization. a psychology course, we didn’t always have that course. But what we learned after a year in the program was that we have students coming from very diverse backgrounds, not everybody in this room has a psychology background, not everyone in this room has a business background. And with students coming in with a variety of backgrounds, we really needed to sort of level the playing field and get everyone sort of on the same page when it comes to, you know, IO jargon and information how to read and write and think as an IO psychologist. So that’s where that course comes in. So if you’ve had no IO background experience, that’s okay. That course is, you know, going to get you sort of caught up and ready for all of your content courses and elective courses. Then students dive into the foundations of organizational psychology class, then they have their applied Data Analysis course one, and then we go back to a content class industrial psychology, and then data analysis to so you might wonder, why don’t we have the data analysis courses back to back, again, that was deliberately done to break up some of the content and analysis so that you can see, as you’re learning some more about the analytics, how do you actually apply it to the content you’re learning right, and be able to build upon that. And so there that’s done again, deliberately. So then we have students taking the employee selection course. And then they dive into the research methods and practicum courses. Now, in these courses, I’ll talk a little bit more about that in the next slide. But you have an opportunity to conduct your own sort of workplace research study. And then finally, your last two courses are going to be two of these electives, you have a choice between leadership, motivation, wellbeing, teamwork, organizational change, and development, performance management and training. And we again, when we sort of offer these different courses, we do have an elective survey process where we ask you all which what are your top preferences, rank order them, and we do look at those elective preferences by cohort, and we made sure that the top three are being offered. So that, you know, maybe your choice number four is not but you do have choice number one, you know, we sort of play around with that. Look at that. And we have the staffing needs meet that. So that’s sort of how we offer your electives. And there are some students that are interested in coming back and taking additional electives, and we’re looking into Pathways and avenues for them to do that.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Couple questions, one’s coming from just Jean, just trying to get your hand up, we want to ask you

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: a few questions. So do we take so we take all of the required courses, right, plus two electives for the master’s program?

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Right? For 10 Total courses, or 30 credits? Okay.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: And then how many classes do you recommend each semester, two

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: classes one at a time, so eight weeks. And our semesters are we have a fall spring and summer offerings. So typically students coming in a cohort, they will take courses year round, and there are breaks built in between as well. But they are taking courses. For example, if you came in the fall, you took your first fall session, one course, that intro class, and then you dived into your foundations of Oregon Psych class for the next eight weeks. And that’s your 16 weeks. So other students on ground might be taking two to three classes at the same time for 15. Week, our students are taking them one at a time, one after the other, and then students will have a couple of weeks off for winter break, then come back into the third class. Does that make sense? Okay, so

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: each season, you take one class, each at

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: one at a given time you take one class, but each term, you will take two so two in the spring two in the summer, two in the fall?

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: Oh, I see what sorry. I have another question that just read the zone real quick.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Well, me just follow up on that. The reason being is we want you to be working full time or at least part time and transferring the lessons learned from from the coursework, so that you’re reinforcing that. So our students during our full time students, their full time employees who are working part time.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: Yeah. And then I had another question. So do you recommend taking it in the order that you put it in, so like Psych 598, and then Psych 641, etc.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: So it’s actually just like, when I stop and create the schedule, it is created like that, like, we don’t have like 641 offered and fall session one, it is only offered in, you know, fall session two, and it’ll be offered in spring, session two and summer session two. So you literally, in that sense, don’t have a choice. And then of course, we don’t want you to jump into apply data analytics to, you know, before taking one and we have it built so that they’re sequential for a reason. So, for example, in that employee selection class, you will not be able to complete the validation project on you know, validating a selection system without having data analysis to and learning how to run regression analyses. So, yes, those core courses will happen in order and then the electives. They can happen in any order or you know, whatever is being offered in that term.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: Okay, great. Thank you

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Kevin, anything In the chat and see

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: what their whole rooms got their hand up, Justin, go next.

JUSTIN SCOTT: Hey, so I have a question about how this curriculum sets it sets. It sets us up for success in the real world versus or the workplace world, versus the master’s program. So myself, I’m an HR specialist for the government and I have an interest in like in psychometrics and building out on the employee selection methodologies. And I know for the program, we have like psychometrics and linear modeling, that’s not specifically those aren’t classes in the NPS program, do we still learn the same fundamental things so that way, when I’m working on projects at my job, I can I can go talk to social scientists and, and speak with confidence about whatever I’m talking about. Go ahead, Kevin.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I’m gonna go. Yes, absolutely. So I started my career in assessment at assessment boutiques in 96, working for an IO firm, and we’re getting a lot of people filter and instill, by the way, which is great. And I built the assessment tools for the mat staff to magic and wonder we built account executive predictive models for Oppenheimer, applying classical psychometric theory, you’re gonna move well beyond that in this program. So although there are dedicated courses today, and those areas, there are all that content is embedded, you’re gonna learn the general linear model, generalized linear models, these are families of statistical techniques, you’ve heard of specific techniques like multiple regression or something, these are families, you’re gonna learn all those techniques in there, all the ANOVA family framework. So yes, you will be able to, you’re gonna learn linear mix modeling, during ATA two, so you’ll learn the most sophisticated techniques. And more importantly, you’ll you’ll learn to be nimble and applying an efficient technique to answer the question in an actionable practical way locally.

JUSTIN SCOTT: Sorry, I appreciate it.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: We’ll take one more question from Loida. And then we’ll move on.

LOIDA SANCHEZ: Hi, yes, um, I don’t know if you will touch on this later. But I just wanted to know, what financial aid is offered, if any, I know that with graduate programs, it’s a little bit different. But are there any scholarships or anything like that that GMU offers?

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Um, so I can answer that quickly, we, most of our students are working full time, and they do self fund or have the organization’s pay for it. And so we have, like, I know, multiple times, I’ve had to sort of write letters to the orgonite organization saying the student is good standing, and so forth. And we do have some limited scholarship opportunities that are being explored. And then there are other opportunities, like, for example, internal opportunities, such as the high impact grant, that’s actually there was a deadline today for that. But the practicum students, if they have a good research project idea, they can submit that internal applications competitive university wide, I think to date, we’ve had one or two students who received that they have $4,000 that go towards their tuition for that. So you know, limited however, you know, there are some opportunities there in that space.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: And we’re going to work with you to find employment. And that’s going to carry you in farther, hopefully in an employer that has tuition reimbursement.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Thank you. Thanks so much. I mentioned this and alluded to this briefly, but I’m not going to spend too much time. So this is your 16 week research project roadmap. When you join the program, you’re going to get to know your peers really well. And you want to become good friends with them, because you will be working in small research teams of three. And you will be identifying a workplace problem that you are one of your peers may be having, and turn that into a research question, conduct a literature review, identify, you know, the methodology to put together a questionnaire and those there were some interesting psychometrics. While we don’t get to spend an exhaustive time talking about all the psychometric properties, you do learn from functions of good items, and you know, putting together a questionnaire to get some application putting setting them up in Qualtrics, collecting data, analyzing the data, running descriptive analyses and running the actual analyses for your study, and then turning that into a full research paper, white paper and apply commentation. So that is sort of one of the capstone experience of the program, that students often look forward to and sees one of their most memorable times in the program that they complete as their seventh and eighth course before they wrap up with their elective courses as their ninth and 10th course. So some career outcomes. We talked a little bit about it, but um, here’s some stats on what Department of Labor Statistics says and sort of some areas that our folks go into. Something I want to point out is our IO newsletter. I am the faculty editor of our industry Organizational Psychology newsletter. I take it’s a near and dear thing to my heart because this is is how we tell everyone else about all the awesome things happening at Mason. So if you’re interested in saying, who is actually getting jobs, are people actually getting jobs, I encourage you to check out our newsletter. Not only will you learn more about the sort of culture and climate of our program, because you’ll get to hear from leadership you get to hear from students as they share experiences, podcasts, different articles. You get to also check out any publications that are published by students and faculty and alum from Mason presentations for the spring edition. Like especially, we highlight the SIOP presentations. But that good news corner really, we encourage our alumni and students to reach back out to us and let us know where they’re getting jobs. So it’s very, very important. If you want to, like learn again, where do our students go, that’s where I would direct you to is to check out the newsletter, some additional professional development opportunities. A lot of times, you know, we’ve talked about the coursework in the program and the support that you’re gonna have with the coursework. Again, the coursework takes care of, of, you know, building knowledge and competencies in the field, and you have the opportunity to engage with faculty and your peers through the coursework. In addition, we have monthly calls, that’s an opportunity for you to engage with program leadership. So Dr. Siegel, and I take turns leading that monthly call, we invite all cohorts and invited guests. So not only do you have opportunity to get to know your own cohort, you get to know students who are maybe a semester ahead of you or students that are coming in after you. But that is a great opportunity and time for you to connect with each other. In addition, we have our learning series, we weekly feature prominent guest speakers, nation, actually worldwide speakers that we invite, sometimes its head held in person, and we have a hybrid option. But there’s always an option to join virtually throughout the academic year. And again, this is open to our doctoral students are masters students and our MPs students. Prior to the pandemic, our learning series was only in person. But after you know, the pandemic, the doctoral and master’s students went to zoom. And we were able to open and extend the invitation to the MPH students. And we have found sort of keeping this hybrid zoom option as really advantageous because of all the speakers that get to come in and speak to you all. So you will have an opportunity to join that. As I mentioned earlier, you have opportunity to connect with the University Career Services to get support in those ways. We also support your professional development through external opportunities. So we are constantly sharing things to our listeners like about jobs, internships, opportunities, consulting competitions. So you’ll often hear from not just Dr. steagle, and myself, but other IO faculty, because we often get emails, one on one, you know, we’re there we have organizations reaching out, can you please share this to your listeners, we want to hire Mason graduates. And we you know, in return are sharing that with you all. So again, an opportunity to connect and network with folks in the industry in those ways. All right. So here’s this one student testimonial. And I’ll sort of pause there before we turn it over to our guest speakers that I’ve seen him join the room. Kevin, do we have some questions?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I am answering them feverishly. And the book. Let me make sure all that. So are Josephine you’re asking about the fall? 24 Start?

was just me.


DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: so yeah. About 10. August 24? Is the final application date? That’s on write off? No, you’re

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: putting that in the middle of the fall term. So August of next year. So we like next fall, you know, begins next August. So typically, you can think of it as two weeks prior to our beginning time.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: When does the application open? And when is it due, though? You

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: are welcome to apply? Now? I don’t know Stephanie, can they have it in the portal until then? And we just have a decision outstanding and waiting for them? I mean, you have to complete but could they apply?

STEPHANIE RACINE: I believe that the start date is dropped in the online application right now. I have been letting people know that we have the January and May start ahead of it. So it may take a little longer to to get the decision. But I do believe it’s in the application system. Okay.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER : So even though I haven’t graduated, I could still apply for it.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: No, well, we’re going to you can start the application. But one of the steps are to, you know, review your final, you know, undergrad transcript. So if you still have grades coming in all the way through next May, it would probably be more advantageous to wait because some of the things we’re looking for, is some of those prerequisite classes. Have you taken any research methods? Have you taken any stats? What’s your grades look like? What is your cumulative undergrad GPA look like? What did the last 60 hours look like? So a lot of those parts of your application will be incomplete until that’s done.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: Okay. So as soon as I graduate, I should be submitting my application. Yeah. Okay. And then what is the without financial aid because I’m assuming there’s no financial aid, what is the average cost for it if you’re not living On campus,

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Wani 5000 is about average. But I can get back to what the exact number because I did the math. But

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: do you pay per term? Or do you pay per year,

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: per term. So you’ll have a costume for this fall, and then, you know, then sooner Council reach out to you for the spring. And then the financial aid office does work with you to set up either payment plans or financial options with loans and things like that.

STEPHANIE RACINE: If you would like to put these admissions Questions, anyone that has an admissions question if you put your email and actually I should have your email anyway, we can follow up and we can send you links to all the payment plans, the breakdown of tuition by semester and everything just so that the instructors can answer you know, the nitty gritty questions. We’re happy to help and admissions.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: Okay, so you said it was 25,000 per term?

STEPHANIE RACINE: No, no, no, it’s 815 per credit. So just over 25,000, but we’ll email you that current tuition of just over 25 for the whole program. Okay, thank you.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right. Anything else pressing that we need answered before we turn it to our students? Because? All right, I’d like to give a warm welcome to Shelby Shelby, are you on here? Sorry, I have to scroll over. Hi. Do you? Can you do your quick introductions and then we’ll go to the panelists questions, but I want to introduce you all one by one.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: Sure. So my name is Shelby Rudolph. I work at wastewaters as a talent development lead. I’ve been with the company almost seven years now. I was part of the NPS program cohort seven. So graduated almost a year ago now. And throughout my time at weight watchers have been really focused on the talent space and right now focused on leader development. So excited to be here with you all.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: So much, Shelby Anthony.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: Hi, everyone. My name is Anthony. I graduated from Mason as part of cohort five. So that was last May of 2022. Throughout my time, in this program, I worked for little us in multiple capacities, both mostly but mostly in HR department. I most recently served as a training development specialist where I was applying a lot of what I learned into analytical aspects of Iowa tailoring solutions to other HR needs. So excited to be here tonight.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Thanks so much. Good to be Anna.

ANA LOWETZ: Hello, I’m Anna Lewis. I am a personnel research psychologist at the US Secret Service. I participate in a lot of projects such as training selection, any kind of workplace analytics, where I’m happy to answer questions later. Yes, that’s me. I’m part of the NPS, cohort six. I forgot to mention that one.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Wow. Thank you, Erin.

ERIN RAMIREZ: Hi, I’m Aaron Ramirez. I work at a mentum as the senior manager for organizational change readiness. I graduated about a year ago with Shelby and the company that I work for has a lot of technology projects and a variety of projects going on, I help with organizational change management specifically.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right, thank you all so much for being here this evening. And again, we just sent out a message on the alumni listserv. And we were overwhelmed by a number of responses. And they were the first four and everyone else we said, well, we’ll ask you again, this ring. But again, thank you all so much for responding properly. And being here with us tonight. So we have a couple of questions that we have set for you all. And we’d love for whoever like to jump in and answer them. And then we do want to leave a few minutes for questions from the applicants in the room. So how was your degree in the MPs IO program helps you advance your career or obtain a job opportunity.

ANA LOWETZ: I can start with that one. So I actually had confused Dr. stable throughout some of my discussion posts because it seemed as though every single semester or every term I had a different job. I came from overseas from from being stationed overseas as a, you know, kind of like a spouse. So came back. And it was interesting to see how every thing I learned in the term I applied at work with every job I had. And I feel like it really the program really had me think think critically about the organization that I was working at and just kind of look at it from a different perspective rather than just the employee. And I feel like that has really honed in on what I applied daily at at Secret Service. Because it it mean it really did force me Look at my work at a different perspective. And that’s right, that’s important for this field.

JOSEPHINE GOETTLICHER: That’s great. Thanks, Anna.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: I can resonate with that, too. I think one of the goals I had as as, as I was coming into the program is I felt like, you know, I was lucky, it was already in the field before I started this program. But I felt like I was just constantly learning from managers and cures, and I wasn’t like the expert in the room. And this degree really gave me the expertise to like come to the organization with solutions instead of just listening to others. And then shortly after wrapping up the program, I was promoted. So I think the organization really saw the value that I was bringing with this degree. And just like Anna was saying, I was constantly able to apply what I was learning real time in the role.

ERIN RAMIREZ: Yeah, I agree. Shelby, I think a lot of the value of the degree was my own confidence in being an expert, and recognizing that I bring expertise to my to my work, and then also the external validation from others that I bring expertise to the role. I, too, had the change in roles shortly after I graduated. So I did change organizations that received a promotion. And I know someone was asking about cost, I’m very analytical. So I looked through a lot of programs to and just found a lot of value from this and also had a very large income increase after graduating, I think, partially due to this degree.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Yeah. Oh, sorry. Anybody else making a side comment? Go ahead. Please, sir.

ANTHONY MALLARDI: So just wait, wait, you said, I’m

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: waiting for my cut Aaron. And also, while I’ve got the open mic, all four of these individuals have come to the initial initial court, first in the last several months and presented on behalf of, you know, Mason, in their organizations, their employers, these are the kinds of students you’re gonna get to network alums, you’re gonna get to network with on a weekly basis when you’re in the program.

ANTHONY MALLARDI: Absolutely. And I think just to piggyback on everyone’s positions on how everything went out, and how everything turned out, I could say, from my perspective, I suppose I was someone who, for anyone who has any anxieties about going into any of this, or what degree or what career they want to choose, I could say I was someone who didn’t really necessarily know what he wanted to do. With his career, he knows he I knew I wanted to be involved with psychology, that was my thing, organizational behavior I found out about, and learning to build psychology and move it, apply psychological principles to the workplace. But what I found that I liked what helped advance my own career by getting the education from Mason was just incredible. I was readily just like, how everyone was saying I was readily applying new expertise and even advancing, thought into organizational change, or into interjecting into different policies. So I was effecting change very gradually, just by gaining the gradual education I was receiving. And so I came out with it with a passion for wanting to be like a practitioner, someone working on applying techniques. So it helped me to find my focus, find my center, and gain the the technical as well as the competency expertise, both in psychology and technology, which is very, very, you know, prompt effort prominent in these in these times, and learning how you connect technology with psychology and how people interact certain things. Only add more to your pedestal to gain what you want to accomplish in world. So, you know, wanting to make better the lives and performances of people in the workplace. And upon entering the program, I just quickly found out this was the right place for me to be in.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: That’s great, thank you. I was gonna stay on for question number two, I’d love for you all to reflect and think about a specific way the training, or the program has been useful to me of the work tasks that you’ve done. So, again, some concrete specific examples, because one of the common questions we get from applicants are what do i all psychologists do like day to day? What is the actual task? What does that work look like? So if you could think about a specific example, where you can bridge some of the training in the program in any of your courses, and a task that you’re either did in the past, or you’re doing now in the world in your role?

ANTHONY MALLARDI: If I can answer that briefly, because it’s funny, I just had a conversation with people in labor relations field today. And, you know, discussing some of the things some of the aspects they work on, connected me to, you know, how consultants, you know, you know, act in the field. For me, one of the main things I’ll give you, I’ll give one example. So thanks to Dr. Staples teams course, which I advise everyone to take as one of their electives in their final semester. Sir, I advise it highly because, for me, I was able to learn about how to create new, higher level architecture in technology and human teaming interactions. So what I was able to do was utilize my analytics expertise with statistics to implement a training and development dashboard for our for our department in HR. And in which case, I was developing a teaming platform for our entire training for all of our trainers to utilize, so we can help maximize the learning and development benefits of our 2000 plus employees on Long Island. And in which case, when I was as when I created this, and after only like a short month, we were easily able to boost promotions by like, 30%. You know, Max, I bring our like training compliance up to 98%, and really helped our team time management succeed so well that we were more than proficient in providing all the services and all the possible, maximizing just all the learning development that’s for our whole region. And so we became like very prolific in such activities, because we were because I was able to develop something that save time that that was effective, and time management was visually appealing and visually understandable. And with communication and doing needs analysis, to better plan and plan for the future of this tool, we were able to affect change, as it’s at a team level, to the organizational level. So that’s really what a big part of what we do is, at least in this in this sense, it’s dealing with the small thing first, and then building out to affect change in the organization.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: That’s awesome, Anthony, thank you for sharing that.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: I can jump in. So two things come to mind. One, a project I was working on today, one of the things that I do for my organization as I use various assessments to help teams work together more effectively. And one of my favorite, like no brainers that I learned from this course was the concept of job crafting. So helping people like make small changes on the job to be more engaged, successful, happy and what they’re doing on a day to day basis. So that’s one of the coaching tools that I use all the time. Another big thing that I’m responsible for my organization is our annual engagement survey. So I run the survey with various stakeholders across the organization, and learn so many tips in this course to make sure that questions were in double barreled, making sure that they are going to be actionable. So so many things in this course, like my favorite thing about this course was how applicable everything was that we were learning. So yeah, can give tons of more examples, but those come to mind.

ANA LOWETZ: Yeah, so do you want to go sorry,

ERIN RAMIREZ: I too, can give a lot of examples. In organizational change management a lot. It’s just such a beautiful blend of gathering and analyzing data and understanding human behavior. And so I feel like I have the perfect career path for the studies that I get to do. But one of the direct applications is being able to build into the organizational change management practice in our organization, very specific data measures and an understanding how to collect the data and how to leverage the data then to make the informed change decisions, and then how to execute the change plans. And so really having structured data collection methods throughout. And a big part of that is in my work, it’s hard to put a tangible value on the work that I do or the work that my team does. And because of data and metrics, I often have numbers that can help tell the story of the work that we do. And so I think that I’m able to show the value a lot better because I’ve been through this program.

ANA LOWETZ: Thank you, Anna. Everything like Aaron said pretty much resonates with me. Specifically, a lot of what I learned throughout this entire program, I apply every day specifically selection because that’s where I am and my class was taught by Dr. Rep and when I brought that up at work. Apparently, she’s such a big deal that they were like what Dr. Rupp. So I in this course you do learn about presentations, white papers, how to basically choose where you keep it simple and where you don’t, especially when you’re presenting to different stakeholders. In my organise As in any changes that we make we, we build presentations all the time, as well as make specific reports about our assessments. And these presentations are being presented and by other people, you have to make certain things pliable, for other people to be able to basically know what they’re talking about and understand what you have done to better the organization. And it’s, I’ve applied almost everything that I’ve learned almost daily.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: That’s great. Thank you. I know we have a few minutes. Is there any pressing questions from the applicants before we wrap up with the speakers that you all would like to ask us alone?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Have I missed anything in here? There’s a lot of questions.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Oh, okay. We’ll go to questions then.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I’ll do my answer here. Angela. Joseph. Here we go up ever Jonathan.

JONATHAN CLARK: Yeah. I always wondering what opportunities you guys had to like, connect with each other in person, because I live close to it. But I was the full time working while doing this really, like, I really want to do that. So it says office hours, is there anything that you can do that has to do with like people getting together like or their group projects, stuff like that?

ERIN RAMIREZ: Absolutely. I I live in Chicagoland area. So by in person, it was still virtual. For me. I know, some of the local residents didn’t, did get together in person for real. But we did quite a few group projects. There was some groups like some study groups that formed throughout various classes, the 16 week research project, we had a small group, I really got to know those people really well. I would say about half of my cohort members, I knew pretty well and then the other half, just maybe weren’t as involved or had other groups but I felt like I got to know a really good group of people. Thank you.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Anyone want to add to that? Hello, good to know your peers.

