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MBU Sees First Graduates from Regional Learning Center at JALC

Pictured are the first four graduates to complete their Master of Business Administration degrees through Missouri Baptist University’s regional learning center at JALC.  Left to right: Derek Schaubert (Carterville), Jay Bernhardt (Johnston City), Jason Snider (Herrin), and Lora Hines (Carterville).

Pictured are the first four graduates to complete their Master of Business Administration degrees through Missouri Baptist University’s regional learning center at JALC. Left to right: Derek Schaubert (Carterville), Jay Bernhardt (Johnston City), Jason Snider (Herrin), and Lora Hines (Carterville).

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Three John A. Logan College employees and another area resident recently completed their Master of Business Administration degrees, making them the first graduates of Missouri Baptist University’s regional learning center at JALC.

In the fall of 2011, Missouri Baptist, a liberal arts college based in St. Louis, Mo., established a regional learning center at Logan, which allows students to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in certain programs by taking classes on the JALC campus.

Dr. Deborah Payne, vice president for instruction at Logan, said the partnership with Missouri Baptist is beneficial to students.

“John A. Logan College is always looking for opportunities to meet the needs of our students, whether they are career-focused, university bound, or coming back for additional certifications and training,” Payne said. “Flexible programming allows those who work and have family obligations to continue their studies close to home. We are pleased to congratulate those students who have graduated from the Missouri Baptist University program.”

Jason Snider of Herrin, who works as the associate director for revenues at Logan, is one of the graduates. He liked the program’s convenience and cost.

“The fact that the classes were taught at John A. Logan was one reason I decided to pursue my MBA through Missouri Baptist,” Snider said. “As soon as I got off from work, I could walk over to my classes. It was also less expensive than some other programs I looked at.”

Snider says having his MBA will give him more career options.

“Most positions above where I am now require a CPA or a master’s degree, so the MBA may help me advance,” he said. “I also thought down the road I might like to start teaching and I need a master’s for that.”

In addition to Snider, the other MBA graduates included Lora Hines, associate professor of business at JALC, Derek Schaubert, who serves as an information technology support associate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is a part-time faculty member at Logan, and Jay Bernhardt of Johnston City, a marketing associate for Sysco in St. Louis.

“It was great that we all knew each other,” Snider said. “We got along really well and we were able to collaborate on some projects we had to do. When we had to give presentations in class, we weren’t too nervous because we were familiar with each other. It was nice to have that support.”

Dr. Julia Schroeder, former vice president for instruction at Logan, is now the director of MBU Plus at JALC and coordinator of Southern Illinois Development.

“The programs are customized for working adults so they can take classes in the evenings that won’t conflict with their work schedules,” Schroeder said. “The classes are structured to last for eight weeks. Students can take one or two classes the first eight weeks of the semester and one or two more classes the second eight weeks of the semester.

“The four students who graduated from the MBA program were able to complete that program in 13 months by taking two classes every eight weeks. Depending on the pace they choose, students can finish in as soon as 13 months or take up to five years.”

Along with the MBA program, MBU’s regional learning center at JALC offers a Master of Arts in Counseling degree that is for both a licensed professional counselor or a certified school counselor. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is also offered as well as a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science with an emphasis in psychology, sociology, or social work.

“We currently have students in masters of counseling program who will graduate this summer,” Schroeder said. “We are already seeing an increase in enrollment, and I believe more programs will be added to the four we offer now. We are going to have an open house here on Monday, July 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. if anyone wants to know more about the programs.”

For more information about MBU’s regional learning center at JALC or the open house, contact Schroeder at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-767, Ext. 8114.