Graduation day is rapidly approaching. For some that means the academic race has ended – for others a new chapter is about to begin.Â
Many graduating students will now enroll in graduate school of some sort. Some will stay at ACU, while others will enroll in programs across the nation. Kevin Campbell, ACU strategic analyst, said he expects another large graduate population on campus in the fall.
“We currently have 810 graduate students who have enrolled for Fall 2010,” Campbell said. “We are expecting approximately 1,000 students to be enrolled by the time the fall semester starts.”
Campbell said ACU offers 25 master’s programs, one doctoral program and six graduate certificates, and about 20 percent of the student body is enrolled in a graduate program.
ACU’s largest graduate program is organizational and human resource development, with 111 students. The largest program by discipline is education with 288 students, Campbell said. Overall, Campbell expects the graduate programs at ACU to grow for the ninth straight year.
“The graduate programs at ACU are growing, both residentially and online,” Campbell said. “In the past five years, enrollment in our graduate programs have increased 14 percent per year.”
While Campbell hopes ACU graduates elect to pursue higher education on campus, he understands why some students decide to go elsewhere.
“We don’t yet know how many students will choose to attend graduate school at universities other than ACU,” he said. “We do know that many students who do choose to attend graduate or professional school away from ACU do so because ACU doesn’t offer the program they are interested in, such as medicine, law and dental schools.”
Several ACU students have chosen to attend law school upon graduation. Dr. Mel Hailey, chair of the Department of Political Science and university prelaw adviser, said typically 15-20 students involved in the prelaw program move on to law school.
“If a student comes to the prelaw adviser, we do everything we can do to get them into law school,” Hailey said. “Those who do not go through the program do not know their options; its like flying blind. We sit down with the students and achieve.”
Hailey said most law school-bound students typically stay in Texas, but a handful of students attend law schools across the nation. The Department of Political Science had three graduates attend the law school at the University of Virginia last year, which Hailey said is one of the top law schools in the country. Other recent graduates have attended law schools at Texas Tech, Pepperdine, SMU and Baylor.