ANTHONY MALLARDI: I think I could say you know, offer you probably know more about that too. With all the different opportunities, especially everyone who sends out like all these emails about you know, the IO picnics, the fact the department meetings, not the problem meetings, the you know, the MPs, the you know, get togethers, the picnics, the getting know you things. Definitely many ways to that we that are offered through the program itself to as a as a formal as an informal gathering in person. And there’s also different opportunities that Mason offers. For I think even I’m not sure if it’s just for MPs, but it’s, you know, like the VPA, I think even is in person. If not, you’re still dealing with people with actual real world roles were real world stuff. And then there’s other things like Kinect IO, I’m not sure if that’s still a thing, grad con, grad fairs, and so forth. There are other other things I know that that can be, you can be in person for.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Great. So I’ll just add to that and sort of conclude that question. I think there are multiple times I get to see the students I see them in May and in December for graduation, and then I get to see them at the SIOP conference and several of our students and alumni attend the SIOP conference, and George Mason University hosts a reception and we also try to get together as a smaller group. And that’s at the SIOP conference. And then we have a fall picnic here near the in the Fairfax County is about five minutes away from campus at a park. And we invite all alumni and current students to that. So that’s another opportunity. So those are the structured opportunities that are already embedded in the program. In addition to that, next week, I’m going to personnel testing Council of Metropolitan Washington has an in person thing, and they’re giving some of the consulting challenge awardees, you know, their ward and they have invited a guest speaker from Michigan State, so I’ll be at that and some of our students will be there. And tomorrow night as some students and alum from the program have invited me to dinner in Arlington and so six of us are getting together then. So there’s a lot of opportunities to connect in person if that’s something you want to do. Go

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: to cya room together. Yeah. The other after that. No, I’m just kidding. You go to cya professional conferences, people split the rooms they stay 710 deep. They’re on the floors. They’re everywhere. Your bonds. at these conferences you’ll get to meet 1000s of people and Mason’s alumni network is incredible. Our program is relatively new. They’ve been here for 40 years. So they’re there. People are all over the world doing amazing stuff and all kinds of entities. You can see that on the IO website at the peak, the the unified ion Programs website.

ANA LOWETZ: Yep. All right. I

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: think it’s not Megan’s head neck. So go to Megan, Carla and Brian. And then Angela. So Megan, Hi,

MEGAN MERCADO: um, I have two questions, but they’re pretty related. The first being, what kinds of jobs did you have while you were doing your coursework? And then also how was like your education? In the process of like getting your masters? How did it compare to the people that you’re working with? Like, did they also have Masters, PhDs things like that? Right?

ERIN RAMIREZ: Um, well, shall we, if you want to jump in, no, go for it. Okay. When I first started, I was working in a job that was related to change management, but not the career direction I wanted to go. So early on, I jumped into a new role doing consulting, it actually was a really good fit for while I was doing the program, because it was a 40 hour a week job. And so that made it manageable to really invest in the coursework. And then I was able to jump into a new position after that’s much more intensive, it would have been hard for me to manage both right now. As for degrees in the consulting role, most people had higher education than me, so they were in Masters or PhD degree holders. In my current role, I would say that of my peers, I have the most education, which I think sets me up again, to be more of an expert when I come to the table with an opinion. That’s great,

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Shelby.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: So when I joined the program, the feedback I got internally from my organization was that they felt like, you know, is really strong, I was already kind of in the field. But they gave me a lot of feedback that they felt like they wanted to advance my career, either internally, or if I were to ever move externally, an advanced degree would be a requirement for this kind of role. And so that was kind of my impetus for getting the degree, everyone that I was working with in this field, had masters or PhDs. And then after joining the program, I felt like many people were in a similar place. Most people were working full time had some career experience. A lot of people were already in the field, maybe not like in their dream job, but had some exposure to what we were doing. But then there were few people that were newer to the field students or or career change.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Great, thank you. So we’re going to interest of time, we’re going to keep some of the questions going and let one or two panelists address them. Carla, I saw your hand up next. Yes, thank

KARLA CHIN: you. So I guess my where, what’s what’s holding me up in terms of like, trying to assess different options and programs. And so they’re so different, right. And I think my hesitancy, at least in my current role is I gravitate towards more the humanistic part of the organ, the organizational psychology and don’t have a lot of strengths. And frankly, like a passion for data analysis or research, and I’m new, I know that I that could help me in my role. So I lead I’m a chief wellbeing officer and my role right now, this isn’t really necessarily for career growth, but I think it would help me in positioning my consultants and, you know, just from, you know, being able to market a lot of what we do. And I think part of what I want to know, at least from one of the grads here, have any did any of you enter this feeling a little intimidated about the data and like, and then coming out feeling like, wow, I could actually do that I, maybe I’m just doubting my ability to be able to lean into it. I certainly see the value. I don’t have the desire to be a researcher. But I do know that that could certainly help me in terms of having those competencies. So I’ll pause there. And I’m just curious. That’s honestly part of my sort of book where I’m struggling with decision and in what program to go with Farleigh before

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: one of the panelists jump in, I just want to say, Dr. Strickland are laughing because I want to say 95 People come in with that sort of thing sediment, like, I don’t know, if I want to do quant research, is it too heavy on that. And then they realized that so much of it is applied. And it’s a really good blend in the program. But I’ll let one of the panelists speak to that a little bit more since they went through it. So who wants to jump in?

ERIN RAMIREZ: Well, I was laughing because I felt exactly the same sometimes. I mean, I still feel the same. But that’s that’s exactly why select the George Mason, I had looked at a lot of programs, and I really liked that it was about application. I’m not as interested in personally doing research and gathering the data to the level required for a study. But I really appreciate understanding how to read and evaluate the research that’s already been done and leverage that to make decisions. And then I also feel like I can collect and analyze data to the level that’s needed in the workplace to make some informed decisions for me, but the Data side wasn’t my strong side, I think I I’m, but I, it’s been really helpful to have an understanding of it. And then especially just knowing how to read the research, because they really like leveraging research for making decisions.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: That’s great. And it’s important to leverage your strengths. So I’m just this week yesterday, last night, I was talking to students in my practicum quarters. And, again, you’re in research teams of three. And so the one person who was cleaning the data, the other one said, what Victoria was like, I was watching my colleague, Alexandra, literally clean the data and run it into our and so forth, because I’m more comfortable with doing it in Qualtrics, in Excel, and this was new to me. And so you know, working in these small teams and groups allows you to sort of leverage each other’s strengths and weaknesses, whereas another team member, jumped in a little bit more heavy on the writing part, and so forth. So just that’s something to keep in mind. as well. I

SHELBY RUDOLPH: was just going to add, like I was in totally the same boat, and like Aaron still am. And it was not as scary as I made it seem going into the program, there’s so much support in those courses, they really break it down for you. And they know that we’re not all statisticians like they really make it approachable and practical. So I feel you and it’s not as bad as you’re envisioning in this moment.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Again, no cumulative final exams, I promise.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Thank you. There are two instructors for each of those quad heavy courses. And so you can attend office hours of both, you can learn from both you can learn from the students of both sections, there are three constructors for the research methods, practicum. So all the heavy duty courses that are really quarter, you know, quite heavy, quite dominant, you’re going to have multiple instructors that work with you.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: And that’s a great thing to add. So in that research methods practicum course we have two office hours. So you have an office hour with me earlier in the week, since I develop the classes, sort of set the expectations go through some of the content. And then the second office hours with the CO instructor where you’re one on one meeting with the instructor to talk about your project, you’re getting that specific project feedback, you’re having challenges running your data, you’re running into error messages, guess what, you have an opportunity to break that down and worked through that with your co instructors. So again, a lot of support built in these ways. Brent, Angelo, Dylan and Brenda. That’s the order that I have on my screen. Right? Would you like to go next?

BRENT BORKEY: Yes, sorry. So I’m active duty Air Force. And I just had a question about the order of the classes. And should I have to have a move that comes up or traveled plan, whatever, like how flexible is staying with the program, I don’t want to break it up and make it take, you know, four years to complete. But I also don’t know how much of stuff I can control, we’ll be able to stay on that like laid out track.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: There are two active duty Air Force members in our current cohort who were 14, I’m working with both of them right now. One just paused, he started with cohort 13. And he got TDY and an emergency. And we allow that and work with him flexibly to ensure that he could pause. And he returned for this cohort after taking that brief break. And he’s actually performed better than ever, now that he’s got to reflect and move forward. But that’s that’s every cohort members, active duty military members that we you know, we’re very flexible, working with people. So not just our DOD members who, you know, we’re very excited to, to work with you, but whatever.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: That’s what I was gonna add is that, um, Brent? You know, I understand your unique circumstances. But we’ve had a number of students that have had just life happen, right? We’ve had the students who have had babies who have had family members with sicknesses, elder care, childcare issues, traveling for work, and multiple things come up, and some of them planned and others unplanned. And so we work very closely with students to sort of accommodate that. While it’s not ideal to jump out of your cohort, because then you won’t get to work maybe on your practicum project with the people in the same room. But students jump into the next cohort and get on the Slack channel and start connecting and say, hey, I’m interested in this topic. Wells is interested in this, can we work together on this project, they find ways, we’ve had a number of students that took that took breaks for various reasons, and sort of what the best thing to do is to take that whole semester so that you can dive in with the next cohort. But if you only need, you know, you have to take a class in the second half. We’ve sort of rearranged schedules and allowed students as needed to take an elective course or something like that. So we do work very closely. So in addition to both having support from Dr. Stable and myself, you have a success coach team. And the success coach is the one that’s helping you register for classes drop you broke classes, you want to run everything by that success coach team, and Dr. Siegel and I meet with a success coach team like bi weekly and so we’re literally sitting there all of us, four of us in a room Talking about student by student by student. You just talked to the students she coming back? What’s this deal with her? Like? Is he feeling better? You know, like we literally sit there in a room and talk about you all, and figure out what’s the best next step and getting the support that you need.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: A couple of your adjunct instructors are also Gs 15. DOD.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Yep. Oh, yeah, that’s right. We mentioned the core tenure track faculty teaching, but we have a number of adjunct faculty who are working a variety of positions and including Dr. Stable mentioned, Angelo.

ANGELO COLLINGTON: So, I have a few questions actually. The first one is very short. In this class, you don’t have to use SPSS.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: In the First Data Analytics course Yes, SPSS and the second one you use are.

So how would you use SPSS first virtual like students,

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: typically by the independent licensure that’s active for six months. For anyone that is not able to purchase it, there is a virtual computing lab, but I’m told that it works a little slower because the connective Masons network and use it to there. So most students end up purchasing the independent licensure, because that’s gonna

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: give free access to LinkedIn learning and all the modules there. So you could download a module, learn Python and go right into the VCL and start practicing it.

Oh, am I undergrad using SPSS? Plus, I was wondering, you guys still use it. So this might be for the graduate students, but I just kind of want to know how reading intensive and reading intensive and slash is. Class is going to be such, you know, we all kind of you know, will work, you know, theoretically plan, like how many hours per week should I plan. So this class just classes.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Before they dive into how much you should plan for the class, the program director responses, that three credit course has to be 120 hours that we break that down. And so you’re working about 20 hours a week in the course. So students structure their time differently, some students are doing two to three hours a night, some who are not able to devote that every night, sort of push it a little bit more on the weekend, people have different schedules and work differently. But I’d love to hear from some of our lungs, how they manage some of the workload in those hours, on average, 15 to 20 hours a week.

SHELBY RUDOLPH: I would say that sounds pretty on par with what it was, I was one of those people that did like two to three hours every night. It’s a lot of reading and writing. And it’s fast. I think the good part of this program is you get through it fast. But the way to do that is that it’s really It’s intense. And there’s no way that like, the way that the program is structured is the assignments are due every week. And so you can’t like save it for the end of the semester. It like very much keeps you on par which I’m super type A like I kind of liked that week by week. But like, I felt like it was critical to my success to stay really organized and be really on top of it throughout the program. But to answer your question, I would say like two to three hours per night was typically what I was doing.

ANTHONY MALLARDI: Now piggyback off that same thing with what offer said I 100% agree with everything offer said like how it actually felt like how it is like laid out it is actually how it felt. And as someone who actually had to work, I was working like 60 hours, I think a week my job during the practicums course, I had actually had no problem doing it, I had no problem reading research articles, and then doing my part of my research papers, while also working 60 plus hours. So it was really no problem. I maybe had to do like an hour during the week or hour each day at night. And then we we kind of do all my work. But I would say the quality of the articles, the quality of the topics and the quality of the connections between those two that you get from you know, each week by week is very much worth it. I have to say even though it is it can be like a lot of reading, like the stuff you’re reading is like the top quality stuff that you like, it’s worth it.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: That’s great, thank you. And again, Angela, my response that picking 20 hours to get accreditation, we do have to you know, get our syllabi approved and our courses approved. And we’re like, look, this is a three credit graduate course. And here’s the breakdown between the readings and the assignments and assessments. And it’s very formulaic. And so it is done that way to make sure that every week you’re hitting the learning objectives, and you’re meeting the overall course objectives, right. So again, you don’t have 15 weeks to do it, you have eight weeks to do it. So it’s a little more condensed. But that’s why you’re doing one class at a time. And you’ll notice that students have different schedules. I’ve had a student who told me I was talking to another student, she was like, I would take a lunch break and just tell myself I’m gonna do my readings during lunch and then after work, I was gonna go post my discussion board and stuff like that. So they get very strategic and efficient with their time. But I hope that answers your question.

No more question. Did you ever have any I guess any students your cohorts that did like assistantships.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Students in our cohort get assistantships. Yes. So like sometimes the beast We’ll and other opportunities may come up and they’ll open them up to all master’s students and handshake. George Mason University handshake is another space where you can look at job opportunities on campus and other departments. And some of them have virtual components. I remember sending something out in our wellbeing and wellness center, they had a virtual assistantship for a master students where they would take care of your some of your tuition if you worked for them on different projects and things like that. So those opportunities do get shared on the listserv, but also on handshake, especially if they’re internal. And you’re welcome to apply to those because they would be open to any master’s student here at Mason.

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: University students did get awarded the two of them assistantships in the B school to do research

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: in the Peace Corps. Yep. I think Dylan, Brenda and Justin, that’s 11. Next Dylan.

DYLAN BRID: So my question is kind of more of just general, maybe not program specific question. But what would you say is like the biggest thing going into starting the program that can set you up to be successful in it? The biggest tool or skill to have before entering the program to best set yourself up to be successful on it?

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Well, that was one of the last questions that I had for the panelist was, is there anything you wish you knew as an applicant or coming into the program, that again, you feel like really would have set to up for success in the program, if you’d like to share?

ERIN RAMIREZ: I can share a couple of things. I think one I, the biggest thing that I found a value was to have a job alongside the work, because I could immediately apply the learnings and it really solidified the learnings for me. So I thought that was really valuable. And many of my classmates had that experience or they went out and found internships. So try to find something that’s relevant that you can plug the learnings into right away. And then the other one is just commit to doing it like you get out of it, what you put into it. And I’ve got to get the family and job and lots going on. But I got a lot out of it, because I put a lot into it. And it was it was worth it because of them.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Great. So definitely having a job that not only helps with applying what you’re learning immediately, but also with those discussion board prompts. It’s a little hard to make up fictional hypothetical situations and scenarios to talk about. So it definitely does help. And I finally went off mute Next, if you have anything to add to that.

ANA LOWETZ: As basically, I bought planners, I used a lot of paper because I do prefer physical copies. I did take the metro downtown to work during practicum. Because that’s when they implemented going back into the office I read on the train. Definitely a planner helped me just physically crossing things off. And just like Aaron said, having that job alongside it. And a lot of my jobs that I had throughout this program weren’t even HR basic, I did contact tracing, I did death benefits, investigations. And then I will get to this so sorry, for COVID I

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: remember that. I remember that too. Now, you went from

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: there to where you’re at now in that period of time. That’s That’s

ANA LOWETZ: why I was saying like it is challenges you to look at your work in different perspectives. Like even though as a contact tracer, I was able to look deeply into Hawaii, how the organization I was working in was designed the way it was. And look at the pros and the cons of certain programs that they had going on. And it was, you know, just just like Garen city, I mean, even if it’s not in this field, you’re just use your job. And this will challenge you to foresee I would challenge you to look into your job and your organization in a different view.

Yeah, that makes me feel a lot better, because I do have a job right now. But it’s not in an HR field. And I had had an internship, but was struggling to find one and but I came across a different job that I really liked the company. So knowing that makes me feel a lot better that I’m not in human resources right away, but still can use this stuff to practice elsewhere. Thank you make

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: the point that our doctors Zuccaro our program set family director makes all the time is this is not just about you practicing IEOs I practitioners. You can port this to your workplace. So we have people here from SOCOM software engineers, people that work at media and Clear Channel and they are not iOS nerds. They’re not practicing IO. There’s IO pipe scientists, practitioners, and they’re porting all the lessons learned to their workplace. They have no intention of working at a consultancy or mainstream IO ever. They’re just going to promote you’re gonna move through the software engineer hierarchy and continue to manage large teams through their IO practices and policies. So very extensible. It’s a mouthful. wasn’t the beginning is that you know whether you want to work in human resources or not, you’re going to work with people in the workplace. And so we studied bio psycho social phenomenon in the workplace. And that’s, and that’s applicable anywhere

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: that’s applicable anywhere. And like, just to echo that, in one of my favorite moments in sort of the research methods and practicum course was with someone working in healthcare. And through that process, they were like, do you know we survey doctors and nurses and patients, you make decisions based on this, and I’m realizing through this course, we have not been interpreting the data correctly. We didn’t know how to develop surveys or double barreled questions. They’re bad items that you know, someone mentioned psychometrics earlier, they realized, and were able to leverage some of that skill set to be better informed decisions and healthcare. And I’m like, wow, that could impact lives. And so again, you can use it in any space. And Dylan Just to add, if you want to get sort of prepped up, I would say, Read as much as you can about IO psychology, you’re gonna get some of the depth in here. But getting some of that breadth, maybe someone in intro book and Joe Bloggs videos, resources just to get your head wrapped around all the different areas is helpful. And nice stats, recurse, like LinkedIn learning, things like that, there’s so much out there, just getting brushed up on that will be helpful. So it’s like, not just looking at what need standard deviation means for the very first time, right. And then as you warm up and get into some of those more advanced data analytic courses, that’ll be helpful. And so getting comfortable, we use SPSS and R. So some students have gone and looked at training programs and ours free, so you don’t have to get the licensure for that, and start playing around and start getting comfortable with the program and just running things. Those are things if for whatever reason, you may be getting itchy this winter break, and you’re like I want to be doing something to start prepping and getting ready. Those would be some of my suggestions.

All right. Thank you very much.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: All right. Brenda, can we go to your next? Hi,

BRENDA BRANCHAUD: thank you. Um, actually, yeah, you guys just sort of touched on my question. Did answer some of my questions. Um, so yeah, I work for Duke University. Specifically, for the Duke Cancer Institute and research, I’ve been with them for 23 years. The department that I work in is Cancer Control and Population Sciences for the Cancer Patient Experience Research Program. And my job as a clinical researcher is I handle a lot of regulatory, and I did some patient facing, but I work on the front end of, of research with the protocol, design, protocol, writing, protocol design, just getting everything started, you know, with our IRB, and I do very little on the the of do a lot of data collection. Not as much on the back end, though, with the data analysis. I do work with a lot of statisticians. So my interest with this program was to learn, you know more about analytics, and so I can join in on conversations, you know, I know what they’re talking about, but I was to be more educated on the conversation to be able to join in. But then my question after listening to this whole presentation, which has been wonderful and very helpful, is how, how can I apply this not? Not so much on a, an institutional, organizational level, but and, you know, on a healthcare level, I work with a lot of medical students. We do have a lot of third year medical students that come through us working on research projects. One of my manager, she’s, she’s PhD, she does a lot of coaching. She’s brought me in on some of her, but some of her coaching talks that she does. But so I’m trying to figure out how I can apply this program to my position, I’m not really looking to advance my career as much as just to be more engaged in our research and with our medical students. And just with our department, I’m not looking at management more of a leadership role. Does that make this my question? Make sense?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Yeah, I might be able to jump in there. So my mentor, graduate school, Dr. Eduardo Salas actually spends most of his research time supporting hospitals and medical endeavors now down at Rice with a call Medical City. You know, so, you know, for example, he studies team performance, and he was supporting a major interdisciplinary initiative called TeamSTEPPS. which is introduced to reduce error in medical communities. Other initiatives that I’ve been in the periphery of that I’ve seen him work on involves designing better medical dispensary systems so that you minimize patient error and death. In fact, human errors, the eighth leading cause of death in the hospital, or at least was a couple when I got that stat about a decade ago. So there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done in that realm. Before I joined Mason, I performed a simulator medical simulator analysis for you University of Buffalo, who trained 600 residents at once in the tri state area. These are, you know, fifth year residents that are that are responsible for executing 150 medical procedures proficiently by the time they graduate within walking out the door, essentially, to perform these procedures in the community. And I was able to use basic data screening techniques, I learned in IO to determine that a published article had grossly under reported the efficacy of a particular team training medical simulator. And that’s the kind of proficiency you would develop here. And I’ll just close with Dr. Aman. And I just received an email from one of our alums, Josephine McKinley, who I mentioned transferred, what’s one of our alums over there at Johns Hopkins. So she, she graduated, took that job. And one of the emails, she just wrote us a couple of weeks ago, where I was so excited that I was sitting in meetings I had to disclose just been, for example, I was so excited, I was sitting in meetings, and I was listening to the conversation of somebody who was earning their PhD or something. And she was in tune with everything they were talking about analytically. And she was just very, you know, excited about that. And I think that speaks volumes to how we prepare our students. Okay, all right,

thank you. Yes, we do do a lot of the PR initiated trials that actually involve surveying of physicians. Just to you know, we do a lot of patient reported outcomes. But we also look at the physician side also, we do observational studies through a lot of retrospective studies, also, but prospective,

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: you name it. And you’re applying and execute those studies, according to the scientific best practices, right? Everything’s actionable here. We, we understand that you can’t, you can’t bring a sledge hammer when you attack nail attack hammer. So we’re going to teach you how to be efficient in your choices and making those resource choices so that you can build a programmatic program that can carry forward for years and not just a one off solution or study.

Okay, make sense? All right. Thank you.

