Progress: New initiatives at MSU Texas enhance the value of students’ degrees

Midwestern State University's Centennial Hall

Dr. Suzanne Shipley, Midwestern State University

When families think about where to attend college, cost is always one of the first factors weighed.

Alongside cost, however, families need to research the quality of the degree. It is the equation of cost plus quality that can determine the value of the degree. And the value of the degree is what most benefits a graduate.

While keeping costs steady at MSU we are working hard to increase our value in a number of ways. I hope that you find these details meaningful, whether you are a proud graduate of MSU, a family member of a graduate, or considering attendance at our university.

Academic Endeavors

The much-anticipated opening of Centennial Hall, home to programs in our Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, began 2019 on a high note. The $42 million project was part of the $58.4 million in tuition revenue bond funds appropriated by the state in 2015, and marked the largest designation of capital construction funds in the history of the University.

This project was instrumental in forging new alliances with Shimadzu Medical Systems USA and B-Line Medical LLC, as well as renewing our longstanding local partnership with United Regional. The Shimadzu School of Radiologic Sciences at MSU Texas is the first corporate and public educational partnership of its type in radiological sciences.

Through these alliances, our students and faculty will work and train with state-of-the-art equipment and software that will set them apart in their fields. The building now stands as confirmation of the trust and support our state has placed in us to provide an educated workforce and stimulate economic development across our region and beyond.

Expansion to select doctoral programs has emerged as a new interest of MSU Texas graduates. We are now pursuing approval for not one, but two, doctoral programs. Programs in radiologic sciences and educational leadership would be the first for our university, and the doctoral program in radiologic science would the first of its kind in the United States.

Alongside this change for our graduate endeavors are our undergraduate signature minors to respond to student interests and workforce needs in fields such as cybersecurity, educational design and learning management, musical theater, and organizational psychology to name a few. Such advancements help us stay true to the value we know students receive from our liberal arts foundations; strides in our professional degrees show the quality of this important combination.

Affordability is imperative for our MSU families and no program does more to make a degree available to first-generation students than our Priddy Scholars Program. Middle-income families across the region have benefited from this freedom from the cost of higher education given to our students.

Priddy Scholars do not have to divide their time and attention between the workplace and the classroom, instead single-mindedly pursuing studies, participating in campus events, preparing for leadership and service roles in the community, engaging in international study, and selecting a career. Priddy Scholars stay enrolled at MSU Texas, with 90 percent completing their degrees without interruption. What we are learning from this program is helping us to design programming to help all students be successful and keep all MSU Texas degrees affordable.

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