December graduation numbers at SEMO rising

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mike Schoch of Quincy, Ill., said he thinks the education he received at Southeast Missouri State University is ready to be put to the test in the job markets of St. Louis or Chicago.

"A lot of people said you go to college and the things you learn that you need to know for the job, they actually teach you at the job," Schoch said. "But I've learned so much that I feel comfortable with actually having a career."

Schoch, 24, was one of 12 students to receive undergraduate finance degrees during commencement Saturday. In all, 674 students received degrees.

"I needed to have the college experience," Schoch said. "I knew they had an accredited business school. Figured I give it a shot. Loved it."

Southeast's fall graduation numbers have increased over the last two years, from 626 in 2008 and 596 in 2007, according to Southeast's Office of Institutional Research.

The number of fall graduates receiving master's degrees also increased. This semester 86 graduated with a master's degree, an increase from 60 in 2008 and 57 in 2007.

Dr. Fred Janzow, dean of graduate studies and vice provost at Southeast, said the jump in graduating master students is the result of history teachers in Poplar Bluff, Mo., completing a special two-year master's program through Southeast. The program began in spring 2008.

The project, called Teach American History Bricks and Bridges Projects, was the initiative of history teachers in the Poplar Bluff School District. A federal grant helped them fund their educations.

The top three undergraduate degrees for fall 2007 through 2009 were the same, in descending order of popularity, General Studies, Elementary Education and Nursing.

This fall, undergraduate degrees in 108 majors were issued, compared to 105 in 2008 and 98 in 2007. For graduate degrees, degrees in 24 majors were issued this fall, compared to 35 in 2008 and 36 in 2007.

From 2000 through 2009, the number of undergraduate Southeast students at the beginning of fall semesters increased by 1,899 students, or about 21 percent, according to data from the institutional research office. At the start of fall 2009, there were 9,087 enrolled students and in 2000, there were 7,188.

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