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Thank you. Justin, I see your hand up. Hey,

JUSTIN SCOTT: yes. So my question is about participating on research projects at the doctoral level programming offers. So I don’t have an interest in pursuing a Ph. D. program. But unknown the website, you said it could be opportunities if we put ourselves out there to participate on research projects. So what’s the value in that for us if we’re not going to be considered, versus second author, because I’ve heard in the publication world, nobody really takes you serious unless you are the first to second author. So you know, if we are MPs student, and we do get the opportunity to participate? What’s the what value do you see?

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: Well, there’s a couple of ways you can do it first. You know, when I was, I’ll give you an example, when I was in the doctoral program at Mason, we had about four PhD students and 12 master’s students, MA students on ground taking courses with us, and also participating in the research labs. So they were very much involved in the research labs. And again, they would have a frank conversations of, yes, I’m gonna help collect data, anyone can do that. But I know that’s not gonna involve authorship, or I want more out of this. Similarly, the MPA students have that opportunity to, again, connect with the faculty, and have those conversations. But honestly, at this level, there’s so much above just being mentored by the faculty here being having an opportunity to sit in their labs. And Kevin, and I still like to go and listen to the faculty, I go to orientation every year just to be able to hear what the new trending research the faculty are doing just to have these thought leaders in the field, talk about their expertise, being in the room with them. I just go to listen to that. And so you’ll learn that there’s a lot of value. If you add that to your personal statement that you sat in one of their labs and as Shelby was alluding to, like Deborah abrupt, these are big name people in the field, having interactions with them attending their classes, attending their lab meetings, getting some experience in their lab labs, that will all cultivate that building that mental model and then that can also result in greater opportunities of, again, if you’re doing more and contributing more in these labs, you can have those conversations about can I get a, you know, conference submission out of this or you know even more was given additional, you know, opportunities of publication out of it. But any of our students, you know, there have been a couple of students who’ve gone on to doctoral studies elsewhere. But um, you know, they just got involved and just learning from the people here at Mason, and that in itself and getting letters of recommendation from people here at Mason, so that, you know, was a worthwhile endeavor in my eyes. But, Kevin, do you have anything else to add to that?

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: I’ll just say after 30 years of work experience here are nearing 30 years. I get smarter being in the vicinity of Mason’s top bios. They’re a world class people. And they’re there. They are passionate about what they do. Doctor is a guy who has, he’s approaching five decades so imagine investing half century of your life in an endeavor. And some of the other is from your doctor Fleischman Dr. Kumar, ski, Doctor rugby, these people adopted the law and Taplin and others, they’re phenomenal. And so even if you’re not publishing, you want to be in those lab meetings, or you want to be at cya even if you’re not presenting I present this year and I learned a lot it’s I have to make terrific connections built my built my community of practice, learned a tremendous I got a whole I’m still waiting to be decoded a whole diary from SIOP waiting to the research ideas. And that’s, that’s just awesome. So

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: thanks. It’s just I know we keep repeating this over and over. But I would encourage you all to see for yourself, go on Google Scholar and type in any of these faculty names, and see how many hits you get how many times not only do they publish, but where are they cited. You can’t pick up a leadership book without someone knowing music or you can’t pick up, you know, some of the selection things without ever managing you can’t pick up a book about decision or anything, any articles about decision making without Rashad being mentioned. So there are certain areas, you’re going to realize that it’s pretty neat to see their names and there’d be like, huh, they teach at Mason, wow, they’re my instructor or they develop the course I get to see their videos and see what articles they picked for the class and all of that. And then when you get to sign up, I’ll never forget, I’ll share this my first year as a PhD student, I actually went to Mason as an undergrad. So I was like, Okay, it’s cool that I got into Mason’s IO program. But you know, my alma mater, it’s my undergrad. I sure they told me it’s a top graduate program, but okay, but it really wasn’t until I went to the SIOP conference. And I was at the airport and wearing a mason shirt. And everyone’s like, oh, so tell me about how Steve’s doing over there rich and everything. And I’m like, Okay, then I’m gonna go to the elevator, same things happening. They see my badge, and they’re asking me about their buddies and friends at Mason, and wood. And then literally in the elevator conversation, told me what Jose Martinez up to nowadays, what research is he doing? And then the next thing and I’m sitting back some of the things I’m learning in lab, and then they’re like quizzing me on it. And I’m like, this is interesting, but didn’t really realize what a peak to me scenario faculty were until I got to this lab conference. And that was really neat experience to see how they were esteemed thought leaders in their areas, and not just in our textbooks, but these, you know, in the fields. And so that sort of, you know, anecdote, I’ll leave you with that. I recognize we’re at 830. Thank you all so much for your time. And tonight was an example of guests. We had this scheduled for an hour. But Dr. steagle, and I were here for you. We’re here for you at all hours. There are many times that he and I extend our office hours. If students want to stick around ask questions. Have one on one conversations, this is what our evenings look like, we’re our days look like we scheduled that time, we make that time for you all because we care about you, not only in the program, but as you grow and advance your career. You know, we’ll continue to conversate with you and that’s Kevin tomorrow night, Terry Watkins, Teresa, Melissa suave, 10, a bunch of them wanted me to come out to dinner. That’s what we’re doing tomorrow night, catching up about their workplace experience, where they’re at what they want to do. And that’s what yeah, that’s what makes the

DR. KEVIN C. STAGL: Center of Greater leadership, Deloitte, there all these are high end companies that are all meeting in the office. And they are actively trying to come to campus to hang out and learn more and engage with us. They send their recruiters here. So tomorrow

DR. AFRA S. AHMAD: night, we’re connecting, hearing about their career progression. Some of them not happy with the teams are working on my one to switch do other things, but networking, connecting and continuing to interact with us, even though they graduated a year ago. So that’s just a little feel of what we do here at Mason, and I hope you guys got a touch of that this evening. Again, thank you all so much for joining. And thank you so much to our panelists for coming back and continuously being of service to the program. We really appreciate you all being ambassadors of the program. And we look forward to the next step. So it’s definitely with that. I’ll turn it over to you. So you can let folks know how to get in touch and sort of the next steps they have an application process.

STEPHANIE RACINE: Yes, definitely. So the big thing to note is that we are still accepting applications for the Spring term that starts on January 8, and we have an admissions file deadline of December 4. So that gives you plenty of time to apply to the program, we are going to send out follow up information to everyone who attended. So we can send you out the link to apply. Also, you will send you the admissions checklist. And we as admissions representatives work with you throughout the application process. So I’ve seen I’ve been trying to answer some of the direct messages. But if you have specific questions about maybe the GPA wasn’t quite a 3.0, or you’ve taken, you haven’t taken statistics yet, we may have some resources that we can send to you to let you know how to build a strong file. Also, give us a call in admissions at 703-348-5006. You can also email Mason o And we will hope to hear from you and any questions. I’m still going to answer a few in the chat here. But if you have any questions, please give us a call tomorrow. We’re here to help. And thank you again to Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Steak all for joining us. I mean, this was you all had some really great specific questions, maybe more so than any other open house I’ve seen. So we appreciate everyone’s time and thank you so much for joining us.

Master of Public Health Transcript

SUSAN NAGER: Good evening. My name is Susan. And I’m an online admissions rep on behalf of George Mason. And thank you for joining us for tonight’s mph webinar. And I am joined with Dr. Mitchum, program director, and program advisor or coordinator, Sarah Liu. So thank you both for joining. As I had mentioned, familiarize yourself with the q&a feature so that you can input your questions throughout the program. This is your time. You have the year, the program director and the MPH advisor to answer all those pressing questions that you’ve been wanting to get answered. So don’t be shy. All right. So let’s go ahead and get started. And again, thank you and welcome.

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: All right. Good evening, everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us tonight. I’m excited to have you here. Thank you very much to Susan for hosting tonight. And for Sarah for joining. As Susan said, Sarah, and I will be able to answer any questions that you might have. And if you think of anything during the presentation, please don’t hesitate to ask. Sometimes I know that while I’m talking somebody, buddy might think of something that pops in your head and you don’t want to necessarily wait, we’ll do our best to answer all the questions. Very excited to because the online Master of Public Health Program at Mason is fairly new, we’ve had an established Master’s of Public Health Program that is accredited. We’ve had it for a number of years. It is fabulous if I do say so myself. But the entirely online offering partner through Wiley is new we launched this past fall. And we’re excited that you’re interested in potentially joining our students. So we’ll talk a little bit tonight about why this program might be a good fit for you. I will talk about some learning outcomes a little bit about the courses that are part of the program, some curriculum details, what courses specifically are part of the program. And then obviously, you don’t get a degree just to get a degree, but what sort of jobs you might be able to get if you get your MPH degree. Sarah, like Susan mentioned is fabulous with being able to articulate some of the job potentials and also talk a little bit about the amazing network of grads that we have that helps us support and mentor current students. So all of that and more will be included. And just a heads up. I do have dogs. So if you hear barking, I am sorry, kind of but dogs are awesome. So you may hear them throughout the night. All right, next slide, please. Alright, so as we go through the presentation tonight, if you would like enter any questions that you have in the chat box, you can also raise your hand virtually make sure that you know how to do that and we can answer your questions. And then if you think of something after the event is over, I will make sure to share my email address. Also, Sarah, if she is willing can have her share too. So we are able to answer any questions that you might think of after the presentation. Right. Next slide, please. Thank you. So I’m Dr. Mitchum, I am the director of the online MPH program at Mason. I’m also currently the interim director of the master’s program and the Department of Global and community health at George Mason University and assistant professor there so not only very involved with this program, but I also teach in the Department and I have to say we have the most fabulous group of students ever, and some amazing faculty members as well. And Sarah, would you like to introduce yourself? Sure. Thank

SARAH LIU: you. That’d be Hi everyone. My name is Sarah. As was mentioned, I am the MPH program coordinator. I went to George Mason University for undergrad and got my Bachelor of Science and community health with a concentration in global health. And I got my Master’s of Public Health in the University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado School of Public Health, with a concentration in global maternal and child health and very excited to meet you all and answer any questions you may all have.

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: All right, thank you very much. So why on earth should you consider George Mason Now granted, I am obviously very, very biased and I will be freely open and admit that however we do have some things going for our program that I think makes us a really good fit for a lot of prospective students. First of all, the College of Public Health at George Mason University is the first College of Public Health in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We received that designation this past fall and we are currently working on continuing our accreditation not only to have our public health designation for our program, we are CIF accredited at As a program, but also to have that College of Public Health Status, that means that our students are uniquely positioned to be able to potentially collaborate with other departments within the college. One of our courses in particular, we’ll cover on in a little bit GCH 500, is a requirement for all students in a master’s program in the College of Public Health. So in that course, we have students from nutrition students from nursing students from social work, students from Health Administration, and policy students from global and community health all together, taking this one course to learn and explore about public health. So again, very exciting to be able to have access to different silos, different disciplines, different faculty members and other students in the college that are learning different components that all tie into the field of public health. As I mentioned a little bit earlier, our department is also very unique in that we have a public health mentor program where students who have gone through the program are willing to act as mentors and serve as mentors to students who are currently in the program. That’s fabulous, not just answering questions of hey, this assignment or this course I you know, have concerns what do you recommend, but even more so after your degree is finished, or as you’re working towards your practicum, which we will also talk about in a little bit. You know, what, what career goals might recent grads have? What are some recommendations they have for completing their practicum. So that mentor program is truly invaluable. We also, as I mentioned, are accredited by CIF the Council on Education for public health accreditation, that credentialing is important. Not only does it mean that our program is valid and excellent, but it also means that you can sit for several public health certification exams like the CPA exam, because our program will set you up to be able to take that exam not just content wise, but accreditation wise as well. And then we also have practicum fieldwork and internship opportunities as any MPH student will attest, there is that practicum opportunity where students are able to take what they’ve learned in their courses, and then apply that in a very practical and real way in the field, which I personally found the most exciting part of my MPH journey, because it gave me a chance to use what I had learned. But it also was an excellent opportunity to add to my resume, and to be able to make some of those connections in the job market where it set me up for later work. However, that’s not solely what our students have available to them. There are internship opportunities, potentially and all of the students in all of our mph programs are eligible to apply to serve as graduate assistants. So GPA graduate professionals, Assistant gra graduate research assistant or GTA graduate teaching assistant, basically students working with faculty members to complete some work, again, getting a little bit extra funding, but also giving you the ability to add to your resume into your platform. All right, next slide, please. Thank you. So the MPH program at Mason in the Department of Global and community health is based on a group of core courses, a group of concentration courses, and then a group of required courses in addition to the core that are in part of the practicum experience. So without getting into too much annoying detail regarding accreditation, and the competencies, the core courses that all of our mph students have, in totality reflect the 22 public health competencies that are required by CIF to be covered in our courses. So all of those 22 competencies are covered by these five courses GCH 500, which is the foundations of public health as the course that I mentioned earlier that is taken by all students, graduate students in the college. And it’s exciting because the students are able to collaborate with each other and really learn from each other’s experiences. I’m currently teaching two sections of that course right now and I’m enjoying it a lot GCH 604 fundamentals of epidemiology and biostatistics. So rather than a very biostat heavy course on this will enable students to be introduced to the field of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and have some math. But if you are not a math loving person, it will be just enough math for you to understand the concepts but not too much math for you to feel like you want to cry. And the faculty member who designed that course Dr. Halogen is fabulous GCH 609 community assessment and partnerships, students are able to explore how to engage with community members how to collaborate a little bit about grant writing, some about qualitative research, mixed methods research and really learn and explore how to do community work, which is fundamentally important in a lot of community work in public health, and I’m the faculty member who teaches that course I love that course. GCH 611 In health program planning and evaluations, that course is taught by Dr. Ken Griffith. He is also fabulous and students explore learning how to plan and evaluate programs that they do in the field again, making sure that students have what they need to succeed in their work GCH 645 US and global public health systems. That course is designed and taught by Dr. Lila Fleming who was fabulous, and teaches a lot about different components of Global Public Health EAP 635, which is offered by the Department of Health Administration and Policy, again, going back to that college of public health approach where we have different disciplines represented. So talking about health care, and how healthcare systems correlate with the field of public health, and then aap 680, which is applied public health, leadership and management. So those are the core courses taken by all students in our MPH program. For our concentration courses for the PHP concentration, there is GCH 535. With which is public health preparedness and response. Dr. David ranan is the faculty member who has developed that course, and it talks a lot about emergency preparedness and emergency response are very beneficial if you are considering work in any sort of emergency response physician GCH 607, evidence based public health practice, and that one is taught by Dr. Ken and that one is looking at why we do what we do in the field of public health. So looking at it from an empirical framework, I jch 655 public health equity and justice that one is taught by Dr. Rochelle Davidson, looking at how public health justice and how injustice in the world affects what we do in the fields of public health GCH 691, project management and public health. So if you are doing any sort of public health work, and you have to learn how to do more grant writing, or how would you implement what you’re being told if you’re working in a state or local city departments? And you’re told, okay, these are the priorities, how do you make that happen, and Kelly Beckwith, who is our assistant director of academic programs, and I will be creating that course very excited for that. And then GCH 720 public health program problems in a changing society. That is our il e course. And the Isley courses basically, are a way for students to be able to take what they’ve learned, and then create deliverables to show that they really understand the content of that work and guess what the faculty member is for that one. And then in addition to that, we have two electives. GCH 551 Rural Health, which I’m especially excited about a lot of the research and work I do is in the space of Rural Health. And people who get their public health degrees often think of public health within the context of urban health. But we’re also going to explore why rural health so that way, if you come from a rural area, you might be able to bring some of that work back. If you want to get a job in a rural area, there are a lot of rural public health jobs, you will be adequately set up to be able to be successful in that work. Or if you want to do overseas work in rural regions, you’ll understand a little bit more about the components there. And then GCH 560, which is environmental health, that course is going to be built and available hopefully next year. And then finally, I promise almost done with this, our practicum seminar and practicum. And public health every MPH student is required to complete hours of fieldwork for our program and is 200 hours of field work. And rather than just saying, Okay, go have fun, you need to do this and then not have students prepared to identify where they’re going to complete the practicum. What exactly is required of them in the practicum and all of that stuff. We have a zero credit mandatory course GCH 780, which is the practicum seminar where students are taught, this is what it will be required in your practicum. What do you want to do with your practicum? How can we make sure that the 200 hours that you complete reflects the necessary components of what you covered in your concentration? How can we link you up with an available community setting for you to complete those practicum hours. So GCH 780 is zero credit it is required. But in that course students are set up to be able to complete their practicum and then the capstone of the public health experience is GCH 790, where students do complete those 200 field work hours and then they end up graduating with their MPH degree and all that totals 42 credit hours. And I will make a quick note here that all of these courses in the PHP concentration are available asynchronous online. However, there are some of the courses like GCH 500 GCH 609, I occasionally, occasionally 6046 45 And then especially the core courses AGP 635 and six at that may be offered in person. So if you do live close to Mason campus and you would like to take one of these courses in person if it is being offered in person that is also a possibility. All right, next slide please. All right. So why on earth public health? Well, I think the pandemic was a really good example of why public health is important. That’s what most people think of now, when I think of public health, public health is so much more than that. But likely, because public health is just so practical, right. So preventing disease and promoting health, there are so many different ways in which that can happen. So there’s an expectation that the field of public health is going to continue to grow over the next several years, the MPH degree, really sets our students up well to be able to hold various jobs in official public health fields, and maybe some fields that you might not consider as public health. Before this presentation, I was chatting with Susan about some potential jobs that you could hold, if you were to complete the PHP concentration, you could potentially be a health educator in the school or you could potentially work for Cooperative Extension and teach health topics or you can possibly work in a doctor’s office or in a dentist’s office, and then, you know, help with the promote or prevention of disease component. So yes, there are jobs that have public health in the title, but public health practices more of that work that you’re able to do in the community that prevents disease and promotes health but might not have the public health title in it, but that mph credentialing will set you up very well to be able to be, you know, considered for a lot of those jobs. There are certain placements. And Sarah can talk more about this later, where our alums have gone on to not only get jobs, but have excellent careers. So again, the MPH degree is an excellent option for that. Also, for people who have earned their dietitian credentialing, but might need a master’s degree, adding the public health background to that might be helpful. Or if you are a nurse, or a medical doctor, adding that mph credentialing will also help to make you a little bit more of a well rounded professional. Alright, next slide, please. All right, so the admissions process, if you do decide to apply to the program, the amazing reps at Wiley will be able to help you work through it basically, you’re going to be applying through a platform called sofas, and sofas is used for a lot of different public health programs. And one of the benefits of using that platform is when you do apply through sofas, you can apply to multiple institutions at the same time, hopefully Mason is one of those. But that way you’re not having to pay for separate application fees each time you apply to a separate institution, you can upload all of your materials on that platform. And then once you do that, then you can select different institutions and go from there. So you will need to have a completed bachelor’s degree, we do prefer that you have at least a GPA of at least 3.0. But if you don’t, that doesn’t mean that you can’t apply to the program. We do look at each case holistically. We’ve had some students with lower GPAs. But they’ve written beautiful letters of support saying this is what was going on in my life at the time. I’ve done work after that, and I’ve increased my GPA and they have been able to enter our program. So 3.0 or greater is preferred. But that’s not a hard and fast line. You will also need to upload transcripts to letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and that statement of purpose can be especially powerful again, if you had some mitigating circumstances that made it so you might not think that just looking at your grades might be a best way to judge your your effectiveness as a student, and then also your resume or your CV so that we are able to get a really good picture of who you are, or how you are able to maybe be a good fit for the program. So sorry, Sarah just sent me a text you said that her internet is out and she’s trying to fix it but hopefully, she’ll be able to come back on. Alright, so in addition to those requirements for the sofas application, if you are an international student, you need to make sure that all of your transcripts are translated into English, and that you will need your English proficiency test scores, either TOEFL or IE LTS and that hopefully you’ll need at least an ADA minimum and a 20 minimum in each section and the alts you’ll need a 7.0 minimum. Alright, next slide, please. Oh, I guess that’s it. So if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, please feel free to ask if there are any online MPH specific questions, I am happy to answer them. If there are MPH program questions. I’m happy to answer as many as I can. And if there isn’t anything that I can answer tonight, I promise to research it and get back to you.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay, well, we have someone who has raised his hand. So Muhammad, I’m gonna go ahead and unmute you. Go ahead.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: Hello. Thank you for all the information I just wanted to ask. I was informed that Duolingo is also another A type of tests that you can take to prove your English proficiency is that not on the list anymore. Or

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: to the best of my knowledge that is not one of the accepted tests through the Sophos platform. It’s just the two that were listed there. But if you have any other, that’s something that I can double check and get back to if you would like to know, I can check with OSA tomorrow.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. And so the it’s practice of so what concentrations do we have on online.

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: So the only concentration that is offered fully, asynchronously online right now is public health practice. So that would include the courses that were covered tonight, and the public health practice, concentration of the MPH degree would set you up to do pretty much any type of job unless it were specifically epidemiological biostats focused career. So

MOHAMMED- GUEST: just just to I mean, what’s the difference between public health practice and health policy, because health policy is a concentration, that’s the offer online, you have to go in person to the campus.

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: So health policy, as far as the concentration, some of the courses are different. So we have the same courses for both concentrations, the health policy, concentration courses are different. Those are focused more on, I would say, if somebody would want to work in a hospital setting, and work more with looking at health policy, as far as it driving, again, healthcare settings, that would be a probably a better fit for a student, if a student were looking at how to promote health in a community setting or promoting health, even in a hospital setting by doing more health education, then the public health practice would probably be a better fit. And Sara, I see that you’re back on if you have anything to add to that, please feel free to chime in.

SARAH LIU: Yeah, sorry, everyone. I have a little bit of technical difficulties on my end. But yeah, I usually tell students that those who go into health policy, you know, there’s an array of fields that they can, you know, go into, but a lot of them ended up working within the systems. Right. So if it was it, you know, whether it’s for them to work within the healthcare systems, in hospitals. But there is there’s a, there’s a huge array of possibilities of what you can do within the health policy. But I think I would say it’s a little bit different than the practice. Yeah.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: Just just to give you a little background, I am a doctor. I did my MBBS from a foreign country, and my degrees are evaluated now by nieces member to MD equivalent. So I’m just going back and forth, to choose which one is better for me, but I don’t I mean, I don’t I don’t know, to be honest to which one to go with.

SUSAN NAGER: Between the public health communications, right, versus the public health practice correctly. Public health policy, or the policy? Okay, gotcha.

