Graduation day is rapidly approaching. For some that means the academic race has ended – for others a new chapter is about to begin.
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.
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.
For those who find the comfort of Abilene more appealing, ACU has nine residential graduate programs and the Graduate School of Theology for a total of 29 degree options, according to the graduate school Web site. Russ Kirby, director of student services for the Graduate School of Theology, said the program grew this year.
“Enrollment had dipped for the last few years, but this spring, attendance was 30 percent higher,” Kirby said. “We’re all trying to work hard together, to connect with students. We have one of the best faculties that exists.
Another popular on-campus graduate option is ACU’s master’s of accountancy. Dr. Bill Fowler, chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance, said the program is designed primarily for those who want to go into public accounting. Fowler said the program has seen tremendous growth in recent years.
“We’re probably close to 50 enrolled students, and the number has gone up each of the last two years,” Fowler said.
In addition to its on-campus options, ACU also offers online graduate school options in education, organizational and human resource development, conflict resolution and higher education.