Meridian Star

Local News

May 5, 2013

New degree in healthcare offered at MSU-Meridian

MERIDIAN — Good news for those interested in pursuing a degree in health care. This fall MSU-Meridian will offer a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Healthcare Services.  This degree will offer students who may have already completed an associate’s degree with a number of technical credits the opportunity to apply up to 28 of those hours toward completion of an undergraduate degree.

    “We are one of a few universities to be able to offer a BAT degree and we are extremely excited to be able to do so,” noted Dr. Steve Brown, dean and associate vice president of MSU-Meridian. “We have worked hard with our community college partners Meridian Community College, East Central Community College, East Mississippi Community College, and Jones County Junior College to bring this to fruition.

    "This will help citizens in our 12-county service area in East Mississippi and six-county area in West Alabama, who already work in the health care field or are currently in school, to be able to use technical credits they’ve earned and apply them toward this degree.”

    “Students in the East Mississippi/West Alabama region – especially those right here in Meridian – have an unique opportunity in that they can start an educational journey in kindergarten and ultimately earn Associate, Bachelor’s, Masters and Specialist degrees without ever having to commute long distances,” said Dr. Scott Elliott, Meridian Community College president.  “That’s a huge advantage for economic development in this region.

    "With the addition of the BAT degree, MSU-Meridian has created an innovative pathway for a great many students to complete a higher degree. This will be of particular benefit to those in the health occupations, but could have applications even beyond that into the future.”

    “We are excited to have this new degree program in our division. We believe the new BAT degree in Healthcare services will be especially valuable to students who have previously earned an Associate of Applied Science degree or an Associate degree in a technical area such as Health Information Technology, Medical Laboratory Technology, Radiological Technology, even Nursing who might want to move into administrative work,” said Dr. Dennis Mitchell, associate dean of the division of Arts and Sciences.

    “In the past, technical credits would not have been accepted towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree at MSU-Meridian. Now students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree will be able to apply up to 28 technical credits, combined with a minimum of 26 basic core credits, to transfer to our university. The new process should make it easier for those desiring to build upon the technology degree they already have to become a university graduate,” added Mitchell.

    “MSU-Meridian already has a popular Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a concentration in Healthcare Administration that was established in 2009,” noted Dr. Carl Young, assistant professor of Healthcare Administration at MSU-Meridian.

    “Technology credits can’t be applied toward the BBA degree we currently have in place. Graduates of the BBA with a concentration in healthcare administration have broad exposure to planning, directing, controlling, coordinating, and quality improvement in healthcare endeavors, and are prepared to enter the workforce as managers and future executives,” added Young.

    According to Dean Brown, offering both a BBA degree in Healthcare Administration and the formation of the new BAT degree in Healthcare Services, shows a commitment on the part of MSU-Meridian to recognize the contribution of Healthcare in this region as well as be responsive to the needs of our community.

    “We hope to be able to develop additional concentrations within the BAT degree, thereby offering a broad range of opportunities to a large number of students who may otherwise have been unable to complete an undergraduate degree,” stated Brown.  “In addition we are also considering new degree programs in other health-related fields such as kinesiology in the near future.”

    Anyone interested in the new BAT in Healthcare Services degree or the BBA degree in Healthcare Administration is encouraged to call Regena Clark, coordinator of Academic Advising, at 601.484.0153 or email rclark@meridian.msstate.edu.

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