SARAH LIU: I would say it ultimately depends on what you’re hoping to do after you get your Master’s of Public Health. It does not mean that just because you get the public health practice, you know, concentration that you can’t work within health policy, right. And vice versa, you can be getting your concentration in health policy and going into the public health practice field, it just means that the concentration classes are a lot more oriented and geared towards health policy. So if you know, I would take a look at which course what kind of core courses or which kinds of concentration courses are within the health policy class, or the concentration and see if those are classes that you would be interested in. But it doesn’t restrict you in terms of what you want to do after so I think, you know, and we usually also let folks change our concentration once. So let’s say you apply with the health policy and you say, you know, you take the courses and as time passes, you realize you kind of want to go go into PHP, you can change your concentration once depending on you know, so you would have to submit another personal statement over to me and, and Dr. Mitchum would also look at that. And if we feel that, you know, public health practice is a better fit for you, you would be able to change your concentration. But just really think about what you’re hoping to do with with your I’m with your degree.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: Got you? And where can I see see the subjects are the concentration, the more detail that is taught to I just, I just want to compare both of the concentration. So I know what I’m getting into.

SARAH LIU: Yeah, if you look on their web page, if you just search, GMU mph, School, College of Public Health, all of our degree programs will come out, and then all of our concentrations will come out. So you can compare the different concentrations and the classes that will be offered.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: Gotcha. Okay. And can you tell me like how much time period is like I’m looking at completing the degree?

SARAH LIU: It depends on the person, I can’t say that, you know, you would have up to six years to complete your program. On average students, we have a good amount of students who are part time as well, because you’re working full time. So those students tend to graduate within, you know, two to four years, but full time student and you take nine credits every semester, or most semesters, and you should be able to more or less graduate within two to 2.5 years. Gotcha.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: I mean, what was the fastest time period that I can complete? What like, if I take, I think I can take three? Class? I mean, three credits in a semester, right?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: So the fact is, you could complete the course would be within the program, and any MPH degree would be two years, that will be the absolute fastest if you were a full time for everything. You said two years? Correct. If you were full time for everything, the course can be the entire scope of the program can be completed within two years. Gotcha.

MOHAMMED- GUEST: And then that goes for both in person, I mean, on campus and online, right?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: It would be for any MPH degree. So the this is one thing that’s a little bit different about our program from some other mph programs, all of our mph degrees are mph degrees, whether you take courses online or in person is the same program. So all of our mph concentrations can be completed in as little as two years if students complete them a full time. Gotcha,

MOHAMMED- GUEST: gotcha. Okay. Okay. Gotcha.

SUSAN NAGER: Yep. Thank you, Mohammed. Sara, can you differentiate what the differences between the public health communication degree and the Public Health Practice degree? Yeah,

SARAH LIU: so actually, we don’t have the public health communication concentration anymore. It’s actually, ah, health promotion. And so that’s a little bit different. A lot of those students who pursue community health promotion, go into a lot of advocacy work, whether that’s, you know, working with a nonprofit and advocating and prevention for a particular health topic, or policy. It’s it’s quite broad, but it can there’s a lot of courses concentrated in terms of how to correctly advocate or working with a particular community in terms of, you know, applying advocacy within that field or promotion within that, and I think that’s a little bit different than public health practice. And B, do you have anything to add on to do?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: Thank you, Sarah. So kind of tagging on with that. And then also going through the questions that are in the chat box. So there’s a question, I’m a physician interested in health literacy. I’m curious if there are any health communication electives in the online program. So the two restricted electives for this concentration are rural health, our environmental health. However, as a faculty member who has either designed and or taught courses, I can say that GCH 609, and GCH 691, and GCH, 500 and GCH. 720, in particular, have a lot of public health communication embedded in that just because if you do not have effective public health, communication, and any work that you do in the field is not going to work very well. So there aren’t any courses with public health communication in the title, but the content is definitely reflected in those courses. Also GCH 655, public health equity and justice. I know that Dr. Davidson does cover a lot of that same basic component there. So no communication, specific title courses, but all of the courses that are in the program do reflect that that need for communication as well as incorporate strategies. So one of the reasons why that communication concentration is no longer what it is, and it’s changed a little bit now. It’s just because some of the reflected competencies and requirements from CIF have been updated. where we know that communication is important, right? So if we as human beings, and as professionals don’t communicate adequately, none of what we do matters. So rather than than having a concentration that focuses solely on that health communication, we just embed that reality and embed that information into the courses. So if there are any other questions about that, please definitely keep asking. I’m going to keep going with the questions in the list. physical location for advising Sarah is the physical location and remote location for academic advising for the program from the Mason side of things. If you’re wanting Wiley advising, then Susan can speak to that. But I know if he would like to come to Mason and talk with an academic advisor, then Sarah is a person that you would want to make sure that you reach out to. Let’s see, two hours. Oh, Sara, look at you being so awesome. So just to kind of reiterate what Sarah said about our what Sarah types not accurately saying that she said it in the chat about the practicum on the practicum does have to take place at one physical location that cannot be broken down into multiple locations. And it is completed all at once. It is fully online, the 200 hours are going to be worked out, as Sarah mentioned with the practicum coordinator. So there is a possibility. I know there’s there have been some students who are international students, or who are planning on traveling internationally. And they’re like, Okay, well, how do I complete my practicum, your practicum hours just have to be completed at a site that is validated as being acceptable with tasks that are validated as being acceptable for your concentration, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the DC area. So if you’re a fully online student, but say you live in West Virginia, and you have an site in West Virginia, that you’re like, hey, I would like to do my practicum here 100% acceptable that will be worked out with your practicum coordinator. And that is done at the end of the program. It’s the last semester in the program. So basically, you’ve learned all this stuff, you’ve done your Ailee course, you’ve learned how to create amazing materials based on what you’ve learned. And then you get to put all that stuff in in use for your 200 hour practicum.

SUSAN NAGER: Thank you so much. I’m gonna go ahead and Aisha has her hand raised. Go ahead. Go ahead and unmute. Oh, I mean, sorry, I had already asked my questions in the chat. But thank you so much. Okay, perfect. And so with the practicum. If somebody’s having difficulty finding placement, do we assist with that.

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: So that is what is taken care of, and GCH, 780 and GCH. Before GCH 790. So that zero credit practicum seminar is where the practicum coordinator and right now that’s Dr. Winter, who is fabulous, will work with students and say, Okay, this is what you’re going to be doing during your practicum. Because I know most students kind of get a little bit anxious about you know, what exactly does it look like when I have to complete these 200 hours so she will work with you or whomever the practicum coordinator is that point. We’ll work with students to identify what sites are acceptable to make sure that their site visits to make sure that the site’s meet all of the criteria to support students the needs, not just for accreditation, and for graduation, but also to make sure that they promote student wellness. Perfect.

SUSAN NAGER: And is there a minimum number of hours that needs to be done per week?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: per week? No, it’s 200 over the semester. Gotcha.

SUSAN NAGER: Gotcha. And so you had mentioned that coursework is delivered asynchronously. So that’s wonderful for all y’all that are working, because that allows you to access your education around your schedule, as long as you meet the weekly deadlines. So no, I forgot what I was going to ask. Oh, so in terms of faculty outreach, and interaction, how does that work?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: So I am one of those odd ducks that completed my education pretty much entirely online I it started way back when and then took a break to be able to focus on my family needs and then went through associate’s through doctorate pretty much entirely online. My experiences as a student seeing what works well to support me and what I didn’t have that I wish I had to support me has made it so this program is designed where even though the courses are asynchronous, meaning there aren’t set lecture times where you have to show up. It’s not like you’re just sitting there by yourself completely unsupported you have meaning if you are a student in the program, faculty members who teach in these areas are in these courses are expected to hold office hours, not just during the stereotypical work week, but also to be available when students are available thinking that students work and have families and other lives too. We also strive to respond very quickly to student emails. So making sure that we are accessible. I kind of handpick the faculty members who teach in this space. So we have faculty members who design courses and teaching them. And then we have some faculty members that come in and support teaching some courses that were designed by other faculty members. All of the faculty members who teach in this space are not only excellent professionals, but are very engaging with how they treat the content, how they teach the content and how they engage with students. So that it, the course material seems more alive and vibrant than if you were just taking a course kind of on your own. And so there’s an opportunity for the back and forth give and take that you would experience in a normal classroom setting.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay, perfect. Is there actually any group projects?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: Good question. As of right now, in any of the courses, there are not required group projects. The reason for that is I have had students end up in tears over group projects. However, there is a possibility for students to collaborate on projects if they so choose. It’s not a mandated assignments on there are some discussion boards and some courses. So students can either directly engage with each other or, for example, on one of the courses that I teach GCH 609 Students create mini grants, or they create these projects, and then they share their projects in a discussion board setting so other students can learn from them. So in that way, it’s kind of like a group learning experience without having to collaborate with people that are on completely different schedules from yours.

SUSAN NAGER: Perfect. And what would you say and I know of course, this is going to vary depending on the student, but how many hours a week would you say would need to be spent on classwork?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: Completely 100% depends on the person. These courses are 15 weeks in length. For the most part GCH 500 has the opportunity of being taken an eight week segments rather than 15 weeks, I like the 15 weeks just because that way, it’s the works more easily digestible. And the course content and the course time will vary based on student to student. And course the course. Rough, rough estimate is that it would be probably seven hours to 10 hours per week per course. But that can vary. There are some students who spend much less than that there are some students who spend more than that. There are also supports links embedded in each course. So if students have questions about formatting for these courses, APA or ama formatting are required. There are links for help. Mason also offers online writing help and support. So often what I found, at least for students, it takes students a little bit longer starting back off and courses just to get familiar with kind of the ebb and flow of what’s required and how to format papers and things like that, the supports in place, so students will have what they need. And then as time goes on, hopefully it will take a little bit less to complete their work.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay, make sense? And just want to confirm that I had this correct. It’s 14 classes for 42 credits. And what students do is they take two classes for 15 weeks. However, if they want to do full time, that’s three classes per 15 weeks, is that correct?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: That is with a caveat that the summertime is a little bit different. During the summer, we are going to probably offer course while we are offering courses for eight weeks in length, just so that you actually have part of your summer. And so that there can be a little bit of a space so you’re not taking too accelerated courses at the same time. Um, if you choose to take two courses at the same time, but yes, typically it would be two to three courses per semester, the courses are 15 weeks in length. There are no final exams per se for these courses. All of the courses have the course content, all of the learning objectives, all of the assessments bundled in that so you would not need to come to campus and take any other exams for the program. Yes.

SARAH LIU: What just one thing to add on to that. I will say in terms of number of courses, I would I usually counted as credits. And so I recommend students not taking more than nine credits. And so they’re able to take up to 12 credits, although I don’t recommend that nine credits is three classes. Most many, many more. Almost all the students take nine credits at their full time just because like like Dr. Mitchum had mentioned earlier. You know, most students take 10 hours additionally to study for these courses or complete assignments. It’s already different than undergraduate courses. And it can take some time to adjust to the intensive. And like, it’s just very different than undergrad courses. So just please keep that in mind. And you can always add classes up to a certain point after the semester starts. So you can start off with two classes or start off with three classes. At one point, if you do take three courses, and you might have to take the seminar on top of that, so that might be four classes. But it will still come up to be nine credits, because the seminar course is zero. So I just want everyone to keep that in mind. But when you do get admitted to the program, I usually meet with students to kind of plan out their courses to make sure that they’re not over loaded loading on the credits as well. So just wanted to point that out.

SUSAN NAGER: Per perfect. And now it makes more sense to me, because when I was figuring if you did the full time, the three courses per semester, I was getting five semesters, which is less than two years. But if you’re saying in the summer, it’s only eight weeks, so you’re probably not going to want to double up on courses. That’s where you get the two years. Is that correct?

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: That. And also, again, like Sarah mentioned, the practicum seminar is zero credits. And then also mine too, that the practicum itself is 200 hours, that you’ll get more information about if you’re in the program. But that takes a lot of time in the semester. So if you’re doing that, and then trying to also juggle other responsibilities, you might not be able to also carry a full course load that semester as well. So I’m love that Sarah mentioned, the fact that the graduate courses are different from undergrad, undergrad courses tend to be more synthesis of material, where these programs tend to be more application of material. So again, you know, knowing what you can conceivably carry with balancing home work responsibilities, I’ll life if you want to have one while you’re completing your degree. And Sarah is excellent, because she’s been there at being able to kind of help coach that if you decide to join any one of our programs.

SUSAN NAGER: Any more questions. This has been very informative. I love the flexibility of this program, though. So it sounds to me like if you prefer the online, you can take your core courses online. And then if you want to switch if you have the ability to go to campus for a different concentration you can

DR. MARYBETH MITCHAM: correct with the exception of epidemiology that one student there’s one core course that’s a little bit different from the rest of the core courses from any other program. So if you love biostatistics, and you know you want epidemiology, this is probably not the concentration for you. Any of the other concentrations have some overlap, again, having that communication focus, but also just a practical application of taking mph core knowledge and being able to use it in the field in a powerful and practical way. But again, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and ask Sarah or I or Susan would be happy to answer them. Absolutely.

SUSAN NAGER: So just to reiterate, the application process is through sofas. If you have any questions regarding the application process, and you’re not working with an enrollment counselor, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the number on the screen as well as the email. And you know, myself and my group of colleagues are happy to answer any questions

Master of Social Work Transcript

PAM HAYRE: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to our virtual open house for our online Master of Social Work program. We are very excited to get started and we’re just going to wait a few moments more for everyone else who might be trying to log in, and for them to get situated. And while we are waiting, if you will would not mind practicing the chatbox by letting me know that you can hear me clearly by stating your first name and where you’re joining us from and then we’ll get started here at 705. Thank you so much. Okay, thank you again to everyone for joining us this evening. We are excited to get started. My name is Pam, and I’m an admissions representative here for the online Master of Social Work program. I’m here as a resource for all of you to give information and to questions and walk through the admissions application process if this isn’t, indeed something you decide to move forward with. So we’ll get started here this evening, so the agenda for this evening we are going to meet the presenters to begin with. And then we are going to actually focus on you know, why basins Master of Social Work program, focusing on curriculum details, the asynchronous learning format, focusing also on field practicum and career outlooks. They’ll also be focusing on the stipend programs that are available. And then we’ll end today with a focus on admission requirements, and there will be a q&a portion as well, towards the end of the evening. So that’s our agenda for today. A few housekeeping items here that I want to read before we jump in, feel free to use any of these features this evening. We have a chat instructions here in your control to the bottom window, click chat the chat window to appear and type your message. You can also select who you would like to send the message to by clicking on the drop down next to two. You can raise your hand of course during the webinar, I do recommend waiting towards the end if you have any questions because it might be addressed course during the actual evening. And as I said, there will be a q&a portion at the very end of the session. And you’ll be able to type your questions in that box. And we’ll be able to get to those at the very end today. All right with without further delay, I would like to hand over to our presenters this evening. We have Dr. Daphne King and Professor Melissa Hensley when she goes

DR. DAPHNE KING: Hi, perfect. Good evening, everyone. Thank you for joining us this evening. And thank you for your interest in the MSW online program here at George Mason University. I am Dr. King, my pronouns are she, her and hers. I am the program director for our online program as well as an assistant professor here in the Department of Social Work. I teach the Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare. So the first course that students take when they start the program, I teach that course, as well as psychopathology, and all of the clinical courses connected to the children, youth and families specialization. And then I will kick it over to Professor Hensley.

PROFESSOR MELISSA HENSLEY: Thank you, Dr. King. And I’m sorry, my voice is a little bit. Well, not great tonight. Not been feeling too good. But it’s great to be here. It’s great to see all of you here as well. My name is Melissa Hensley pronouns are she, her and hers. I’m one of the assistant directors in the field Education Office. And so my primary role is working with students to coordinate the practicum. You’re getting to know your interests. And we work with students individually, throughout that whole process. And I also teach one of the practicum seminar courses online. So it’s great to be here. And I look forward to sharing more about the practicum program.

DR. DAPHNE KING: So as we started tonight, I think it’s always important for us to take a look at, you know, the field of social work, especially since you all are applying to graduate Social Work program. And it’s really important to understand the mission of the social work profession as presented here on this slide. This information came from the National Association of Social Workers. And as social workers, you know, we go into the profession because we want to help others, as well as we’re focused on the well being of individuals, the well being of society and the the well being of our clients. And with clients that can be an individual, a family, a group or community. And so, you know, our primary mission or the primary function of our mission is to help meet those basic human needs. Those things that encompass you know, how we live, how we’re functioning in society, we also work with addressing the needs and empowerment of people who have been historically oppressed and vulnerable in our country and living in poverty. You know, again, our focus is dual because we do focus on the well being of an individual in the context of their environment, as well as the well being of society. And within that dual focus. We also promote social justice and we promote social change so that everyone has access to equal resources and that those things are equitable for individuals for families. For communities and society as a whole, as you can see from this slide, there is an expected job growth in the field of social work by 2030. We are one of the fastest growing professions in the US. Social workers are, you know positioned to also address you know, the mental health shortage or the shortage of mental health providers in our country. And here at George Mason University’s Master of Social Work program or the Department of Social Work, we are positioning ourselves to help fill that gap in the workforce through students that we graduated from our program. And this slide just features a little bit about what makes our program unique. We are very proud and pleased to be able to say that in 2022, we were ranked as one of the top 10 best online MSW programs by Forbes advisor. We have faculty that have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the field of social work, as well as within researching various areas within social work. We have a curriculum that really is developed around social justice, and system transformation. And really looking at some of the macro and policy implications that affect the practice that we do as social workers. We do have an advanced standing option for those applicants or students that have a BSW from an accredited university. There is a process that we go through for advanced standing. And then there are, you know, various financial aid programs. We’ll talk a little bit later about some of the stipend programs that we have within the social work department. And also you have lifetime access to career services through George Mason. A little bit about our curriculum. So for any student, that is starting the program that’s not admitted to advanced standing, you will take 60 credit hours to complete the program. advanced standing takes 33 credit hours to complete the program. So as you can see here for students that are starting in the traditional track, we have a list of our generalist courses, and the generalist courses really set the foundation for your social work education. These are the courses that give you that knowledge and skills to work with clients across multiple settings, and multiple areas. The first course social work 600 Is the foundations of social work and social welfare, which is one of the courses that I teach in the program. And it provides a history of the social work profession talks about various careers in areas within social work as well as some of the practice settings. Again, the generalist courses are going to set the foundation for you beginning your clinical courses. So we have two specializations within the MSW program, children, youth and families as you can see here and adults and healthy aging. Within each of the specializations, there are certain courses that you will take, but you will take those courses once you complete all of your generalist courses. And one thing that is not listed with the list of courses for the two specializations are the field practicum courses. So just as you take 672 and 673, which are your generalist field practicum course and seminar, you will also take two practicum courses within your specialization or clinical courses. And those two practicum courses are 696 and 698. They are both your specialization practicum courses. I’m gonna go to the next slide. So the MSW online program is primarily asynchronous. And that just means that you engage in the courses and coursework on your own time according to your own schedule. It means that the courses are primarily self directed, you will have an extra faculty member assigned to each course your faculty member, you know will record pre recorded lecture videos they will provide you know instruction, you know via zoom via class discussions, an email but with the asynchronous component of the online program that just means that there are not any set times or days that you have to log into your courses. There Are are set due dates for the assignments. So you do want to make sure that you’re frequently engaging in the course and logging into Blackboard to access the course. But you won’t have a set date or time that you have to meet. But there are set due dates for the assignments. There are some faculty or faculty in the program will have virtual office hours. So the virtual office hours generally occur on a certain date and time. Some instructors will hold optional synchronous class sessions via zoom, where you would log into zoom at the time set for that synchronous class session, your field practicums, as you will hear a little bit later are not asynchronous, your field practicums, you will report to your practicum agency during those traditional business hours. And those are in person, there is a seminar course also connected to your practicum that Professor Hensley will discuss but the again the field practicums are not asynchronous.

