Degrees awarded at Appalachian compares to peer, state institutions

Chelsey Fisher

In the 2010-11 academic year the university awarded more bachelors, master and doctorate degrees than some schools but failed to deliver more than its peer Institution University of Illinois, and fellow state school UNC-Chapel Hill.

Appalachian awarded a large amount of bachelor degrees, but not as many masters or doctorates as some schools because the university has undergraduate programs comparable to schools such as UNC-Chapel Hill, but not graduate programs, particularly doctoral programs, said Bobby Sharp, the Director of Institutional Research and Planning at Appalachian.

The number of masters and doctorate degrees fall where they do because of Appalachian’s history, Sharp said.

“We were a teachers college that became a comprehensive university, but not a research university,” Sharp said.

This has “constrained” us in regards to the level and range of graduate programs, he said.

“There isn’t a big push for more doctoral programs at ASU,” Sharp said. “Such programs are relatively expensive and will be pursued quite selectively.”

Despite the fact Appalachian does not have many graduate programs Beck Long, a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program chose to return to Appalachian for graduate school.

Long said she chose to return to Appalachian because of the university’s strong CMHC program.

“All of the professors in the CMHC are active in their field, conducting research, and other scholarly endeavors” said Long. “They are not just teachers.”

Long also believes completing her graduate degree at Appalachian will help her eventual pursue a doctorate in Europe because Appalachian faculty teach there.

Senior Sustainable Development major Kayla Tilman plans attend graduate school to study Urban and Regional Planning. However, she does not plan on going to Appalachian for graduate school.

Tilman said she did not choose Appalachian because it does not have an accredited Planning program. But Tilman doesn’t think Appalachian’s small number of graduate programs is a bad thing.

“Quality is better than quantity in this case,” Tilman said. “Appalachian has amazing graduate programs with dedicated faculty that provides students with personalized program and career development.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter