New degrees, new graduate studies division

Division of Graduate Studies, new degrees expand college’s reach.

Columbia College kicks off the 2011-2012 academic year with the debut of its Division of Graduate Studies and several new degree options, including both an associate and bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a Master of Arts in Military Studies (MAMS).

The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) program has added two profession-specific tracks — Law Enforcement Administration and Corrections Administration.

Click here to watch a video on the new division and CC's master's degrees.

“I am delighted to open the Division of Graduate Studies and to offer new degree options for students this year,” said Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs. “As the college grows, the division will help us create a true graduate culture, and we will continue to add degree programs that are in demand and relevant for today’s workforce.”

The Division of Graduate Studies, headed by Dr. Steve Wiegenstein, now offers four graduate degrees in-seat and online: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Criminal Justice and the Master of Arts in Military Studies (online only).

Dr. Steve Wiegenstein

The MAMS degree emphasizes the study of military affairs from the perspectives of traditional disciplines such as history, philosophy and political science. The new MSCJ tracks allow working criminal justice professionals advance their careers with profession-specific coursework.

The year 2012 will mark 15 years of graduate studies at the college.

Says Wiegenstein, “The creation of a Division of Graduate Studies will heighten the profile of the graduate programs at Columbia College, both locally and nationwide. While the college is well and justly known for the variety and quality of its undergraduate programs, it may be that our graduate programs don't have the same top-of-mind awareness. Part of my goal is to trumpet the existence of our programs wherever I can. Internally, the creation of a Division of Graduate Studies will give students a clear idea of where to turn for answers.”

Wiegenstein has an impeccable academic background: He has been chair of humanities and social sciences and professor at Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Mo., interim chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky.; and received the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Helsabeck Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Wiegenstein is also an accomplished writer. He recently secured a book deal with Blank Slate Press to publish his first historical novel, working title Daybreak, set in bloody Kansas and Missouri during the Border Wars and beyond. Wiegenstein says he hopes this will be the first in a connected series of books.

Q and A with Wiegenstein