PROFESSOR MELISSA HENSLEY: Well talk a little bit more in depth about the practicums. The field education, or the practicum is the signature pedagogy of social work education. And so it’s really that opportunity to transition from the classroom into the community. You know, you’re going to be working with clients and interacting with colleagues and interdisciplinary teams and really be able to put into practice what you’re learning in the classroom, your frameworks and everything that you’re learning in the textbook and actually see it in action. The purpose is to provide that opportunity where you will be a student even know you’ll be in an agency setting. And so, you know, we try to preserve that space for you to be a student and to, you know, practice and take the time to kind of think through each of those steps. So that you are ready, when you graduate to you know, be a social worker, field education is comprehensive. As Dr. King mentioned, you have the classroom component, which is asynchronous, but the time that you are at the agency, and I’ll talk more about the hours and how that works here in a minute. So you’ll have that classroom component plus the agency component, which is your practice experience, you’ll have assignments, clinical supervision on site, you’ll be evaluated by both your professor and the agency, instructor, and then it’ll give you an opportunity to practice your social work skill set in the community. I also wanted to mention, and we don’t have to go back on the slides. But you know, just wanted to highlight that your practicum experience is centered on the nine Social Work competencies. So you’ll be seeing that in hearing more about that. But all of the work that you do, is going to be centered around those nine Social Work competencies. And that’s the skills that you’ll want to be able to demonstrate for each year as you go through the program, so your generalist year is going to be it’s a fallen spring semester. So 16 hours per week from August through the end of April, early May. So it is broken into semester. So for the fall semester, you’ll do 225 hours, and then you’ll have a winter break and then go back to the same agency the same course and finish your second half to total 450 hours by the end of April, early May. For each week, that you’re there, you’ll have at least one hour minimum of supervision with the instructor on site who’s a social worker in practice, and who meets the requirements for our accreditation. See, you’ll have at least one hour of that time, which is really an opportunity to get feedback, ask those questions, talk about your assignments, and just have that one on one dialogue. As an additional support while you’re progressing through the practicum. Again, students must demonstrate competency in all areas. And that goes from everything, starting at demonstrating ethical and professional behavior, engaging in public policy practice, completing assessments, engaging with clients interventions, evaluations, and so there’s a range of skills that you’ll be practicing throughout the practicum. And generalist tasks for your generalist year, as Dr. King mentioned, is really your foundation skill set. So it’s going to be a balance between excuse me, sorry about my voice. There’s going to be a balance between direct service and engaging with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. And then also, about half of your time is going to be more of the policy side of things and maybe looking at some of the administrative work that social workers do. So it’ll be a balance for you so that you kind of have a an overview of the social workers role and the agency setting. So you’ll do that for fall and spring, your generalist year. And then summer, you’ll do your classes. And then starting the following August, for you know, when you’re ready, Pastor generalist practicum. And you’ll begin your specialization, your practicum. Again, that starts in August, and we’ll go through the end of April, early May. So it’s the same calendar for you, but it’s going to be more hours. So between that amount of time, you’ll do 20 hours a week, so that you’ll do 300 In the fall semester, and then 600. And I’m sorry, 600, by the time you finish at the end of spring. And same thing with supervision, you’ll have an hour of supervision with your field instructor. And then again, you’ll be demonstrating all nine of the Social Work competencies, but you’ll have a little bit more of an in depth, your practice behaviors and learning activities, and the things that you do are going to be a little more specialized for your second practicum. Again, you know, you’re going to be for both practicums demonstrating skills at the micro mezzo and macro level, your specialization year is going to be a little bit more I would say about 75% of your time will be in direct service with clients. And then again, you know, we try to align that with your specialization. So we look at your specialization of children, youth and families or adults in healthy aging, and try to align your practicum. With that. Again, you know, it really gets complicated when we start talking about what agencies are for what specialization because there’s a lot of overlap. And we often present, you know, the example of you know, when students want to work with youth and children, a lot of times you’re working with the parents, the family unit. So you it’s really hard to be exclusive on that. So we just you know, like to say that up front. And, you know, encourage students to keep an open mind, you know, it’s all going to be a learning experience, the practicum is really an opportunity for you to practice, you are not obligated to practice your entire career based on your specialization. So you know, we just want to emphasize that up front and keep an open mind be flexible. But we do our best to listen to students interests, you know, and situations and all of that as we plan for the agency, we have agencies all over the country. And so I see that we have a number of students here from outside Northern Virginia. So we’re excited about that. But we do partner with agencies all over the country. As Dr. King mentioned, most agency opportunities are going to be during normal business hours. And that’s to make sure that you get that well rounded experience. We definitely don’t want students to be in an agency where the clients are all asleep. We’re not really going to get that learning experience. So we want to make sure that it’s a good fit. This is social work, we know that, you know, things happen 24/7. And so we recognize that as well. So we just tried to, you know, look at that specific agency and when they’re an operation, but I would say most of the time, if not, you know, majority of the time it’s going to be during normal business hours during the weeks. You can go to the next slide. So again, we have partnerships all over we have hundreds of partnerships. And there’s not really one type of agency. It’s really where social workers are needed in the community. So a lot of times we get that question, is it going to be a government agency is going to be a hospital? Yes, we have those partnerships. But we also have some pretty unique arrangements with agencies. It’s really hard to put that into this presentation, because there’s too many lists. So we try to really, you know, get the information from students and where your interests are and find out from the community, what agencies are out there that are looking for students. And so that’s how we make that match. But there’s two types of placements. So we have the option of an employment based practicum. So I’m going to do this backwards because a little bit easier that way. But the employment based practicum is if you’re working with a social services agency, that can provide the opportunities that you need to demonstrate those nine competencies. And they’re willing to provide the supervision and the time for you to be a student as well. A lot of times an agency may have another department or another program. But it really depends on the agency there. Some agencies are very small, you know, in some have multiple departments. And so we look at all of that when we go through the planning process. And so again, we have, you know, three assistant directors and we have a whole team who work with students individually on your specific situation, to find out if that would work for your practicum if you are not working in a social services agency, you know, I would say majority of our placements are going to be traditional where, you know, we partner with an agency and you were there solely in a studio In capacity, you don’t have any prior relationships with the agency. It’s just kind of a new learning opportunity. But we do have that employment base, because a lot of times we do have students who are already working in social services, but just not as an MSW. And so this gives you that room to grow within the agency if, if that works out. And then I think, before I go quiet here, I’m going to put our email address in the chat. So if you have any questions, I’ll be here, the remaining portion of the session here, but if you have any specific questions that don’t get answered tonight, here’s our email address for the field Education Office. Perfect.

DR. DAPHNE KING: And, you know, this slide here just features, you know, some of the, the areas where social workers may work. And as Professor Hensley said, you know, the places where social workers work are far too many to mention, in the open house tonight, in this, you know, connects back to the field practicum experience, or the Social Work practicum experience. You know, social workers work in a variety of settings, from working with the aging population, or those that are in, you know, assisted living facilities or nursing homes working with, you know, Child and Family Services, working with Child Protection, working with homelessness programs, mental health, working in healthcare settings, and, you know, working even in the private sector with, you know, fortune 500 companies or corporations. Again, the the areas and the places where social workers practice is very, very diverse and too many to mention here. So we can go to the next slide. So I mentioned earlier that we have to stipend programs and as I talked about the stipend programs, I do want to make sure that I also communicate that, you know, now is the time as you are preparing to consider applying to the MSW program, now is the time to really think about how you’re going to fund your graduate school education. So within the social department, we have two stipend programs where students can apply for each of the stipend programs come with a $10,000 stipend per academic year. For the Child Welfare stipend program, students that are in their generalist and specialization courses can apply for this stipend program. The only caveat with the child welfare stipend program or CW SP is that there is a work requirement connected to it. So you would have to work for a Virginia Department of Social Services. For a certain number of time after you finish your MSW or LSD, you have to pay back that money. I believe you have to work for a Virginia Department of Social Services for one year for each academic year that you receive funds through the stacking program. So if you’re interested in child welfare, you know this would be a great program to apply to to help you know offset some of the costs of your graduate school education with the Behavioral Health Program. This program is specifically designed to provide some specialized training to student to students to feel the need in the behavioral health sector. With this particular type of program, students can apply to this program only if they’re in their specialization courses. So this means that you will have finished all your generalist courses your generalist field practicum. And you are getting ready to start courses in either of your specializations, children, youth and families or adults in healthy aging. And so students can apply for this program. Again, it is $10,000 per academic year, there is not a work requirement connected to the cap BH program. So that’s something to keep in mind as you’re thinking about, you know, applying to the MSW program. But again, I would recommend starting to think through how you’re going to pay for graduate school as you are preparing to apply and we look to the next slide

PAM HAYRE: alright guys, before we jump into the q&a, I’m gonna get a reminder if you’d like to ask questions, please pop them into the q&a box. Now’s the time to kind of do that. But in terms of the admissions process here, first step, we do obviously require a bachelor’s degree minimum requirement there is a 3.0 GPA So we’ll of course need copies of transcripts, we can typically get a decision with unofficial transcripts if you already have them on file. But we can also definitely help you get your hands on those official transcripts as well. We also do require copies are a copy of your resume to that’s a recommendation, one of which needs to come from a current or previous supervisor. If you’re coming in straight from your undergrad, though, Professor rec recommendation is also fine. And then we also do require a personal statement prompt will be shared with you in regards to that, and the word count for that will be 750 to 1000. In terms of prerequisite courses, which again, we would see on your transcript, we do require a class in statistics for the needs to be great. If you are missing that class, we do offer a free online class that you can take to meet that requirement. And the same goes for the other prerequisites actually, with the English Composition, course that’s required. And then a history of government class, we can offer some suggestions there that are pretty inexpensive. And then of course, we also require them a social science class as well that you take that you’ve taken. So those are our admission requirements. If you have any questions regarding these steps, including you know, start dates, application materials, anything else that you might need to know, please do reach out to your admissions representative. If you don’t know who that person is of your advisor is I will be sharing the main number on our final slide here in a moment and your advisor will be able to kind of address any questions that you might have, you know, answer any questions you might have about application fees, start dates, things like that. And again, I’ll share those contact details with you on the very last slide here. So let’s move on here to our q&a portion. I got a question from Elena here asking what is the tuition for out of state students? So with the online program, there is no in state or out of state tuition difference and there’s going to be one fluctuation for for the for whether or not you’re in state or out of state. That’s that.

DR. DAPHNE KING: It was another question related to the stipend, I believe related to applying for to the stipend programs. So the each of the stipend programs have a different application deadline. So once you you know you’re admitted to the program that information is shared with students

PAM HAYRE: just running through see if I can see the questions yeah. Alright guys, don’t be shy. Um, if you have any questions, please let us know. Um, as you can see on this final slide here, you can see the phone number as well as the email address. And also the the web address as well. If you’d like to reach out to admissions representative for any questions that you might have. I’ll give you another minute or so to ask any of the questions that come up.

DR. DAPHNE KING: And there was also another question related to coursework. So in general, it takes students spend, I would say 15 to 20 hours on coursework that is separate from, you know, related to the practicum. So just in general, about 15 to 20 hours a week.

PAM HAYRE: Got question from Jada here, what is the accepted grade for the statistics class. And that’s going to be at least a B grade for that prerequisite for stats.

DR. DAPHNE KING: So one question that came in the chat was if the GPA is less than a 3.0, we’ll work experience be considered in lieu of unsatisfactory GPA. So we with the MSW program, or in any other graduate programs that I have been involved with prior work or life experience is not necessarily counted. But when we review applications, we are not looking at the GPA in isolation. You know, we look at all of the components of the application and all of those requirements before making a decision. I would you know, I will suggest, you know, if you know your GPA is falling a little bit under a three point, you might want to consider taking the graduate level courses as a non degree seeking student I’ve had some other applicants for students to do that.

PAM HAYRE: And the question for questions is called bail. Could you please describe the transition of how this program may lead to licensure? What does it entail, etc.

DR. DAPHNE KING: So our MSW program prepares students to apply for licensure. So that means, you know, whatever those licensure requirements are we are preparing you to be able to apply for licensure. We always advise students to, you know, check the licensing board in their state for their more specific requirements. But our coursework is designed to prepare students to apply for licensure.

PAM HAYRE: And a question from Katherine here. I think regarding the prerequisites, is there a resource where we can check college course equivalency for the required courses? Essentially, with the prereqs, we are looking for a basic class in SAT statistics history and government English Composition. Typically, if it has that on your transcript, you know, we will accept it. If you have any questions around that. Please do reach out to your admissions rep. They can be your transcripts. And to give you an answer regarding that. And then a question from Elena here. For the employment based practicum, does a supervisor have to have two years experience with the MSW

PROFESSOR MELISSA HENSLEY: for the generalist year, and we do require an MSW with at least two years of experience. And then for specialization year, they need to have at least three years of experience. We do have some options available if that. If someone at the agency doesn’t meet those requirements, sometimes we can provide an external instructor from GMU sometimes an agency may have a partnership with a social worker in the community, or maybe a board member or volunteer. So a lot of times, you know, we’re able to kind of find a workaround for that requirement, but also making sure that you have the supervision and guidance that you need on site. So yeah, and so there’s some options available in your coordinator can help you with that.

DR. DAPHNE KING: And say someone was asking about being provided with a comprehensive list of places where social workers work. And, you know, as we stated earlier in their presentation, it really, you know, it really would be challenging to give one list, we wouldn’t be able to actually really even containing the list, you know, anywhere because social workers work in so many different areas, and so many different types of employment, you know, from the, you know, child welfare agencies, to Department of Social Services, to police departments, to hospitals, you know, to schools, or public schools, to, you know, private practice counseling centers, community mental health, mental health centers, I mean, and I’m not even hitting the list, you know, to work in an EAP agencies or employment assistance programs, to working in psychiatric hospitals, it’s just too varied. And it’s, you know, and too many social workers impact every aspect of our society. So my recommendation would be for you all to check out the website for the National Association of Social Workers. And that website is social, I think it would be a great opportunity to review that website, they have a wealth of information about our profession, places where you know, social workers are employed. I would also recommend looking at the website for the Council on social work education, they also frequently have information about our social workers are employed and information about our field, and social work education, it would just be too, we would not be able to give honestly a full comprehensive list because social workers for work and so many different areas and in so many different places.

PAM HAYRE: question here from me, if I have a degree from outside the US for no GPA. So in that situation, we would require your transcripts to be evaluated. Typically, we recommend that you get a course by course evaluation from West, which is World Education Services, reach out to them and get that evaluation from them. And then they can send that directly to us so we can understand the US equivalency of your GPA. And that’s if your degree was earned outside of the US. And then we have a question from Misko. But this is branching off of the supervising role. For instance, myself working at psychiatric office, could I shadow the social workers at my work? Would that account for any of my practice hours in the employment based practicum section? Let me know if I’m misunderstanding that. That’s from a scope.

PROFESSOR MELISSA HENSLEY: So normally, once you’re approaching the planning section, or the planning cycle for the practicum, which we usually start several months in advance, sometimes the fall before you begin your practicum to start talking about this. So what we look for is the opportunity to meet all nine of the Social Work competencies and making sure that you have the support on site to meet those expectations. And so we would probably have Um, you know, contact the agency to verify what opportunities are available. And, you know, make sure that the experiences they’re providing you with align with our competencies so that we can make sure that it would be a good fit. And then we can, you know, work on finalizing those plans. But that’s something that that’s what we do. I mean, with every single agency, you know, a lot of times students will bring us new agencies, like maybe they have heard of a new agency in the area, or, you know, the thing is, with social work, it is always evolving and changing with the needs of the community. So there’s a lot of new, you know, nonprofits, there’s, I mean, all kinds of growth and change from year to year. And so we’re always adding new partnerships, you know, so that might be a situation where we would just contact the agency and talk through, you know, some of the learning activities they could provide you with to make sure that it meets the requirements.

DR. DAPHNE KING: But keep in mind that your practicum, and even the employment based it’s more than just shadowing the social worker. So there are specific practice and learning activities that students have to be able to engage in at that agency. So it goes beyond just shadowing.

PAM HAYRE: He was about pushing for Marielle here regarding transcripts. So regarding transcripts with your unofficial, if you have an unofficial on file, we can sometimes get a decision with the unofficial copies that you have a transcript is considered unofficial, if it’s not sent to us directly from the institution that you went that you attended. As long as it has all the information that we need, we can accept the unofficial for decision. And then if you are accepted, we will need to get the officials on file, we could definitely help you with that you will be asked to fill out an online Transcript Request Form, we will put in a third party request to your university and try and get that transcript on file. Sometimes they don’t accept that party request. And then we’ll if that’s the case, we’ll share a link with you and try and get that official transcript on file. So we will help you with getting your official on file. If you don’t have them, you will need that if you are accepted. So just bear that in mind that the official is the one that comes directly from the school that you attended. Thank you so much for your questions so far. But if you do have any more questions, please feel free to add. I’ll give you another minute or so to do that. And again, please take note of the details on your screen here. So you are able to reach out to your admissions representative. If you have further questions or you’re interested in in applying. Give you a few more seconds here.

DR. DAPHNE KING: And just keep in mind that you know for spring semester, the application deadline is going to be a little bit earlier, it’s going to be in December. So you want to keep that in mind as you are gathering your application materials, I believe it’s going to be around December 4 would be the application deadline.

PAM HAYRE: Thank you for that you’re definitely fourth of December. It’s the the deadline start date for that as eighth of January we do work on rolling admission. So for spring is currently open. The sooner you apply, the sooner you kind of get a decision coming through. So just bear that in mind as well that you are able to apply for spring. Final point there is a fourth of December for eighth of January starting in

DR. DAPHNE KING: also, I think we didn’t touch on with the advanced standing. That is for students that already have a BSW or have obtained their BSW within the last five years. You can apply for advanced standing and what that means is that you don’t have to take those generalist courses you will be starting the program ready to begin your clinical courses. So for the advanced standing, I think the first course you would take is an elective and social work 674 which is like a pathology. So you do already have a BSW a Bachelor of Social Work from an accredited university advanced standing is also an option that you can pursue. However, for advanced standing, we only admit for fall and spring semesters and the deadline has already passed for advanced standing for spring semester. So you will be applying for advanced standing for fall semester.

PAM HAYRE: I don’t see any more questions coming in. Professor Hamza, do you have anything else you’d like to add? Before we wrap up here?

PROFESSOR MELISSA HENSLEY: I just appreciate the opportunity. And, you know, again, we’re happy to answer any questions at SW I’m so used to typing it. That yeah, if you have any questions on specific agencies or anything like that, definitely reach out to us.

PAM HAYRE: Thank you, Professor King, anything else you want to add before we wrap up here?

DR. DAPHNE KING: No, just thank you all for your interest in the MSW program. You know, thank you for joining us tonight and I look forward to hopefully connecting with many of you soon.

PAM HAYRE: Yeah, thank you so much, everyone for joining in and the questions there and listening attentively and thank you again. Professor King and first NZ for your time this evening Have a great rest of your night everyone

Master of Education in Special Education and Graduate Certificates Transcript

SUSAN NAGER: Let’s go ahead and get started. Again, thank you for joining us. My name is Susan and I’m here on behalf of George Mason’s online master’s of special education program, as well as the ABA graduate certificate and the Autism Spectrum Disorders graduate certificate. And I am joined with Dr. Duke and Dr. Bart hold program coordinators for these wonderful programs. So let’s go ahead and get started. So, first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to meet the presenters, they’re going to tell us a little bit more about themselves, and all about the wonderful things about George Mason University. And we’re then we’re going to talk about the programs and the details of the programs. And then Beth’s experience, the rest of the wonderful faculty, and what it’s like to be an online student, and then the admissions requirements and next steps. And I can assist you with those and the q&a. And feel free to input any of your questions via the chat or the q&a as we go through. And so here, there, there’s a chat box, we’re really not going to do the raising of your hand. We’re just going to stick to the chat instructions and the questions. And then we’ll answer them as we go. So okay, so Dr. Duke, go ahead and take it away.

DR. JODI DUKE: All right. I’m Dr. Jody Duke. I am an associate professor at George Mason, and I am the academic program coordinator for our Autism Spectrum Disorders program. I was initially an elementary ed teacher and then quickly switched to special education. Realizing that I really enjoyed helping students who had different levels of support needs and spent a very long time as a teacher in an autism classroom where I supported students, specifically who had autism as a diagnosis as they worked in different placements within the school where I worked. I then served for a while as a resource teacher and worked in an a setting for students who were high school and transitioning to adulthood. And I’ve been at Mason’s since 2008, actually, in this role, although not originally with the autism program, this is a little bit newer than that. So it’s, it’s a wonderful, wonderful to be here to be able to talk with you guys about this and answer any questions you might have.

SUSAN NAGER: Wonderful. Thank you so much. Dr. Barthold.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Hi, everybody. Thank you for coming tonight. Really happy you’re here. I’m Dr. Chris Bartels, and I am the program coordinator for Applied Behavior Analysis. I have been working in the ABA field for almost 30 years. And I obviously started when I was 10, right. But I’ve worked in just about every different place that you can apply behavior analysis, I’ve worked in schools, I’ve worked in hospitals, I’ve worked in job sites, and most recently, one of the areas that I’m most interested in is the application of behavior analysis to health, Sport, Fitness, and especially health coaching. So really it’s all behavior right? So that’s been I’ve been lucky to be able to do lots of different things.

SUSAN NAGER: That’s amazing. So Would one of you like to discuss why Mason

DR. JODI DUKE: I can start I’ll do I’ll do a couple and then and let you do some Chris. So I think one of the best parts about our programs is that we offer our programs in a part time format. So we provide this high quality instruction and an immersive student experience but we do it in a way that is designed for people who have busy lives so we we are fully aware and know that you all our profession gentles, you have families, you have all these different things going on, and that you’re looking for a program that is accessible and convenient within your life. And so that is something that we really value. And you’ll find that in the way we’ve designed this program. At the same time, it’s the same high quality instruction from faculty that you would get if you came to campus at George Mason. And so we do value that. I’ll take the other one on top there, you get to choose between two tracks, the autism spectrum disorders or the Applied Behavior Analysis. And so we’ll talk at greater length about both of those, but it gives you a nice amount of choice, as you look towards which program to choose.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: So I got one of the easy squares. We are one of the top programs for special education, according to US News and World Report, and especially our online programs are ranked very high. So you can feel comfortable that you’re going to be in good hands, and that we are going to prepare you for the things that you’re going to be experiencing throughout your career. We definitely have a unique and innovative approach. You’ll see later on that it’s not you know, just listen to a lecture, take a test, listen to a lecture, take a test, we have a lot of hands on activities type in both programs, and it is designed to benefit not only just learners with disabilities, but just about anybody, I think you can apply things from both of our certificates to a lot of places in everyday life. But we’re very, very close clear that we’re not just when you see special education, you think public school, K 12. And we talk about that stuff, definitely. But we’re much more than that we really value the idea that these things are applicable across the lifespan. And so we both have both programs really have an emphasis on the lifespan perspective, not just the K 12.

SUSAN NAGER: I think that’s really important and fantastic, because obviously these cute children grow up into adults, so do you want me to I think we can move on to the next slide. All right. No worries just waiting for you. There you go. Okay,

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Jodi, do you want me to take the core courses and then you can do ASD? And then I’ll do ABA?

DR. JODI DUKE: Perfect. Yeah, thanks.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Um, so this is a recognized curriculum. We, George Mason is, you know, an accredited university. And as such, you are going to be required to take certain courses and get a certain number of credits. So you have a couple of different options depending on where you are. In your academic career, if you are looking for a master’s degree, and that you would take our core courses, in addition to whichever track you pick, that we’ll talk about later. Now, if you already have a master’s degree, and you’re looking just for the certificate, these courses wouldn’t necessarily apply to you. But those these five courses, you have introduction to special education, which is kind of what it says, yeah, it’s a introduction to how special education works. etsc 517? Is it bizarre educational technology, assistive technology courses course. 524 is universal design for learning. So you know, learning how to make environments, then instructional experiences accessible to all kinds of learners. Special Education Research is exactly what it sounds like, and our capstone is there as well. So without further ado, about that, I will turn it over to Jodi and she can tell you a little bit about ASD.

