June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.397.1 - 12.397.8
Concurrent B.S./M.S. Programs: A Method to Increase Graduate Enrollments and Attract Top Students to Graduate Study
Many universities face declining enrollments in their graduate programs due to a reduction in the number of international student applications and the increased cost of educational programs. This paper presents the concurrent B.S./M.S. degree that has been developed in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at Kansas State University. The recently created integrated program has significantly increased the number of top undergraduate students who are choosing to attend graduate school in this program. This paper documents the program and shares some of its benefits. Some data are provided to demonstrate the success of this program for both the department and the students.
The Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) department at Kansas State University (K-State) offers a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, M.S. in Industrial Engineering, M.S. in Operations Research, Master of Engineering Management, and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. Over the past five years, the program annually graduated 26 B.S., nine Master’s, and two Ph.D. students each year (averages). There are ten members of the K-State graduate faculty in the department who typically teach four courses each year. The undergraduate degree is ABET accredited and the university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools of the Higher Learning Commission.
The number of foreign graduate students studying in the U.S.A. has plummeted in recent years. Around the world international students have more options for graduate study than they ever had before. Today many international students find it less important to obtain a graduate education in the U.S. and prefer to pursue a degree closer to home. Furthermore, in today’s “flat world” foreign countries offer many more challenging and rewarding jobs.
This phenomenon is of sufficient concern that MSNBC has provided headlines that describe this drop in foreign applications and why it is important1. Some of the reasons that this phenomenon is occurring are described by Krupnick2 and include:
• Excellent job opportunities in the students’ home countries. • More universities offering respected advanced degrees in the students’ home countries. • The U.S.A.’s stricter visa rules (post 9/11).
In addition, the financial burden for an international student to study in the U.S. makes it less attractive for international students to travel to the U.S. for graduate study. As an example, the amount of financial resources that an international student must be able to document in order to
Kramer, B., & Easton, T. (2007, June), Concurrent B.S./M.S. Programs: A Method To Increase Graduate Enrollments And Attract Top Students To Graduate Study Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1988
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