DR. JODI DUKE: Thank you. So we have a series of coursework that you will work through. We actually start you out in etsc 634, which is our characteristics of individuals with autism course. And in that class, you learn everything there is to know about the characteristic is the behavior sensory communication, characteristics of autism. And so that’s a great sort of first step course, we do a little bit of information in there as well about the DSM five and some of the diagnostic guidance. Although we now hit on that later as well, you then take ASC 620, which is of course, I teach, it’s supporting behavior and sensory needs. I’m very impartial, I love that class, we focus very specifically on different behavioral supports positive behavior supports. And then we look at each level of autism diagnosis, there are three levels level one, two, and three. And we look at intervention behavior support for that. We then have 635, which is an intervention course where we look each week at a different evidence based practice research based. And really, you go into great depth with that 636 touches on communication and literacy. And so we dig deep into all things related to communication, not just in terms of the articulation and speech production, but also in pragmatic language and conversation and all of those higher level skills that are important. 637 is our collaboration course, where each module is a little different, we focus at a different part of a lifespan, each module focuses so you have one on early childhood, one on school age, all the way through aging, and you look at collaboration needs and resources within your own community. And then our newest course, which we offer is 638, which is assessment and intersectionality. And so this is what I was referring to where we really dig into the diagnostic process and the assessment of autism. And then intersectionality is an opportunity to look at the intersection of autism with other identities, things like race, gender identity, all of the things that make us who we are and how that intersects with autism and and how we can sort of respect and honor that and people that we work with. There was a great question about can you do both simultaneously? My answer, and everyone correct me if I’m wrong would be that it would be good to do one and then the other probably because they’re both very rigorous. They’re both intense, Brittany? And so I think for sure, I would do one and then I would do the other so that you just are able to sort of breathe at the same time. That would be my take on it. All right, Chris, with

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: your coursework? Yes, I agree, Jody, it would be a lot to take those certificates simultaneously. But I’ll get to in a second, why you’d want to choose ASD over ABA or vice versa. One thing that I did not bring up when I talked about the core courses was that you’ll see that ASD has six courses, and that ABA has seven right now. That means that depending on which track you take, you may not take all of those core courses that we’re talking about here. And that would be worked out with your student success coach. So ABA is a preparation program for taking the BCBA exam. So our courses have to meet the behavior analyst certification board as well as the Association for behavior analysis, international requirements for content to prepare you to take that exam. So we put these together very carefully. We start you off with learning how to talk like a behavior analyst. One of the things that a lot of students learn when they first come in is that you know, they think certain things mean something, but they actually mean something else. And behavior analysis or you know, there’s a word that we use every day, this way behavior analysts use it this way. So there’s a lot of vocabulary, and there’s a lot of those principles and philosophy and things like that, that she’ll start off with, then Edsp 621 Is your empirical basis. That’s where you’re going to learn about behavior analytic research, how to take data, which is kind of the cornerstone of behavior analysis. Learn all the quality controls that go into that. And then 622 If we’re talking about favorites, that’s my favorite, philosophical and conceptual issues. This is where we take a deeper dive in the stuff from etsc 619 And you’ll learn later you get to work with a virtual rat, which some people are like, no, but most people, the rat grows on them, and they find it very cute. And it really does solidify some of these concepts and principles that you’re going to learn. And then we get more into the applied part of applied behavior analysis. And so we start talking about assessments and interventions. And a lot of those assessments are going to be towards assessment of problem behavior, like functional assessment, functional analysis, if you’re familiar with those things, and how to intervene. So that’s, that’s your first really applied course, and then eating ASC 624, you’re going to learn about all kinds of different applications. So our program is not necessarily autism centric, we work we expose you to lots of different applications of behavior analysis, and that’s where you’re gonna learn about a lot of those. You’re also going to learn how behavior analysis is applied in supervision leadership, situations, we call that organizational behavior management. So you learn that in etsc, 624, etsc. 625 is about verbal behavior and the behavior analytic approach to language and, and how we use language and then EDC 664 is our ethics course. So that’s where you learn a lot and take a really deep dive into ethics. Sometimes we get people are like, I’m on the fence. I don’t know if I want to do it. Steve, do I want to do ADA? Brittany’s? Like, I kind of want to do both. How do I make this decision? And hopefully, Dr. Duke will jump in after I say this. But the way that I see it make, the best way to make that decision is if you’re really passionate about learning everything you can about the characteristics of autism, how autism manifests the unique needs of people on the autism spectrum. Some of the more, you know, ways that we talk about our sexuality, like Jodi was talking about, you know, and how, you know, do we talk about autistic people? Do we talk about people with autism, all those types of things, then you want to go your ASD track, you’re not going to get that ABA. In ABA, you’re gonna get more of that what we call the science of behavior. So it’s more of the why we do what we do, and not necessarily geared towards a specific population. Is there talk about autism? Yes. Do we have examples of people on the autism spectrum? Yes, we do. But we also have other things like the virtual rat, for example, or, you know, organizational behavior management, applications to for example, behavioral pediatrics, that type of thing. So, yeah, if you’re, if your passion lies with autism go ASD, if your passion lies more in kind of like, why do we do what we do? Then go EDA, and Dr. Do you? Please?

DR. JODI DUKE: No, I totally agree. I think that that we are the place for folks who want to really consider themselves a specialist in all things autism. And so that is the difference. We do look at behavior, but we do not look at it through only an ABA lens. We we talk about ABA and some of the basics, because you will no doubt work with folks in the ABA fields. But to me, that’s the big difference. I think you you articulated that perfectly. I also think that when you look at the career path, and what you want after the program, that’s another good differentiator, right. So if you want to be a BCBA, that’s a very specific ABA moment, and pretty much all other other purposes, which we’ll talk about shortly, you know, other career options fall into the Autism Program.

SUSAN NAGER: Thank you for clarifying that. Is it okay if I ask a question? Okay, so, what? Can you talk a little bit more about the Capstone and what that involves?

DR. JODI DUKE: You’re gonna take that one, Chris.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: I’m actually I’ve considered that a little bit to you because I have no yeah, I’ve 90 and our capstone is going to change in a couple of years. So Did you want to take that? Is that Sure,

DR. JODI DUKE: and we don’t have a lot of students who choose this route. But the 590 course is the is the research course that you would take within the program. And then the, the capstone is really more of an individualized project where you would have a very specific research topic that you want to focus on. And typically, this is an independent study type of of experience where you are working with a faculty member to see that research through. So I’ve only had one or two students, in all the years of being a part of this program do this. In 590, students also get to select a project. But 590 offers a little greater if you do the regular 590, the research course, it is sort of a task analyzed for you in that course, where you’re very supported as this research process is scaffolded. And then in Capstone, I think if we typically recommend that if you’re someone who already has research experience, or has it’s just this project that they really feel passionate about that doesn’t fit the typical trajectory. So yeah, good question.

SUSAN NAGER: Thank you so much. Okay. Dr. Barthold? I’m sorry, you’ve got my curiosity piqued a little bit. What is the deal with the virtual rat?

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Oh, we’ll be talking about that in a little bit. Okay. actually show you exactly what that looks like. Perfect. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

SUSAN NAGER: So, all right. Are we ready to go to the next slide? Yeah, I think so. Okay, thanks.

DR. JODI DUKE: So this one is really what I was just talking about, about where do you want to be at the end of this, which I know is weird to say, as you’re just thinking about where you want to start. But because this is a certificate track, and we really want you thinking about your career outcome. For autism, we are really preparing all kinds of professionals. You can work anywhere in any field with any autistic person at the end of this program. So we have a lot of people who are in education who do this as an add on certificate, particularly teachers who are trying to get toward to their masters plus 30 will add it on as like a second program after another Master’s, we have people who are adult service providers. We have a lot of folks now actually, as employers are looking to recruit autistic employees because of certain characteristics that make them very strong. In the workforce, we are getting people who want to know how to how to better support and, and connect with others who are autistic. We also have family members who want to learn. We have several you’re gonna hear from Beth Felsen, in a minute, one of our alums, she has an incredibly successful consulting company. She does transition consulting, so she works with high school students and their families as they’re deciding what comes next. And I was I was saying, before we started, I think one of our most interesting was we did have someone who was an FBI profiler who needed to know more about autism and, and just the intricacies of, of, of this diagnosis. We actually, I think we need to change this we’re at one in 38, right now are being diagnosed with autism. The need is so tremendous for, for all kinds of professionals. And the wonderful thing about our program, I think, too, is that we, we teach you to work with all ages, because what we’re seeing is that all of the many, many children with autism are growing up. And so you’ve you’ve no doubt seen it in your own work and your communities. I don’t think there’s any way you can go and not engage with autistic individuals. And so this is a really important area of knowledge to have. And so yeah, we just really believe that this is a wonderful track for anyone who wants to better the lives of autistic individuals and I think have your life bettered because we’re talking about people who have you know, a contribute, contribute incredible amounts to our community.

SUSAN NAGER: Wonderful. And

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: I’ll talk a little bit about ABA. We do provide partial preparation for you to take the boards so right now we are on our fifth edition task list. We are a verified course sequence by the Association for behavior analysis International. There are lots of changes afoot as of 2026 2027 and rest assured we are on them. You may have heard of them. If you’re looking into APA right now, we are definitely on them. And we know what needs to happen. But for right now we provide the coursework, you would need to secure fieldwork. And you would need to take the boards in order to become a BCBA. So we prepare you with the coursework, to prepare you for those boards, but you’ll have to take them and also get your fieldwork. We’ve been doing this a long, long time. Dr. Polk founded this program in the early 2000s. And we’ve been online for quite a long time as well. So we have a lot of experience doing online teaching and learning, as does Dr. Duke. And we have really put an emphasis on making sure that you know your stuff when you walk out the door. And because there’s such a need right now, there’s been tremendous growth, most BCBAs had been certified in the last five years. And yet there are still many places where families are looking for ABA services and can’t find them. So there’s lots of opportunity out there, and we’re going to make sure that you are ready to go to meet that need.

SUSAN NAGER: That’s wonderful. You know, recently, I’ve had a number of international applicants that have inquired about this. And so what can I offer them with respect to that with the BCBA exam? You know what I’m saying?

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Right? Yeah, actually, that’s a bit of a sticky wicket. Because the BCBA exam is only being offered in English speaking countries right now. So if somebody is not living in an English speaking country, they would not be eligible to take the exam. And that also includes right now, there’s just a new thing that came out that individuals living in Ontario also cannot get certified. As of, I think, January first. But there are other options out there, you may not be able to become a BCBA. But we do have an either as an international behavior analyst organization, you’re where you are, might offer you know, licensure or a certification, where you live. So I wouldn’t necessarily say, you know, don’t come because you can’t take the exam, you’re still going to get that preparation, you’re still going to get that knowledge. It just might not, you know, the letters BCBA might not be after your name. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to get tools that you need to serve the people in your community.

SUSAN NAGER: And there, there are great needs, you know, when I speak to these individuals, so Well, that’s great to know, about that international organization. So yeah. If I, if at some point, could you provide me with that information so that I could pass it on to those applicants at some point? Because that would be great. Thank you so much. Okay. Are we ready for the next slide?

I think so. Okay.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Jody, I’ll let you take this one. Since Beth is sure.

DR. JODI DUKE: This is Beth, she was one of our first cohorts of students to come through and, like I said, has a really successful business. So she said, the faculty were very engaged with the students and clearly interested in our success. They were very knowledgeable in the subject area and clearly passionate about their field. They were incredibly responsive to questions as well. I think this highlights what we try to do. So you know, we’re, we’re there even though we are teaching in what we call an asynchronous online manner. So in the autism program, you will log in and at the beginning of your week, right now, our week start on Thursday, not Monday, which is a little strange, but you get used to it. So on Thursday, you log in and the new module opens up. And you have lecture videos to watch and readings to do and assignments to do and engaging opportunities to complete with your peers. So discussion boards, and wikis and all kinds of things to get you talking to each other virtually. And I think what’s wonderful about that is that you can complete it at your own pace over the course of the week, which is great. But at the same time I spend a lot of time many days on Zoom calls with students having small group meetings, always answering emails, that’s just a given. And so really do feel like that is that is something that is is unique to our programs is the responsiveness of our faculty. And, and we bring in full time faculty, but we also bring in other experts in the field. So I think that’s a strength as well. Making sure that the people who are teaching you are really the best in the field is important to us.

SUSAN NAGER: Well, I mean, and I think that’s apparent by our high ranking. I mean, we wouldn’t be seventh in the entire nation. Without fantastic faculty like y’all, so plus, we’re also a tier one research university, right? We’re the largest research institution in Virginia. So

DR. JODI DUKE: that’s yes. And I think, across both ABA and autism, you’ll find that faculty are actively researching an ABA. I won’t speak for you guys, Chris, but they are very active in their field. We all are engaged in work with our professional organizations, you know, so really, you get, you get a lot of, of knowledge and a lot of different different areas, which I think is incredibly helpful. I think one of the challenges of academia is that we, we get away from the people that were originally teaching or working with, and I think that we have all really worked hard to stay current in our fields.

SUSAN NAGER: That’s great. So if I can ask how much group work is there? For the students.

DR. JODI DUKE: In the autism program, we have assignments every week that require engagement, but most of them are the ones that they do every week, like discussion boards, there are things called wikis. Those are done individually, but they respond to each other. And so you aren’t waiting around for someone. I think one of the biggest challenges with adults doing cooperative work is schedules and time zones, you know, and all the things so. So we tried to design it where you get engagement, and you get to learn from each other and interact, but you aren’t. Your grade isn’t dependent on Fred doing their part of the assignment. We do have some assignments in each of our courses in the autism program, where you do work in actual groups, and you turn in a group product. But we are very intentional to put those at least midway or towards the end of courses so that there’s nothing worse than like week two, you don’t even know who’s in there with you. And you’ve got to do a group assignment. And we do typically do an individual grade component, in addition to that if we do group work, so we think it’s important, it’s a very collaborative field. People who work with individuals with autism very rarely work in a bubble by themselves. You know, we’re out in community organizations. So we want you to learn how to collaborate and work professionally. But we also want to be mindful that your busy professional adults, Chris, yeah, we don’t know if that’s the same for you all. Yeah, we

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: have a fair amount of group work. And it’s for the reasons that, you know, Dr. Duke said before, really those, you know, professional skills as collaborative skills, we take that very, very seriously. And a lot of our group work is meant to model interactions that you would have in the field as a practicing behavior analysts. We do a lot of things that require a little bit of peer teaching, so you’re interacting with each other. I’ve taken a fair amount of online courses myself, and one of the things that often happens is they end up kind of feeling like feeling lonely, is the best way to put it. Because you’re interacting with the screen and your Word document, and, you know, Blackboard, and that’s about it. And we’ve been really intentional about creating communities, communities of learners, communities of practice, and I have gotten feedback that a lot of people look forward to the group meetings every week, because they get to interact with other people in the class, they get to talk about the material. They’re finding kindred spirits who are working through this stuff and struggling where they’re struggling. You know, and a lot of people will say, you know, we really, we didn’t think that like it, but we actually grew to love it. So yeah, we do have a good amount of good work that happens in ABA.

SUSAN NAGER: I think it’s sort of cool. But it’s consultative in a way. Like especially like if, like, if you have a family member that has autism, and you’re trying to figure out novel ways of, you know, helping, maybe somebody else has has an interesting way of doing things. And I think that’s great. So, um, y’all can’t let’s say, I’m asking all the questions here. Don’t be shy. We have the experts here. But if I may ask one more question. How much time does a student spend on average? And I know that’s very difficult based on the person and but just on average, would you say?

DR. JODI DUKE: Dr. Bardwell Do you want to take that one? First? I feel like I’m talking first a lot.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: It’s a great question. I think that one of the things that students learn early on, especially in the ABA certificate is that you’ve got to distribute your work across the week. Yeah, people who are like, Oh, well worth doing. And I’ll just do this on Saturday or Sunday, quickly, kind of figure out that maybe that’s a little bit too much to put into one day, I would say that the majority of students put somewhere between eight to 10 hours a week, on our coursework, because it is compressed into eight weeks. So we’ve got a lot of material to cover in eight weeks. So I would say it’s about an eight to 10 hour a week commitment that should be distributed in a across and we try to make things assignments little. So we have, you know, this thing that maybe takes five minutes and this thing over here, that’s going to take 10 minutes, rather than here’s this big thing that you’ve got to do, you know, in three hours type of thing. So we really do break it down so that, you know, you can take things in small chunks and work on next, Johnny.

DR. JODI DUKE: Yeah, I think that, you know, we used to have this formula of hours per credit that we would give, but I think it’s a little daunting. And I don’t think that it’s the same for everyone. So I think it’s a little misleading. My honest answer would be that outside of class, I would probably recommend three to five hours a week for readings, assignments, that kind of thing. We do the same as ABA, we have some very large assignments each semester, you have one sort of overarching assignment, but we work on it every week. And we we chunk that into manageable portions. So we try to embed the same strategies that we talked about as best practice for for, for teaching and professional work within the program. So there aren’t surprises, there’s always a printable module checklist. And you you get that out on day one, and you structure your week, just just like ABA, and it’s it’s manageable. But I do think that it takes a certain level of commitment, just to be sure that you’re going to take advantage of the learning. So yeah, I would probably say three to five.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay, and then But then how many hours are spent in class time, like watching the video? That varies

DR. JODI DUKE: tremendously? Yes. So we usually have several videos to watch, we try to keep them short, because we know that, you know, attention wanes. And so you know, you have a few hours of coursework to work through as well. So especially depends on your reading and, and all those things, how quickly you move through things. But yeah, it is a time commitment, you know, you’re doing graduate work. And we do want you to know that that this is what we’ll keep using the word rigorous because we think that is part of our success in both of these programs is that we are we are maintaining the high standards that we do in in all of our other programs. So even though it’s just because it’s online doesn’t change, change that aspect.

SUSAN NAGER: Know exactly and that’s what I always inform you know, you’re getting the same education, it’s just the presentation is just a little bit different. So which is excellent, because this program is designed for working professionals. So that’s what makes it so appealing. So are we ready for the next slide?

DR. JODI DUKE: I love this slide because it’s everyone we love. So I’ll take the autism faculty at the top is Dr. Grace Francis. She is truly an expert in our field. She works in family and professional partnerships, and has an incredible knowledge related to autism and, and families. She teaches our our collaboration course where she is able to share all of that knowledge with you guys. And she also teaches our communication literacy course. And then Dr. Lynn Jorgensen, who you see, has an incredible background. And she teaches our characteristics course, she is the director of our Mason LIFE program, which is our post secondary program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Jorgensen was a previous dean of students at Mason, and just has a wealth of knowledge about mental health, disability, all kinds of different things. And so she’s a great one, for folks to have their first class with, because she just really I think she, she has a way of calming everyone down. So you don’t feel super nervous by the end of the class, even if you felt a little nervous at the beginning. Dr. Bartol, do you want to take yours?

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Sure. We just had a really cool question. When completing the programs as their in person graduation and opportunity, put names, which basis Yes, you can come to graduation, and you can see us all in our funny gowns. And there is absolutely, you know, ways to put names with faces throughout the program. So you know, you’re not just going to kind of, you know, talk to an avatar. There are most of our courses, start off with a quick introductory video so that you can get to know the people in the class with you. A lot of times you’ll be meeting and doing stuff. So yeah, absolutely there, we have been really intentional about creating community, and making sure that you’re part of a community again, you know, we don’t want you to get lonely. And online learning can get lonely. And we have another question, I’ll do that. And then we’ll get to faculty, the APA track would be an individual or collaborative group work grade, that really depends on the assignment and what the goals of the assignment are. So I can’t really say, oh, it’s going to be this or it’s going to be that there are so many different assignments that are graded in different ways. I will say that we’ve designed most of our courses, so that one project or one assignment doesn’t determine your whole grade in the course. So there’s a lot of assignments that balance out, you know, individual and group to make sure that you have a balance of things. So it’s not like oh, well, you know, Joe doesn’t do his work, then we’re all sunk, you know, we’re all going to get a CT like they, we’ve got it set up so that that type of thing doesn’t happen. And we also do a lot of things with coaching. So if groups are working, while we feel like learning how to navigate conflict is an important part of professional skill. So we really do a lot of work to you, if there is conflict within the group. You know, talking about conflict resolution, talking about ways to have crucial conversations with people, that type of thing. So, you know, it’s not just oh, well, you know, here’s your group work, you know, go to it. It really is a collaborative process with the professor. Hopefully that answered your question. So let me talk a little bit about the ABA faculty. I will say we’re missing somebody on the slide. I just realized that just now. And one of the things that I think is really important to know is that every single person on this faculty, including myself as a practicing behavior analyst, so you know, they say, well, when’s the last time you worked with a client? Most of us can say, this afternoon, I can say that. Yeah, four o’clock this afternoon. So you’re going to have people who know both sides, both the academic peace and also, you know what it’s like to be a practicing behavior analyst. Dr. Ted hook was the founder of our program. And he mostly works right now in marriage and family therapy. He has worked with people with disabilities across the lifespan. He’s also worked in some more basic research, which is when we get to the rats, so we’ll talk about that a little bit. Dr. Lisa tulo works a lot in organizational behavior management, as we talked about, that’s leadership, problem solving, working in more group environments, and she does that in number of places, including schools. Dr. Christie Park does more stuff in school. Bass supports, but she also does some work working with families and clients on the autism spectrum. And not listed here is Dr. Kristen kugel. Kristin is our newest faculty member to ABA but not to Mason, and her area of expertise is early childhood special education. So she works with little kids with autism. It whereas my, I’ve worked across the lifespan, but I’ve mostly worked on the other side of the lifespan. And so but my area is, I do work with individuals with disabilities. But I also work in health, sport and fitness. And I’m currently going for my board certification as a health and wellness coach and hoping that that will enhance some of your learning as you go along. Well, I currently work as a teacher’s assistant for autistic children aged two to five. Great, awesome. That’s great work.

DR. JODI DUKE: I was thinking that you’re very patient, because little ones are very intense. A two to five good job.

SUSAN NAGER: Oh, we have another question.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Yes. Do you mind if I take that journey? Is that okay?

DR. JODI DUKE: Go for it. Yeah. Okay.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: What applications besides Blackboard will we have to use? I think that’s going to differ depending on what program you’re in. Will you be able to use all types of laptops, Apple, Chrome, etc. So for the ABA program, we recommend that you get a laptop or a desktop that is either a Mac or a PC, there are certain assignments that we have that don’t run on Chromebooks, they don’t want to grow, they don’t run well on things like a surface or a tablet, or an iPad or an iPhone. So we do recommend that you get a laptop or a desktop or that you find a way to kind of, you know, borrow one or something to that effect. But what programs you’re going to run are going to be different depending on what classes you’re taking, and also which program track you take. So there isn’t quite one answer to that. There’s it’s several different answers. Jody, what is the

DR. JODI DUKE: requirements, you can use anything for the autism program, we have a few things like I just am looking at an assignment where we did some environmental design work and our students have sort of diagrammed a sensory space. And I think it is not working well for people with Chrome. So I’m just advising them to switch to Firefox or something else, and it seems to be working. So you will have a few moments like that. But you can use whatever kind of laptop or you know, a Chromebook is fine. It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t matter for our program.

SUSAN NAGER: That’s a great question though. Okay, next slide. I think thank you. All right. Oh, the one I’ve been waiting for.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Oh, here we go. All right. So this is my slide. So let’s talk a little bit about these interactive programs. So here’s our cute little rat, rabbit cybernetics. And this is, if you’ve ever seen any of the kind of YouTube videos where BF Skinner’s on or anything like that, you’ll see that he works with rats and pigeons and operant chambers. And people still do that, actually. And it’s a great way to learn the basics. So it’s a great way to understand things like shaping and schedules of reinforcement. And all these types of things in a really basic way. And so, you will be working with a colony of rats that you’ll set up and you’ll do a set of experiments. With the rat, we’ll walk you through all of them. And especially in this course, CDSC 622, you’ll see that they actually do we actually have you write a full paper. And so you’ll start from, you know, the background and significance all the way down to the discussion. But we’ll walk you through that process along the way. So that helps you kind of understand how the research process works, especially the basic research process. On the second side, is our simulation, functional analysis. That’s actually Dr. Polk. There’s Standing over our friend, Jen. And so what we do is that you actually watch one of these in process, you take data and you analyze the data. So you’re seeing what’s going on. And taking data and immersing yourself into that assessment process in a way that I don’t think is possible to just talk about, or watch, you know, watch a video on. So you’re always an active learner. And I think that’s what makes our program very, very unique. Both are programs, so not just ABA. Jody has a lot of great hands on learning as well. So I’m gonna turn it over to her.

DR. JODI DUKE: Yes, I don’t know, did we have a slide on our case studies, I can’t remember. But regardless, we don’t have an online, we don’t have a cyber rat. So I do have to be honest about that. I have no cyber rat in our program. But in the autism program, our experiential learning comes from four autistic individuals who allowed us to basically follow them around for several days, each with a camera crew. And so you meet Jake, and Brooke, and William, and Ali, and they’re each at a different age and a different level in terms of the diagnostic piece. And you meet them and their families and their teachers, and their, you know, they’re ABA, they’re ABA therapists. And so you really become very immersed in their lives and all of your assignments revolve around them. And so in behavior, you are working on a plan to help Jake with his self regulation, when he gets a little bit overexcited at certain things. That ended up being something that, you know, we really focus in the autism program, one of the things we really look at is, you know, behavior change, and looking at making sure that we’re not just trying to fix people, which is sort of the way we used to look at behavior years ago in our field was, you know, sort of normalizing everyone and, and so we really look at how can we help promote behaviors that will be helpful to Jake as he gets older, in the community and at work. And so his self regulation was that he loved the feedback that he got in his in his ear when the microphone would go crazy, because he would scream, and so he was really hurting the ears of everyone in the camera crew, it ended up being this wonderful moment, we didn’t mean to capture, but so you come up with a plan to help him and you embed his favorite things, which are, you know, he’s a cyclist, and he loves, you know, he loves engaging with certain friends. And so you really get a sense of, of, of how do you carry out this, this skill that we’re trying to teach you of developing this specific behavior system, but you’re doing it in this real world way, which I think is very beneficial. And so those, those are the pieces that I think make our program unique with those those folks. And I’m able to give updates, because we’re still in touch with everyone. And that’s always nice students get very attached to those four individuals, by the end of the program for sure. There was a great question about being an early childhood special ed teacher. And so neither of these programs will give you Teacher Certification, I want to be very clear. So the Autism Program gives you a certificate. But in Virginia, there is no teaching license associated with autism. And so you would want to look at doing an early childhood, special ed, teaching certificate, and then perhaps the autism as a nice add on piece, you could do it in either order if you wanted to start with autism, and then add that later. But I’m happy to talk with you about that. I’ll put my email at the end of this too. But I just wanted to be sure to know there is not a teaching certificate associated with either of these programs at this time. Right.

SUSAN NAGER: So if they’re looking for teacher licensure, the campus program does provide for that correct? That’s right.

DR. JODI DUKE: And we get a lot of students who blend them so they’ll do that and then add on an autism piece for sure. I don’t know if you see that as often in ABA.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: We don’t necessarily see that as much typically, when people are going for it. They’ve already been licensed. And then they come and do the ABA certificate. So we’re a little bit different than the autism program in in that we have both an online and a campus. option for ABA. And autism is fully online. So our situation is a little bit different. But if people are interested in teacher licensure, we do have, you know, a great program that is also highly ranked in US News and World Report. So there’s definitely those avenues available to you. Yeah,

SUSAN NAGER: thank you so much. One thing that I’d like to add is that I get a lot of applicants. And if they’re going for the BCBA, if they only have a bachelor’s, it’s great to know that you only need once you get those ABA classes, you just need three additional courses, to get your master’s in special ed plus that graduate certificate and ABA that will allow you to sit for the BCBA exam.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: So I think it’s important to make sure that people know is if you’re looking to do this, and it is possible to do absolutely 100% possible to do. But you’ll want to try to finish up before 2026. Because there’s going to be some major changes to board certification requirements. Again, if you don’t finish up, you know, there’s options for you. It’s not, you know, it’s not all lost if you don’t pick up. But right now, what we’re talking about with board certification really only extends to about 2026. So I think it’s really important that people know that as they’re going into apply.

SUSAN NAGER: Absolutely. And the Master’s itself with one of the graduate certificates is a total of 20 months, or five semesters. And the ABA alone is seven classes. So that’s 21 credits. So that’s going to be Oh, I don’t know how many semesters it’s going to be. I think, like, a year and eight weeks or something like that.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: Yeah, I also have 2000 hours of field work that you’ll have to do. Mason doesn’t provide those. But you can start accruing those as soon as you start your first course.

SUSAN NAGER: Yeah, that’s which is wonderful. Yes. That’s good to know. Okay. All right. So, in terms of the admissions process, would do we all like to talk about it? Or would you like, it doesn’t matter to me?

DR. JODI DUKE: Would you do that one for us, actually. But of course, I think you’re, you’re the specialist on that. Thank you.

SUSAN NAGER: No problem. Now, I must say, Yes, I’m there to guide everyone. But I’m not going to be looking at your folder to say whether to accept you or not. Right. But that said, my colleagues and me, we’re sort of the gatekeepers, we know who makes a good candidate and candidate and who you know, does it so we can advise you properly. So a minimum of a GPA of 3.0. However, you know, there’s wiggle room for that there’s a GPA addendum that you can submit, explaining why your grades weren’t as high as expected. So maybe you were taking a full load and working full time. Mason is really good about looking at the entire individual as a whole. So they’re going to look at your work experience, your background, your grades, maybe there were certain grades that you know, you were taking organic chemistry and then you decided you didn’t want to be a doctor or something like that. Okay, so then transcripts, Mason, as long as you have unofficial transcripts, Mason can use those to confer decision and we will attempt to order official transcripts on your behalf as a courtesy, a resume which most mostly everybody has two letters of reference, super easy. You admissions requires one past or present supervisor. But again, it’s very easy. All you do is input the names and emails of your references into the application portal. And then they will receive an email with a link that takes them to take them to a questionnaire literally only takes them about 10 minutes to complete. A personal statement and the instructions for that personal statement can be obtained by speaking to me or one of my colleagues. So on the next slide upcoming will be contact to information, and we’re happy to assist you. This is a great program. And the faculty are wonderful and caring and supportive people. And as admissions reps, like I said, we’re happy to assist you in this process. So here’s the information. So the main number is listed there, the email, and then of course, the link to apply as well. Oh, thank you, Dr. Duke. Okay, so Dr. Duke just posted her email. Thank you for that.

DR. JODI DUKE: Yeah. And there’s a great question about, can you do this? And then teacher licensure? Absolutely. You can combine these in whatever order best fits your needs.

SUSAN NAGER: Okay, terrific. Yes. And then a question regarding FAFSA. So, as long as you don’t have outstanding masters or doctoral debt, most students know I’m not a financial aid counselor. So don’t put this in writing. But for the most part, as long as you’re not a convicted felon, or have master’s or doctoral debt, most students are awarded $20,500 per year in unsubsidized loans. And so, again, we can talk to you about, you know, we have external scholarship information, there’s payment plans that you can set up with Mason, FAFSA, Sallie Mae, which is private loans. There’s various opportunities, sometimes tuition reimbursement. And by if you’re working at a certain facility, they will assist you, but we’re happy to explain it. So you said I’ve applied what’s next. So once you get accepted into the program, and then you register for classes, in other words, once you have a bill, you’ll be able to see the amount that is awarded, and Patriot whap. But again, you can reach out to one of us and we can provide you with Mason’s financial aid office information, and you can reach out to them to see if they can provide you with further information. I can provide you with some scholarship information. Or if you’re already Are you already working with an admissions representative? If you’re working with an admissions representative, they can provide it for you. But I can post my email as well. Here, and so you can reach out and I’m happy to help you. Oops, if I can type. Let’s see.

DR. CHRISTINE BARTHOLD: I just realized you have to sit back to everyone. Otherwise they don’t see it.

SUSAN NAGER: Oh, really? Yeah. Okay, let’s see, oh, you know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna do it here. I’m gonna post it in the chat and to everyone. There you go. That’s me. And my name is Susan. Okay. But again, if you’re working with somebody, you’re quite welcome any time. And yeah, we’re happy to assist you. And I would like to thank both of you for joining us. Thank you so much for your time. It was great to learn so much about this program. It was informative for me and I’m sure it was informative for the registrants as well. So any more questions before we go because it’s that be witching hour. I can also post my phone number as well. But again, reach out to your admissions rep. If you have one, that’s my direct line. Okay. And I look forward to hearing from everybody

TESOL (MEd Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction) Transcript

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: Shall we begin? Okay. Thank you for attending. Our agenda for tonight will be to meet the faculty leaders in our program, our Coordinator of Student Services, Marie champagne. Talk a little bit about why choosing this program is a great choice. Meet the other core faculty. hear a little bit from alumni, and talk about admissions requirements. Anyway, we’ll save some time for questions and answers. Next slide. Okay, so you can chat if you like or raise your hand or click the q&a. But probably, for the case of this evening, we can just save questions until the end and we’ll be happy to answer them for you. Excellent.

DR. JOAN KANG SHIN: So hello. My name is Joan Kang Shin, and I’m a professor of education, specializing in T Sol, as well as an online teacher education. I’m the Director of the Advanced professional teacher development and international education division, which is the division that this program is a part of. Also, I’m the academic program coordinator or CO coordinator for the teaching culturally and linguistically diverse and exceptional learners program or TCL, DD D L, of which this program is apart. And it is my pleasure to meet you. And thank you for coming to this virtual open house. And now I pass it back to my colleague, Dr. Ramos. Yes,

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: thank you. Hi. So I’m Dr. Cathy Ramos, colleague of Dr. Shin in the teaching culturally linguistically diverse and exceptional learners program. I’m an associate professor of education at Mason. I’ve been at Mason, since 2016. Have a background also as a secondary school teacher, and am an instructor online instructor for many of the courses in this program. And we are delighted to have you join us and next our colleague, Marie will introduce herself and tell a little bit about her role.

MARIE CHAMPAGNE: Thank you Dr. Ramos. So I serve as the Coordinator of Student Services for this program. As a student this program you will have access to a robust coordinated student support model, you will have a success coach and I will serve as your academic advisor. Academic Advisors are a resource for Mason policies, procedures, campus resources and degree requirements. I also support students in securing fieldwork placements, you will learn more about how the Academic Advising and success coaching roles are designed to work together to provide the best student experience during your orientation. And throughout your time in the program. I hope you decide to to join this wonderful program and spring 2024. Thank you.

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: Thank you, Marie. So I’m just going to share a little bit about what makes our Tiso program unique and special. In this program, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with high quality faculty with expertise in T Sol and in online teaching. We’ve carefully designed and created the courses in this program, you will gain expertise to design and deliver engaging culturally and linguistically responsive and sustaining English language instruction across a variety of contexts that you may be interested in working in. You will find our courses to be innovative and engaging with full participation by the faculty who are teaching the courses so you won’t feel alone in the courses and you’re going to join a renowned University and a program that is recognized by T Sol International.

DR. JOAN KANG SHIN: Okay, so let me tell you a little bit about your online learning experience. So in our program, we have designed an online learning experience that is active and will keep you engaged and promote lots of interaction with the content with your instructor, and most of all with your classmates. All of our professors develop the courses with instructional design miners and created activities that are grounded in the latest research, while also connected to real world scenarios. In the example on the left side, I know it’s small, but I’m not going to tell you all about it. But but you’ll see an online activity from the course adci 582, which is actually one that I designed and that activity is based on my own real life experience. So it’s a scenario about my own family and the interaction with an ESL teacher at my nephew’s school. And I’m not going to give away the activities. So if for when you join us, you can get the most out of the activity. But the important part is that this is a great example of online learning, because this scenario, connects the course content to real life, and poses a problem that is multifaceted and could have many possible solutions. Another example, which you can see on the right side, is an activity where I have students demonstrate their understanding about how to motivate and engage culturally and linguistically diverse students in reading, while showing an actual activity that we would encourage teachers to use called a choice board. So this provides you as a student in our program with choices for how to demonstrate your understanding of new course content, while showing how to engage your own learners with choice to meet lesson objectives. So this program and their courses, they’re all online and asynchronous, meaning you’re accessing the course at your own time, multiple times a week, but don’t mistake the interaction, and also that it’s very hands on and you’re going to learn activities you can use with your students through the experience. Okay, the next slide. So we do have a flexible and accredited curriculum. And and I think it was mentioned before that our curriculum, the whole program, it’s based on our teacher preparation curriculum that’s nationally recognized by Teasle International Association. So that really means that you are getting the highest quality in teacher education. The there are 10 courses, which you can see here. So you’ll see different coursework, about human development and learning. Right, as well as understanding culturally linguistically diverse learners, you get those foundations in language and literacy. That was the examples from the course came from there. As well as that Teasle methodology, learning the linguistics that’s needed for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, everything you need to know for assessment, and content literacy, as well as that kind of consultation and collaboration, which is so important in educational settings. And there is the culture and linguistic inquiry and T Sol, where you really get to know research and even how to be conducting some action research in your class. You will take two courses per semester, the last eight weeks each. And then in addition, you will find a classroom or learner are contexts to work with to conduct fieldwork. And so each class has this culminating performance based assessment that’s designed for you to demonstrate your mastery of the course content. And it will be based on the fieldwork that you conduct. And so all all of the professors and instructors in the courses that you take have really scaffolded you step by step. And as you can see here, you know, your fieldwork could be in a variety of settings, whether it’s a public or private school or after school tutoring or in a community based language and literacy setting. Perhaps you can volunteer to tutor and do your field work there. And maybe you know, other culturally linguistically diverse people that you can do your fieldwork with. But you’ll you’ll notice that you’re responsible for locating the fieldwork settings. Usually instructors have great ideas If you need help to figure out where to do your field work, but that is again, another way that we make the coursework really hands on, so that you get that full experience and are prepared to teach once you complete the program.

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: Okay, thank you so much, Dr. Shin for that excellent overview. And I would just add there that we have, because the courses are eight weeks, and you take two per semester, as Dr. Shin indicated, they also go around the calendar. So effectively, you finished your master’s degree, really in a year and a half or a little bit less than that, because of the summer work also, this program is is unique and we what we love about it is we attract students from all kinds of different backgrounds, who have all kinds of different professional aspirations. So it is not a licensure program. If you want to obtain a first teaching license to work, let’s say as an ESL teacher in a public school, then we have a different program for that that we could share with you. But we do have many practicing teachers who are already licensed, and who are looking to strengthen their expertise for working with multilingual learners, and take the Praxis, Esau practices to add on the ESL endorsement. But equally, we have many, many students who work in all kinds of contexts, or who wish to work in different contexts. So we have people who are working with multilingual learners in community college programs in nonprofit organizations, in literacy programs for adults, and with adult family members from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, private language institutes or even in corporate language training. So this Teasle Master’s is very versatile, you can carry it with you, across the world to open all kinds of doors for yourself. A lot of our students already are working or know where they are headed. But we also have many people who just are so intrigued and interested to become an English language teaching professional, and they want to have the Teasle masters so that it will indeed open doors for them. Okay, so it’s kind of endless, the possibilities.

DR. JOAN KANG SHIN: Of right, so now let’s meet a couple more faculty. Because of course, you’ve met Dr. Ramos and me already, and you’ve met your academic advisor, Marie champagne. So now I’d like to just briefly introduce you to our colleagues who have designed multiple courses and regularly teach in our program. So the first person you’ll see on the left is Dr. April Maddox Foster and she is an associate professor and her credentials and her experience span elementary education, secondary social studies, as well as language literacy and culture and T Sol. She has experienced teaching in the US as well as in Russia and the Netherlands. And she has also won awards for her online teaching at Mason. On the right side, you’ll see Dr. Susan Kim, and she is a transnational scholar and teacher educator at Mason. She’s a researcher focused on content, language, integrated education for multilingual learners. translanguaging Trans mobilizing pedagogy, this is stuff you’ll learn all about, if and when you join us. And I also wanted to add one more thing, which is that all four of us have been recognized by our university for excellence in online teaching, so you know that you are getting Mason’s very best, in course design, online instruction, and community building and online spaces.

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: Perfect, thank you. And we just wanted to share one quote from a graduate she graduated in summer of August 2022. And she reached out to us to say that she just wanted to send a quick email to thank us for an excellent master’s program. She felt that she learned so much over the course of the past one and a half years. And she recognized that a lot of care and thought had been put into the program as a whole, and that she certainly benefited from that and had grown immensely as an educator. So we have a little treasure chest of messages like this, not just this one. This particular person is a elementary teacher in Hong Kong. That’s where she lives in works of so we have had wonderful feedback really from many students across each semester, and as I said in many professional pathways that they are now engaging in. And now to apply that’s back to you, Brianna, right?

BRIENA PERSAUD: Sure. In order to apply to our program, what we will need in terms of documentation would be your bachelor’s degree, and overall a GPA of at least a 3.0. Your transcripts, copy of your resume, two letters of recommendation, as well as your personal statement

DR. KATHLEEN A. RAMOS: and I think that’s it

MHA Health Systems Management Transcript

CASEY SCHULZ: Let’s go ahead and get started. So this is the virtual open house for the Master of Health Administration and health systems management. So we’re just going to go over and meet the presenters today. Why George Mason, the admissions requirements, which I’ll go over. And if you guys want to write in your questions in the chat, as we go along through each slide, we’ll save the questions and answers section till the end. And if you don’t know how to participate the chat, but function should be either at the bottom of the top of your resume. Here it is a mine. And again, like I said, any questions you can go ahead and write them in the chat. Our presenters today is Dr. Shane Gould, the director of the program and Dr. Your array. Sorry if I don’t pronounce that correct. She’s assistant professor of the MHA. Program. Ready? You’re muted. Perfect.

DR. MARIA URIYO: And you go back to the previous slide. Oh, yeah. Perfect. Yeah. So Lukashenko, we can introduce yourself, and then I’ll introduce myself.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: Sure, so. So I’m Dr. Shine gold. And I’ve been with the program since 2018. I was the interim director, until I was hired permanently in 2020. So I was a pandemic hire. Prior to that I worked at GW as a Program Director for 10 years. And I love working for George Mason, I think it’s a very, it’s one of the best schools that you could choose a value for the dollar and the quality of education that you receive there. And one of the highlights of my, my job is to, to work with Dr. Maria Yuriko. And, and we work very closely together with the students on campus and online. And so I’ll turn it over to her.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Yes, so yes, my name is Dr. Maria Uriyo. I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy. I came to George Mason, about three years ago towards the end of COVID. And I previously worked at Johns Hopkins health care, where managed the direct reaccreditation process for their three lines of business. And that was covering about 2000 to 275,000 members. So outside of work, I am a co founder of a nonprofit that does stem in North in these Haymarket area. That’s where I live. And yes, it’s been a pleasure working with Oakland, shine, go work really closely together. I’m on the online side. She’s the she oversees everything, but we work really closely together. So next slide. So So what makes our program unique? Out of these four areas here, we’re coming accredited, and we’re first accredited in 2009. Teen. So the process is very rigorous, requiring on campus visits by the coming accreditors and reviewing of documents, interviewing faculty, students and alumni. And you also, I mean, by the mere fact that you’re here, you understand the importance of why come accreditation is important, because some employers will not fund any, any any MHA advancement, like going to college get a degree, if it is not Kamiya accredited. We are ranked 32nd in US News and World Report. And we also have a flexible format. That means that our classes are a synchronous, but because we want to encourage community, amongst our online students, sometimes we encourage professors to have some classes to be synchronous. But that’s not. It’s not required that you attend them. But if you want to get to know your fellow students and the professors to know you, it is good that you at least attend one of these synchronous sessions. And then of course, there are opportunities that you will get outside of the classroom. We will talk about that more later. But before we move on, I think maybe Dr. Shango you want to talk about the Academy Award.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: Yes. Thank you for that. I can’t wait to receive An award. This was a national competitive award earlier this year, and it was for sustainability and healthcare education. And it was given to us by Cami, our creditors in conjunction with Canon, the Canon, you know, the sustainability board. So it was a combination of those two that voted for our program to receive it. There’s only one every year one program that gets it and we received it this year. So that was a huge honor. And we are we’re, we have some prize money that was given to us in conjunction with it, that Dr. year are you and I have put together a one of its kind competition with integrated teams from five different schools, Hopkins, VCU GW, Uniformed Services University, and of course, George Mason. So we’re piloting that in next week. Actually, it’s coming up quickly. So I also wanted to mention our ranking with US News and World Report is new way ascended in the rankings this year. And so we were really happy about that. So we rose in the rankings and are higher now. So

DR. MARIA URIYO: thank you. Thank you next time. Okay, so in terms of learning outcomes, students that go through MHA program are taught from a curriculum that is designed to develop their competencies, proficiency proficiencies in these five areas, knowledge of the healthcare system and healthcare management, communication, interpersonal effectiveness, critical thinking, analysis and problem solving, management and leadership, professionalism and ethics. And these areas are necessary if you want to be successful as a mid career, mid career or executive level management professional. And I think we do we do not come up with these proficient these competences randomly, they are all recommended, and we get feedback for forming an advisory board. That is because that is composed of members that are working actually, in industry right now. Lukashenko. Would you like to add anything to this?

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: I think you explained it really well. Dr. Uriyo, and our focus is employment at the end of this program, everything we do all of the input we seek from students from employers from organizations at a national level, but is geared towards making sure when you complete this degree that you’re a highly sought after candidate for jobs.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Excellent, okay. So our curriculum is flexible. And actually, quite a number of changes have occurred within the last two years. So we currently have, we have two concentrations right now, quality, concentration is new and executive concentration is what previously the MHA program was or is. So in terms of the curriculum, the core requirements are shown here on the left, these nine classes are three credits each, and we have classes that are you have to take the class and global community health of 500. That being because we’re College of Public Health, we want to have all our students in this college have at least an introductory understanding of what public health is, and then veer off in a different direction based on their it their pursuits, or whatever they’re interested in. So, after you finish all these required classes on the left, then you can you you can determine whether you want to do quality, then you pick the quality classes, and then executive concentration if that’s what you want to select from there. And all of these in total are going to be four to five credits in total, and this is a change from it used to be 47 credits. So we are you know, we are becoming efficient and and cognizant of what it is that industry wants. Next slide. So the Shango we really like to talk about this one.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: So every student online or on campus, finishes a capstone project within the organization as their their final class in the program. So this is set up with a preceptor, in, in an organization local to your area. Some of them are remote. But we have had students place nationally since this is a national program, and they work with, with preceptors that have, everybody needs extra help, they have a lot of high level projects that they don’t have time for or can’t afford to hire consultants for. And that’s where our students come in. So this is one example of a project from last year was the only time starts in the operating room. It’s a they lose a lot of money, they meeting the hospitals and the surgical suites if this if the surgeries don’t begin on time at 7am. So we had a student who was a secret shopper in the in the O R, and she went in there and had a checklist of why it wasn’t starting on time. So she did this for the whole semester of her of her project. In the end, it turned out that the reason most frequently it wasn’t starting on time was the surgeons weren’t there on time. So that was really good feedback for the organization. And they went back to the surgical team, you know, with that information to make changes. And one of the changes was if they did not start on time, three times in a row, they couldn’t have their first or start time. So that’s just one example of so many, I mean, we’ve supervised hundreds, literally hundreds, so after urea when I projects of all different types such as that’s just one small example.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Next slide. Okay, so aside from opportunities, aside from classwork the opportunities outside of the classroom, and these come through the rising healthcare leaders of medicine, which is a student led organization that is very active. And by, you know, being involved in this organization, students get the opportunity to begin connecting, interacting networking with executives in health in the healthcare sector, within the Northern Virginia area. So that is a, like a low hanging fruit of of networking. And the benefits that you get by joining this organization and being very active in it. In terms of other organizations that students can take part in is we have the national capital healthcare executives, which is part of the sch E. And again, any executive in healthcare right, belongs to this sch e which is in Northern Virginia, it’s called the National Capital health care executives organization association. So another way for you to get to know your future colleagues and begin networking. In addition, we have internally in the department, the AcademyHealth students chapter that is led and advised by Dr. Debbie Gould Goldberg. So, as you, you will hear of her when you become part of the MHA program, and other opportunities attending seminar series given by faculty, given by students who are doing research given by guests with guest speakers and lectures from various parts of healthcare in the healthcare world. So that is another way. And of course, the National case competition, which will lead to the Shango talk about

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: yet we have two competitions, and that we sponsor nationally these, this is all paid for by our department. We just finished one in Atlanta, that was five days, the students get the case, everybody gets a case there were 32 teams in this particular competition, they get the same case, which is a real case from a healthcare system to analyze, to come up with a creative strategy. And then they present it to a team of judges. So they present it in several rounds until they get to five finalists for this particular competition. And this was with the National Health Services Executives Association. So they one of the big incentives to participate is not just because it really builds out your resume. And employers like to see this kind of object on a resume. It’s also because they win cash prizes. First place in this competition, the students get $5,000 apiece, and then it goes down by $1,000 for the other four teams, you know consecutively. So this is a this is a pretty big deal. It’s unique to MHA programs, they’ve been doing it for a long time. I think this was the 27th, one for the National Association of Healthcare Executives. They focus on minority population populations of students, predominantly black populations of students to foster executive skills and management skills, competitive skills to really help hone you for the market. The other big one we do, Dr. Yuriko coaches, and that’s a University of Alabama, Birmingham. And that one is coming up in February. So we invest a lot in this, we pay for all the airfare, hotels, registration fees, all the food. And, you know, it’s, you know, it’s a wonderful opportunity. And we include online students. So that’s, you know, that’s another thing that we, we offer to both pathways in the program.

CASEY SCHULZ: Alrighty, so this is my portion of the presentation. If you guys joined a little bit late. My name is Casey, I’m an Admissions Advisor. So if you guys have started an application or have not yet, you know, maybe put in a request for information, or just looking, we our job is to help you throughout the process of the application. So we do like to have students a prerequisite is obviously a bachelor’s degree. We also like to see students work experience. So we do ask for that as well. To have some work experience, and not none are just recent graduates is what we’re kind of hinting at there. We do ask for your resume, we will ask for a statement of personal purpose, which is an essay about 752,000 words. And we will be able to send you those instructions as well. The correct directions of the essay, we do ask for two recommendations as well. Letters are accepted. We also on the application, send your recommendations an email with the questionnaire after putting down their emails, which kind of speeds up the process a little bit, so that your recommendations don’t, aren’t obligated to do the written letter. And then after that, we do a video interview. That video interview is done with your academic advisor. So if I was yours, we would do our video over zoom, and it’s usually about 10 minutes. So that’s really the steps of the application process and what is needed. At the end, there is an application fee as well, that is $75. And our next term Spring is coming up. The deadline for applications are due by December 4. And then the start date for classes are January 8. So just some time before the holidays you can get your stuff in. We tell students the sooner you applied, the sooner you can get a decision with rolling admissions. And I would like everyone to utilize the chat if you do have any questions for Dr. shingled and Dr. Orion. And I do thank them again for taking the time to to hold this open house with us. And make sure you have your setting to everyone, or just the me or the professor’s so we can see your message that’s our phone number as well. To get information from us about the program. I also we’ll put down my contact information in the chat. If you have not requested information already or you are ready to start applying, feel free to email me and we can go ahead and get you started on the application process.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: Here’s a good question. Benjamin. Thank you for asking this. Are you able to take more than one class at a time? You can’t take more than one class at a time because they’re only seven and a half weeks. And we haven’t set up so that you would take one class and then the other consecutively so that it You know, so that you could complete it, then the two years that we, that we allow for it. So it’s, you know, often two years and a little bit over one semester for their capstone project? That’s a very good question.

DR. MARIA URIYO: So is the program a cohort program? Well, we can’t control that would like for it to be a cohort program is program as much as possible. But then sometimes one or two or three students may decide to, for one reason or the other, take time off per semester, and then those students are out of sync. So yeah, but it’s really up to you, as a student to stay in sync with your, with your group of group of incoming peers.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: I would say there’s also times when a on campus student may float into the online class, because it’s not being offered on campus, and they need it to maintain their graduation timetable. So that you may see that occasionally as well. Question.

CASEY SCHULZ: Anyone else have any other questions?

DR. MARIA URIYO: What am I looking for students? Well, aside from the GPA requirement, it’s you have a, you have a goal that you want to attain. And this program is going to help you attain that goal, or at least be a step one, towards that goal. And many, many students have different reasons. So we look at everything recommendations, what what you’ve been doing, what you’ve been studying, and the quality of your letter. And the interview that occurs? Yes.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: And I noticed that the attendance has gone up a little bit, it looks like we picked up two more people. So if you want us to circle back with you, and if you have any questions, if you missed part of what we said, please don’t hesitate to put it in the chat. We’re happy to help.

DR. MARIA URIYO: I’ll even go back. So, Dr. Shango, this question about so can you attend class? If you’re predominantly online? Can you attend an in class? Oh,

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: that’s a good Oh, in person. Question. And the answer is, we only let you transfer to on no on campus classes one time. So if that’s what you want to do, and you’re registered in the online pathway, you can transfer into the in person classes. And that but you can’t transfer back. So that’s the that’s the policy that we have for that. However, we have a lot and and I’m not kidding when I say this, we have a lot of online students that come to campus regularly. And they come for all kinds of events. They come to, to meet guest speakers to network, to have the officers that are currently in rising healthcare leaders at Mason, our online students, the Vice President, and the Secretary are both online students. So we see a lot of online students because we have a lot of them that live in our area. We just had a huge event last month, where there was for the whole College of Public Health sponsored by the Nova hosted by rising healthcare leaders at Mason with 300 attendees 300. To rising healthcare leaders at Mason, the MHA program is a huge mover and driver of opportunities for the entire college. So plenty of opportunities to come to campus and we love it when you do so. No, I can’t tell you how excited I am about that question.

CASEY SCHULZ: And to build off that someone asked in a quick the question and answer section are the course offerings. The same for on campus and online.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Well, that’s fine. Go ahead. Yeah, the classes, the content is the same. There is only the number of weeks the duration, but everything is the same

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: question. It’s a good one because our our CAMI accreditation is one accreditation that covers both Pathways because they are identical. They’re a mirror image of each other just like Dr. ureas explained So that’s why we’re allowed a little bit different than some programs to have one accreditation because they are identical.

CASEY SCHULZ: And also, when you when students graduate, and that’s the question that is asked a lot to the academic advisors is you, when you graduate, your degree won’t say anything about it being online, you will have your degree and Masters of Health Administration and won’t have any indication that you took it asynchronously online. It’s all just one program.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Think that’s correct. Yeah.

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: Yeah. I like this other question I see as the leadership of the program, what are you looking for in student applicants? Great question. We want to see self starters, we want to see people that are proactive, that communicate that are ready to roll up their sleeves. And our goal, you know, that that will get out there and want to really make a difference in health care. And, you know, aren’t afraid of hard work, aren’t afraid to interface with professors and their colleagues. And, you know, that’s what we look for, you know, we want a self starter, especially with an online program, you have to you have to be your best advocate.

CASEY SCHULZ: I got another question here. When is the next time George Mason is scheduled for accreditation review? If you do know that,

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: yeah, I do know that it’s two years. So we’re in our, we have three years of look back before we have to file because it’s a seven year accreditation. So we go up for accreditation, again, in 2026. So we’ll be in our third year of look back between 2425 Or have to write ourselves study and submit it. And they’ll come the end of 2026, or the beginning of sorry, the end of 25, beginning of 26. So we’ve gone through this three times, this will be our fourth cycle of Kamiya accreditation, and we’ve never been on probation. We’ve always come in high with with really good feedback from the accreditors so that’s a good question. Because as an actor you’re to explain you do not want to go to a program that’s not kami accredited, and we we have had a foot in that door for a very long time

CASEY SCHULZ: any other questions? If you another thing I wanted to mention as well, if any anyone that’s attending today knows anyone that wanted to join or in couldn’t join, this will be recorded, we will be able to send that out. The academic advisors will be able to send that recording out once it’s published. And we will be able to share this information that are that that has been mentioned today. So again, I put my contact information at the top so if you know anyone that needs a recording or anything like that, please reach out to me I got another question. What is the average class size?

DR. MARIA URIYO: So online it can be sometimes 20, 15 to 25, 25 there abouts. Yeah. Good question.

CASEY SCHULZ: Any final questions here?

DR. BRENDA SHEINGOLD: Give a couple more minutes. I just want to revisit that one about the taking 30 months to finish this program. It does not take 30 months. I see that up here that someone heard it took 30 months. So by taking one course at a time and that’s not true. So it’s only a 45 credit program course.

CASEY SCHULZ: Oh yeah, did not see that question earlier. Good question. And thank you, everyone. Um, for joining as well, I’m taking your time tonight in your evening to join us. The attendance really matters. And we’re happy that we could hold this for you all really informative for me as well. I was writing down some notes. But definitely really informative. And thank you. Thank you both again.

DR. MARIA URIYO: Well, thank you all for coming.

CASEY SCHULZ: Yeah. already. Yeah. I don’t see any more questions. So you all can start to head out. But thank you so much, everyone. Anyone has any final questions? Go ahead and type them in the chat. But again, thank you to Dr. Sean Gould and Dr. Urea. Thank you both. We, I know I appreciate it. I’m sure the attendance, appreciate it. And thank you all for coming. It’s been a pleasure.

MS Computer Science Transcript

ROB PETTIT: I am Rob Pettit. I am the Associate Chair for computer science for graduate studies at George Mason University. And I am the program director for our online MSCs program. So, within George Mason, we have our traditional regular on ground program, which is quite large. It’s actually the largest ces program in the state of Virginia and one of the largest in the country. And then we offer a subset of our traditional master’s degree for 100% Online students. And so some of the things that, that make our program unique, or at least set us apart a bit, is that one right here in the center, hopefully, you can see my mouse. It is that, that unlike unnamed universities, we do develop all of these online courses, ourselves, they are taught by our faculty, they are not farmed out to third party. These are the same courses. And in fact, we cross list these so you’ll see some on ground students that take the take a few online courses, there’s some restrictions on that. But that these are the same course numbers, the same course content, the same faculty that that you would be receiving your education from if you were were on ground in Fairfax. US News and World Report. Yeah, we, we kind of ignore that because we like the actual metrics based ranking system of CMS rankings, that org that that’s one that is an objective ranking system. And we are the top 3032 depending on the day, ranked computer science program in the country. We are the top ranked CS program in the state of Virginia. And the only one that would outrank us in the DMV is across the river. So So yeah, so we do we, we want to emphasize that we are offering you the same curriculum or a subset of the curriculum that you would receive if you were in Fairfax, this is not this is not a watered down degree, this is not a different degree, we have the same admission standards, we have the same professors. So let me go to the next slide. I think I already said that about me, I am Associate Chair for computer science. And I also this this is my second career I spent 30 years as a practicing software engineer before making the change to full time academia. This is now my my fun job, I absolutely love to interact with students and to teach and to promote this program. I’m also a double George bass and alumni. My master’s is from George Mason, as well as my PhD. All right on to the curriculum. So this is what I mean when I say that it’s a subset of our traditional in person master’s program. So you will see if you go to the CES catalog on the GME website, you’ll see a bunch of information and information and there’s a bunch of rules on how to piece this degree together if you’re on ground. For our online program, we took a very explicit subset of of the classes that we offer in Fairfax decided to offer them online, again, the same content. And and so there’s there’s not as many options through the program, but it makes it simpler to follow. So in terms of of completing the degree, you’ve got 12 credits. And let me back up everything at George Mason is three credits, at least in grad school. So when we talk about the credits of three credits is one class and we might go back and forth between talking about classes and credits. So the Masters overall requires 30 credits, which is 10 courses or classes. And we want you to to take those from a few different areas. So we have 12 credits of theoretical computer science. So that’s CS 530, your mathematical backgrounds, yes, 583 analysis of algorithms. We’ve got a systems class and intro to AI that makes up your 12 credits of theoretical computer science. Oh, I’ll also toss this out there that if you have an I guess everybody does have a bachelor’s in computer science of some sort. You may have had similar classes to our CS, 530, and 583, during your undergrad, these these, we recognize that this is kind of the bridge between the bachelor’s and the Master’s, not everybody has had the same level in their undergrad. So these are kind of a level settings. Couple of classes. If you find that you have mostly had the content, but I’ll be glad for it. Because the following classes will not not be like that. So just just kind of tossing that out there, we’ve had a couple of comments from people that have have graduated from strong BSCS programs, and thought that, at least at first, these looked awfully familiar to classes they had as undergrads. And you’ll see that in most graduate programs where we level set to get everybody working from the same base principles. Then, beyond these, these 12 credits of of theoretical computer science, we have are required for classes to all credits that are considered advanced. And to be advanced in the MSCs program really just means that they are classes that have required some prerequisite ahead of taking that class. And the they often have some sort of extra research component or extra project component to them. For the online masters, we have the specific classes that we offer, which is 642, which is all for engineering for the World Wide Web. Quite a highly popular class actually, all three of these are very popular, we’ve got the user interface design, we’ve got software testing, and then rounding it out, we’ve got computer vision for the for the fourth advanced class, then that leaves you with a remaining six credits that you get to choose so so you can choose from computer networks, databases, computer graphics, or the the remaining two software engineering courses, which are object oriented software specification and construction or software design and architecture. So all total, the these are your online classes that you get to choose from, if you look, again, at the Mason website and go to the catalog, you will see many many more classes that are part of our master’s in computer science or masters of software engineering curriculum. But these are the ones that will specifically get you through the online 100%. program. Um, so I’m guessing if you’re here, you’re you’re already understanding the value of a master’s degree or a graduate degree. And, you know, truly in computer science, we’re seeing the master’s degree is really not as optional as it once was, if you sure if you want to graduate with your BSCS get a good job, you can certainly do that. There’s there’s a wealth of jobs out there. But if you want to start looking at advancement in project management and higher level jobs, such as architecture and design and so forth, then that’s really where they’re looking for you to have a master’s degree. And if you’re wanting to branch into some of the more specialized areas requiring advanced algorithms or or the artificial intelligence, then that’s certainly going to be an area where you need a graduate degree. We’ve got these boilerplate numbers in here of salary growth, I think this is nationwide average. If you’re in the DC metro, you are probably aware that that these are already much, much higher than than what’s stated here on this this chart.

Okay, so, in terms of applying, I mentioned you do need a ban First Degree, preferably a bachelor’s in computer science, although if you’ve got a bachelor’s in maybe Computer Engineering and satisfy all the prerequisite courses, we would accept that. But most BS CS programs automatically give you this. So so basically what we’re looking at for the prerequisite courses, is you need to have had data structures and algorithms automata theory and formal languages, some form of computer architecture that included assembly language, and discrete math, and then calculus at least through Calc Two. So again, if you have a BS CS, that’s probably probably hitting all those points. If you don’t have these classes, then we do have other options, we do have a bridge certificate that you can look at, but we don’t have that fully online yet. But if that’s something that you’re interested in, you can see me and we can talk about it and discuss options. So, so from that foundation, you need to submit your transcripts, you need to submit a personal goal statement. It’s basically a writing sample, and a resume that’s that we don’t need or we don’t need letters of recommendation, we don’t need gr E’s. If you have what you think might be a borderline case of GPA, so we’re looking for a 3.0 or better GPA. If you’ve got something borderline, then then maybe you go take the GRE and submit that. We will look at it if you submit it. But but it’s completely optional. It doesn’t count against you whatsoever. If you don’t, if you don’t submit it. So I just toss that out there as an option if you if you do think that you need some additional piece. But yeah, that’s That’s it. And I think that gets us into questions.

BRIENA PERSAUD: Okay, so if you are interested in moving forward with an application, please feel free to reach out to us at 703-348-5006 or email online We really look forward to working with you. We have a whole team who would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. So please give us a call. Thank you everyone for attending this meeting this evening. We appreciate you taking the time to learn more about our program. Thank you so much Dr. Petit for joining us this evening and we really appreciate it as well. Have a great evening everyone. We’ll actually we’ll just check to make sure that we have any questions and we’ll go ahead and address those and I don’t see any questions on my end Oh, we do have a question I got a question.

ROB PETTIT: Take your time Ryan? Marcus feel free to chime in as well. Okay, let’s see Ryan’s question. So your environmental science major and thought about shifting careers and mastering CS, they apply that knowledge my Bachelor’s but the problem is I don’t have a whole lot of experience in computer science. So Ryan, you are the perfect candidate for what we would see with our bridge certificate. If you look online it is the computing foundations graduate certificate Let me switch over to a window here. Hang on I’ll get you a link if I can type my que la go to many went to sub sorry. So I’m gonna paste a link so the link I just pasted in your q&a window. It’s not an online program yet. We just went live with the program. Last semester, maybe two semesters ago live, I am kind of date challenged. So don’t ask me about dates. But it is a new program and it has made especially for people in your situation. So people that want to career shift or such and you’ve got a bachelor’s degree but you might not have all of our prerequisites. So that program is set up to give you those prerequisites. And what we guarantee is is that if you complete each of the courses in that program, or at least each of the ones that you’re missing from your background if you complete those with a B or better we then guarantee you that you meet the admission standards for our master’s degrees so please give that a look. And again, we don’t we don’t offer it 100% online yet I think one or two classes sometimes are online but they are being regularly taught in Fairfax no other questions

BRIENA PERSAUD: that’s the only another question let’s see here Do you know the deadline I thought I already missed it for spring of 2024

ROB PETTIT: Off the top of my head I choose not actually wait a minute. I do know I think it was well our regular yes our regular on ground admissions was I think October 15. But that’s just the official day we still process as long as there’s space available and there’s there’s still space available so if you get it in we’ll process it

BRIENA PERSAUD: so the start date for the online program is going to be January 8 So all applicant application materials are officially do that first week of December

ROB PETTIT: Yeah, the online online program has has dates that are pushed out further than the regular program

BRIENA PERSAUD: Brian has to for two questions. One more Ryan. Three, go first three Marcos. No questions from Marcos. Thanks You

ROB PETTIT: know, all right. Well, if there are no further questions, we will probably sign off here shortly. But another one,

BRIENA PERSAUD: we have another one yes.

ROB PETTIT: balancing between getting a masters versus certificates that’s, that’s a tough call. It truly depends on what you want to do with your career. The Masters is more versatile and more long lasting. certificates can be I don’t know how the right way to put it this but the certificates can be more specific to a technology that might not be valid from, you know, five years from now, whereas the Master’s technology may change but the the foundations that you get in that master’s education will remain with you for a lifetime. So I, in my, my industry experience was with defense contractors. And I can tell you with defense contractors that the Masters was far preferable than a certificate. I’m not even sure that we paid attention to certificates when we were hiring I know other companies do. But yeah, so you might want to do some background research into that. Anything else? You’re in so you’re not alone. So the question is all also thought about going back to school again, for the CS undergrad. You’re not alone. And that’s actually one of the reasons we created this computing foundations graduate certificate is prior to this. And there’s actually a whole consortium for this, if you look for I think it’s called the computer science Pathways Program. We’re in a consortium with a bunch of other universities that that are doing this. And that prior to having these bridge bridge certificates in place, that was your only option was to go back and get a second bachelor’s, but that made you do a lot of things that you didn’t necessarily need to do to to advance yourself into the masters. You’ve already got a bachelor’s degree. You don’t need to go back and retake all your gen Ed’s and you know, prove that you can do the work of a bachelor student again, you just need a few computer science classes. So that’s that’s why I would highly recommend one of these these bridge certificates. That that gets you into the computer science master’s.

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